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Netflix Lauds Blu-ray, Veers Toward More SD Streaming

One media company that can look back on 2008 as among its best years financially is Netflix, which recently signed its 10-millionth sub. And with one eye on the present with its traditional mail-out discs, and the other on instant streaming of digital content from its Web site, Netflix says that it’s highly likely it will add a streaming-only choice for subscribers very soon.

Netflix had offered both HD disc formats without picking favorites, up until HD DVD was shoved off the radar screen by Blu-ray Disc a couple of years ago. The firm veered from its simple pricing plan when it began charging an extra $1 for each Blu-ray rental via the U.S. mail. At an industry meeting in New York City in late February, a Netflix executive said the company estimates its Blu-ray subs could grow 50 percent in 2009.

One reason Netflix thinks that a streaming-only option is becoming more attractive to consumers is that via various deals with a growing range of receiving devices (i.e., TiVo, some Blu-ray players, Xbox 360), a lot of video content can now bypass the smaller computer screen to the much larger living room HD set for Netflix’s mainstay long-form content of movies and TV programs.

Still, Netflix does not foresee its disc rental business via the U.S. mail peaking for several more years.

Read all of HD Notebookhere.