Netgear Demonstrates 2009 Offerings

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Netgear’s characteristically small CES press conference held few surprises this year, but 2009 promises to be a fruitful year for media enthusiasts with a need to bring content from the Web and their computers to the their TVs. The company’s general manager of home and consumer products, Vivek Pathela, demonstrated three of the 15 new products the company will unveil at this year’s expo.

Making an appeal to the “Internet Family,” Pathela showed off the diminutive Internet TV Player, a box that almost fits in the hand and will stream all types of Web video to attached televisions. Pathela took a bite out of an apple and tossed it aside as a jab to Apple TV before showing off how the box displayed YouTube, Internet video rentals from CinemaNow, and outside video sources via a built-in search box. Netgear expects to bring the player out in the summer of 2009 with an MSRP of $199.

Also in the home video arena, Pathela put on brief a show with the previously announced EVA9150 Home Entertainer Elite, a successor to the Digital Entertainer HD that handles full 1080p video. In contrast to the Internet TV player, it can also pull content from networked computers, or from Netgear’s own ReadyNAS Pro, which can supply up to 9TB of storage. A Tom Cruise movie displayed on the box in full 1080p HD quality, but also displayed a blip of heavy digital noise before Pathela switched it off. The box will debut for $399 in February 2009.

For mobile workers with a need for connectivity anywhere, Netgear announced the 3G Mobile Broadband Router, which turns any 3G USB modem into a Wi-Fi hotspot, similar to previous products such as the CradlePoint PHS-300. Netgear will release it this month for $129.

Though not demonstrated at the conference, other products for 2009 include 802.11n dual-band routers, power line and multimedia-over-coax (MoCA) adapters, and additional ReadyNAS storage products.


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