Netflix offers an instant watching service that allows customers to stream movies and television shows to their TV, computer and some mobile devices. To help port this streaming content directly to an HDTV, Netflix provides support through a variety of set-top boxes and gaming consoles. Determining which device to use amidst the plethora of available products can be daunting, but because Netflix has gained a presence in several technology spaces, you may already have a device capable of streaming the content to your TV.
Among the major gaming consoles available, Netflix provides direct access to your account through Microsoft Xbox, Nintendo Wii and Sony Playstation 3. Because all three connect directly to the Internet, you can install a Netflix application on each of the devices to access your instant queue. The Xbox requires a paid Xbox Live Gold membership to use the Netflix service.
Streaming Media Players
Several media players provide services to stream movies and TV shows to your TV through a variety of outlets. In addition to these content stores and providers, many of these devices can also access Netflix's instant watching service. Some examples of these devices and services include Apple TV, Google TV, Roku, Tivo and Sony media players. Most of these devices require the up-front cost of purchasing the hardware but do not require any additional fees for accessing content. You must still have a paid subscription to Netflix, however.
Televisions and Blu-ray Players
As digital streaming grows as a form of content delivery, the fundamental components of home entertainment systems are providing support for Netflix's instant watching service. Many TVs and Blu-ray players now come with the ability to connect to the Internet and access Netflix-provided content. These devices often have an installed portal within the system to access channels or applications such as Netflix. Most brands that offer TVs and Blu-ray players offer such devices, like Sony, Panasonic, LG, Samsung and Vizio.
Because mobile Internet connectivity has made entertainment available on-the-go through wireless cellular networks, Netflix has coordinated the use of their service through mobile devices. Now you can stream movies and television shows directly to your iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad using the Netflix app available for download from iTunes. In addition, any smartphone running the Windows Phone 7 operating system can use Netflix by installing the app from the Windows Phone 7 Marketplace.
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