Samsung has announced partnerships with Netflix and Pandora that adds streaming media capabilities to its BD-P2500 and BD-P2550 Blu-ray players. The agreements enable owners of the Blu-ray players and broadband Internet connections to stream movies directly to their televisions from video rental service Netflix, along with personalized music streams from Pandora.
Both Samsung Blu-ray players are available now; current owners can upgrade their units at no charge to support the new streaming media features. Updaters appear to require a Windows PC. The update also adds support for interactive content via BD LIve.
“In its new form, Samsung Blu-ray players become the ultimate content delivery box, combining on-demand access to movies and jaw-dropping Full HD viewing,” said Samsung America marketing VP Reid Sullivan, in a statement. “Samsung presents a new value proposition for Blu-ray players by positioning it as a portal to a world of engaging digital content, be it Blu-ray discs, movies from Netflix, or other online content.”
To stream Netflix movies, player owners need to be current Netflix subscribers; to access streaming content, members visit the Netflix Web site, add movies and other programming to their “instant queues,” and the choices immediately become available on the member’s TVs via their Blu-ray players. According to Netflix, movies start playing in as little as 30 seconds; users can fast-forward and rewind the video stream. The Netflix streaming library currently offers over 12,000 selections.
The firmware update also adds support for the Pandora streaming music service, which provides custom music streams based on users’ personal musical tastes.
Financial terms of the deals were not disclosed. While Netflix has been thriving lately, the future of Pandora is clouded by possible changes to royalty rates for Internet-based music streaming services.
The Samsung Blu-ray players aren’t the first to incorporate Netflix: the LG BD300 Network Blu-ray Player also integrated support for Netflix streaming content, and Roku offers a standalone Netflix Player.