We're already seeing a plethora of Netflix Watch Instantly plugins for the HTPC software programs such as SageTV, Microsoft Vista Media Center, Meedios, GB-PVR and Media Portal. Now it looks like Netflix has lined up four hardware vendors to embed the Netflix Watch Instantly functionality in various hardware devices that connect to the television set. Last quarter, LG was introduced as the first partner with Netflix in their embedded hardware program. at this weeks first quarter Netflix company webcast Hastings said, “I can tell you we have LG plus three additional partners actively working on integrating our technology into their products. Three of the four partners are major companies which each sell millions of devices per year and will enable the Netflix functionality in some of those devices likely in Q4 of this year."
We know LG is the first company to team up in this effort, but I wonder who the next three will be. Here are a few guesses:
- LG (already announced) - could be a TV, DVD Player or just about any other device.
- Microsoft - I could see Microsoft pushing to get the Netflix Watch Instantly embedded into their Xbox 360's
- Sony - Sony would be a logical partner as they could start with their Playstation 3's and move on to TVs and/or DVD players.
- Tivo - Tivo could add additional movie "rental" capabilities to their already popular DVRs. To me this would be a logical move for Tivo.
Who do you think the partners will be?