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Netflix buttons coming to remote controls

Netflix might have launched its business sending DVDs through the postal service, but in more recent times the company has been living up to its name by building a subscription-based streaming video service—and partnering with a wide range of device manufacturers to get Netflix clients built in to their devices. Now, that partnership is moving to another level, with Netflix announcing that several major consumer electronics manufacturers are going to be putting dedicated Netflix buttons on remote controls for things like Blu-ray players, Internet TVs, and other devices that bring Internet media to televisions. The move is significant, since it means device manufacturers have enough faith in Netflix to alter their hardware to provide convenient access to the service—which, of course, is only available to subscribers. Although we’re betting non-subscribers pressing a tantalizing Netflix button will be treated to a nice sales pitch.

“For members who want even more convenience when instantly watching TV shows and movies streaming from Netflix, the answer is about to be right in their hands,” said Netflix’s Chief Product Officer Neil Hunt, in a statement. “No more turning on the TV, going to a home screen and searching for the Netflix icon.”

Device manufacturers lined up to add Netflix buttons to selected Blu-ray player remote controls including Panasonic, Samsung, Sharp, Sony, Toshiba, Best Buy (via its in-house Dynex brand), Haier and Memorex; Netflix buttons will also be coming to remote controls for the Boxee, Iomega, and Roku set-top boxes. Sharp, Sony, and Toshiba will be putting the button on remotes for selected Internet-capable TVs.

Netflix says the buttons will receive prominent placement, and some of the remotes will feature the “iconic” red Netflix logo.

Although some consumer electronics device manufacturers might not be too keen to roll out a dedicated button for someone else’s paid subscription service on their devices—we can’t see Apple doing this for the Apple TV—Netflix streaming service has proven to be a key selling point for many Internet-capable devices. To date, Netflix says more than 250 Netflix-ready devices are on the market.

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