I toss enough brickbats at incompetent companies that being 'fair and balanced' (heh) seems to require some appreciation when things go notably right. So...
I'm a laggard when it comes to video technology. Our viewing of 'regular TV' is usually limited to Discovery, Food Network, and some sports. But the proportion of Blu-ray offerings on Netflix finally got to the point of motivating a switch to HD. So the venerable Magnavox rear projection tube was put on the decommissioning list, and it was shopping time.
Given our low duty cycle requirements, I picked a Samsung 50-inch plasma screen, since reviews say that it does a good job at up-converting SD library material (and Amazon dropped the price just when I was doing comparisons). I paired this with a BD-P1600 Blu-ray player from the same manufacturer. This was touted as having built-in interfaces to NetFlix, Youtube and other net media services, so I could replace my improvised net video set up with something more permanent.
Given the potential for Murphy's Law to come into play when doing anything involving consumer electronics and networking at the same time, I approached the install with some trepidation. The plasma screen was first successfully inserted as a 'drop-in' replacement for the old TV. (Rule 1: Always keep a working system.) Then the Bluray player was added: HDMI to screen, Ether to nearby Apple Airport Express and optical to the surround amp.
Power on. Insert SD DVD as a test. Comes up immediately, scaled correctly to the plasma screen. Network test. Works first time. Cross fingers and try Netflix menu item. Get activation code, walk over to laptop and enter at Netflix. Wait one minute, it's activated. Select the top of instant viewing queue, wait a few seconds, and I've got 'Das Boot' streaming onto the big screen.
Elapsed time: Ten minutes after getting things hooked up. No, I didn't read the manual. Needless to say, I'm impressed by the 'out of box experience' particularly given some knowledge of just how deep the rathole can be if anything goes awry. So, a well done to Samsung.
It's worth noting that this worked out so well because Samsung, Apple and even Comcast all did the Right Thing when it came to the IP network stack and general use of public standards. Given the repeated market failure of networked CE devices in the past, the superior of open standards over manufacturer's attempts at proprietary specs is evident. There's still plenty of room to innovate around user experience and quality. (Are you listening, Sony?)