The gap between the Web and television just narrowed a bit further. Starting this fall, Netflix users will be able to stream movies directly from the site to Sony Bravia Internet-enabled televisions. bringing Netflix's 12,000-title collection of on-demand cinema within a software update of big-screen viewing.
Netflix already brings its content to TV screens via Xbox 360, Roku Players, TiVo, Vizio, and all new Samsung and LG Blu-ray players, but the Sony-Netflix deal is the first time its films will stream directly to a television set via the Web without some kind of intermediary. One such device, the Sony Bravia Internet Video Link, allows a wider range of older sets to receive streaming data from Netflix and other sources. Bravia Internet Video-enabled sets already display content from a handful of other sites, including Amazon, YouTube, and CBS, so the partnership is a boon to Netflix's long-term competitiveness in the streaming media space.
The partnership has interesting implications for the PlayStation 3. Netflix's exclusive streaming deal with Microsoft bars the company from beaming its content to another gaming console, but no deal comes without an expiration date. Could a strengthening of ties between Sony and Netflix spell an end to exclusivity and a Netflix-enabled PlayStation 3 (or Nintendo for that matter)? Naturally, Netflix isn't saying either way, but hopefully a broadening of platforms is in queue.