Netflix To Charge More For Blu-Ray; New Set-Top Box Hardware This Year

Netflix plans on charging a premium on accounts that rent Blu-ray movies because, well, the discs cost more. Netflix CEO Reed Hastings reasoned on a conference call that "consumers are used to paying more for high-definition." Netflix had been offering both HD DVDs and Blu-ray discs to subscribers for no additional charge until Netflix stopped carrying HD DVDs in February.

Hastings also announced that they plan to bring their "Watch Now" feature to set-top boxes. The Watch Now feature allows subscribers to instantly watch more than 8,000 movies on demand on their PC. Because the worst part of Netflix is having to wait for the movie you just ordered to arrive in the mail. Digital on demand downloads are clearly the future, and a subscription model is the best way to do it. CNET reports that "in addition to the initial partnership with LG, Netflix plans to pair up with two additional major companies, and one additional small company." Rumor has it that these new partnerships might include Xbox 360, Tivo, Apple TV and Slingbox. Right now Netflix does not have an Apple option for their "Watch Now" feature, so it would be cool if one of the other boxes in my apartment could be updated to work with the service.

Discuss: Are you be willing to pay more to rent Blu-Ray movies through Netflix?