Watching Netflix titles streaming on your TV is great, but are there too many remote controls involved when you want to watch instantly? Maybe you need one remote to change the TV's A/V input channel and then another to turn on and navigate your Roku, video game console or Blu-ray player -- whatever you use as your Netflix Watch Instantly gateway. First World problem, sure, yet still annoying.
Fortunately for you, Netflix is working with a bunch of electronics companies to make life even easier by adding a Netflix button to all kinds of remotes made by Sony, Sharp, Toshiba and other brands. According to TechCrunch, the button will be conveniently featured on remotes for Blu-ray players, Internet-ready televisions and devices like Roku.
No mention of any cable company involvement, though, which makes sense despite the fact that most of us use our cable clickers as the handy one-for-all universal remote. Seeing as Netflix is a huge competitor against pay cable and especially Video-on-Demand channels, it is in the best interest of cable companies to not feature such a button.
This news is also another huge blow to Blockbuster, Redbox, Amazon, Apple and any other company looking to get into the kind of streaming rental business that Netflix dominates.
Reportedly not all remotes will feature the Netflix logo, but they all will be specifically for that service. So you can go directly to Netflix rather than the many other programs connected through your machines, which now also include radio stations like Pandora, photo sites like Flickr and even social networks like Facebook. For boxes like Roku, though, isn't this a problem for the rest of the brands contractually available through the device?
The Netflix button will begin showing up on remotes this Spring. Will it make your life better?