Netflix app inbound to major cable companies' set-top boxes?

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Now on your set-top box?

If you thought Netflix and pay-to-watch TV were bound to stay separate and ne'er the twain shall meet, think again.

The online video streaming service is reportedly in talks with some major TV players, including Comcast, to become available as an app on those companies' set-top boxes.

The Wall Street Journal, which got word of the talks from sources "familiar with the matter," noted that if a deal comes to pass, this would be the first such partnership between Netflix and a US cable provider.

It's a juicy proposition, but don't expect an announcement anytime soon, the Journal's sources cautioned, as discussions are still in the early goings.

But if and when the Netflix app lands on cable TV sets, it would signal a thawing of the generally icy relationship between broadcasters and the service most in the cable biz consider a significant threat.

Knocking on Netflix

News of the rumored deal comes one month after Netflix struck a similar agreement with Virgin Media in the UK Launching as a pilot program in 40,000 TiVo-owning homes, the Netflix app will eventually make it to 1.7 million residences.

While following Virgin Media's footsteps and cutting out the middle man (like a game console) and shucking the need for an internet-connected tube to watch Netflix sounds appealing, there is at least one big hang-up stateside.

According to the Journal, at least two operators are resistant to Netflix's demand that they use special tech the streaming service claims improves the delivery of its content.

Netflix reportedly wants the servers it uses as part of its Open Connect program to link up directly into broadband providers' networks.

Internet companies like AT&T, Time Warner Cable, Comcast and Verizon have balked at the idea, citing concerns that other online services would seek special treatment. And it's not like their servers can't handle Netflix's traffic either, the companies supposedly claim.

Where this all shakes out we don't yet know, but stay tuned, especially if you're tired of having to tether your laptop to your TV every time you want to catch a Netflix original series ... or stream old Top Gears.

Michelle Fitzsimmons

Michelle was previously a news editor at TechRadar, leading consumer tech news and reviews. Michelle is now a Content Strategist at Facebook.  A versatile, highly effective content writer and skilled editor with a keen eye for detail, Michelle is a collaborative problem solver and covered everything from smartwatches and microprocessors to VR and self-driving cars.