LG Unveils Internet-Enabled, Netflix-Connected TVs

Netflix has partnered with LG Electronics to create a new line of Internet-enabled, HD video-streaming televisions.

The new TVs, announced Monday, will officially debut at this week’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. The sets will offer Ethernet connections built in to both plasma and LCD displays for high-definition content streaming. Users will be able to pick movies directly from an on-screen list without having to use a computer or access their Netflix “queues” of selected titles.

The new models are expected to cost about $300 more than similar televisions without the Internet option.

The move follows LG’s recent creation of the BD300 Internet-enabled Blu-ray player, which also offers users the option to download movies directly from Netflix. Past Netflix deals have made its videos available via the Xbox 360, certain TiVo DVR models, and Blu-ray players made by Samsung. Other electronics manufacturers, including Samsung, have recently come out with Internet-integrated TVs that are connected to other specific media services, including YouTube and Picasa.

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Analysts have predicted the number of Internet-enabled televisions to grow massively over the coming years. Only 1 percent of TVs sold in the U.S. were Web-ready in 2008. By 2012, the number is expected to climb to 14 percent. Some accounts, including The Inquisitr’s own Duncan Riley’s, see the trend skyrocketing after that point, perhaps even as high to 100% by the year 2015.