Netflix to Stream Disney, ABC Content in HD

Netflix, the once-upstart snail mail service that put the huge Blockbuster store chain on notice that there are other ways to rent video discs, continues to grow its services to more venues with word in early August that it has obtained the rights to instant-stream a lot of ABC Television series (after they air on the broadcast network). Also available will be Disney Channel fare such as "Hanna Montana."

The attractions—which will include HD streaming for users with the PC monitors and computing power to enable it—include past episodes of popular fare such as "Desperate Housewives" and "Lost." (The latter series will be immediately available in HD to Netflix's 9.3 million subs.)

While most Netflix streaming schemes are restricted to computer monitors for most subs, a growing array of set-top boxes and Blu-ray players by several makers allow Netflix streams of movies and TV content to play on TV sets (even as PC monitors continue to get larger each year).

Netflix says it has about 120,000 titles available at any given time—and about 10 percent of them are stream-able. An even smaller percentage, thus far, is currently available in HD, although Netflix says the list continues to grow.

Beyond streaming, Netflix has seen its Blu-ray Disc mail-out business increase, although standard DVD mail rentals continue to dominate the business.