Online rental movie service Netflix Inc. announced a partnership with consumer electronics manufacturer Vizio that will let consumers instantly watch movies from Netflix directly on new Vizio high-definition TVs.

The announcement is the second in three days by Netflix regarding streaming movies directly to an Internet-connected TV without the need for a separate external device. On Monday, Netflix and LG Electronics jointly announced an extension of their year-long partnership to enable Netflix members to instantly watch movies directly on new LG plasma and LCD HDTVs (story here).

Netflix is offering movies on-demand over the Internet to better compete with similar services from Amazon, as well as content Web sites such as Vudu and Hulu.

Vizio said its "connected HDTV" platform was designed to complement linear TV viewing. By using a customized Vizio remote control, viewers can access movies from Netflix from an on-screen display. With built-in wired and wireless networking, Vizio televisions with the "connected HDTV" platform will provide plug-and-play connectivity right out of the box once the new TVs are shipped later this year.

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