As I have pointed out in the past, streaming is probably the single biggest threat to Blu-ray overall. Well, it looks as if Samsung — the company thats already given the format just five years to live — is acknowledging that and trying to stay one step ahead of the curve by adding streaming capabilities to two of its players. This appears to be part of a bigger strategy by Netflix to get its software on more Blu-ray devices.
CEO Reed Hastings does acknowledge that the format’s install base is still extremely small, but expressed confidence in its earnings call earlier in the week that adoption would pick up. Either way, it is definitely a good move for either company.
Netflix gains another partner for its streaming service, which already includes Microsoft and the Xbox 360, LG, and Roku, which markets the Netflix set-top box. Blu-ray gains a partner which adds functionality to its players, making them more attractive to consumers.
Obviously, this does nothing to address the price issue of players, which is the single biggest obstacle for most. However, at the same time, it certainly adds more value to the player. This could help justify the high up-front cost for some.