Netflix focuses on video-streaming

Netflix puts more emphasis on video-streaming with new appointment and partnerships

Netflix has hired Bill Holmes, a five-year veteran of digital-media company DivX, to help build its video-streaming business.

Holmes is to head its business-development efforts as it continues to try to boost sales from its video-streaming service.
His appointment is the latest in various moves by the company to build on its 8.4 million subscriber base with its streaming services.

It has entered onto a partnership with LG to produce a new Blu-ray Disc Player with direct internet access to the Netflix film catalogue.

Netflix, the largest U.S. movie-rental service via mail, said that it brought on Holmes to help embed software into more devices that will allow customers to stream content from Netflix.

Holmes negotiated licensing agreements with companies such as Qualcomm, Matsushita and SanDisk when he was with DivX.

Reed Hastings, Netflix CEO, said: “Bill Holmes will lead the ever-increasing effort by Netflix to develop more partnerships with great consumer electronics companies as we enter the era of Web-on-TV.”

The LG Blu-ray Disc player that instantly links to Netflix’s 12,000-title streaming service will go on sale this month.
The BD300 has firmware and hardware that will enable it to stream movies directly from the Netflix online video rental service.

Although it has full 1080p high resolution capability on Blu-ray, the Netlflix service will only provide standard definition movie streams initially.

However, the BD300 does offer 1080p upscaling for standard definition content via the HDMI output connection.
The BD300 also has the latest Profile 2.0 specification, which allows full access to all interactive and online content that may be available in relation to specific Blu-ray Discs.

In July, Netflix expanded its partnership with Microsoft that allows customers to stream Netflix’s movies and TV shows through Microsoft’s Xbox 360 videogame console.

In May, Netflix introduced a set-top box allowing customers to stream from an inventory of about 10 per cent of its 100,000 titles.

Later that month, Hastings said products such as Netflix Player by Roku, which had to be back-ordered within three weeks of its introduction, would double the company’s subscriber base within a decade.

Holmes started the DivX Certified program with the San Diego-based company, whose revenue jumped 43 per cent last year to US$84.9 million.

That program, which tracks all components containing devices either produced or licensed by DivX, encompasses more than 100 million devices made by companies such as Sony, Samsung and Toshiba.

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