Skip to main content

Netgear EVA2000 Digital Entertainer Live Review

Netgear EVA2000 Digital Entertainer Live
MSRP $149.99
“The Netgear EVA2000 Digital Entertainer Live boasts a low list price of $149.99, but its limitations make it a questionable buy, even at this price point.”
Pros
  • HDMI support
  • Two USB ports
  • Supports WMA Lossless
  • Quiet
Cons
  • Max video resolution limited to 720p
  • Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon streaming requires third-party software and a host PC
  • Doesn’t support FLAC
  • No S/PDIF audio output

eva2000-e1

Introduction

Media-streaming boxes like Netgear’s EVA2000 Digital Entertainer Live are the next best thing to having a home theater PC in your entertainment center. They’re smaller, quieter, and considerably cheaper, and can access media stored on computers and servers on your network as well as Internet content such as you’ll find on YouTube and Hulu. The EVA2000 can do all those things, as well as access media stored on a local USB storage device, and it boasts a low list price of $149.99. Still, we think Western Digital’s similar WD TV Live HD media player is a far better value.

Features and Design

Here’s why: Both devices feature HDMI and analog standard-definition A/V outputs, both offer hardwired Ethernet connectivity and DLNA support, and both have two USB ports (so you can plug in an optional wireless media adapter as well as a USB storage device). But Netgear’s box delivers HD video at only 720p (Western Digital’s supports both 1080p over HDMI and 1080i over component video), and it supports a much shorter list of media containers, codecs, and file formats. It can’t play DTS movie soundtracks, for example. There’s also no support for AIFF and FLAC audio (although we’re happy to see the inclusion of WMA Lossless support), and the only digital photo file format it supports is JPEG (Western Digital’s box supports GIF, TIF, BMP, and PNG as well as JPEG).

eva2000-e3
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Both devices can stream YouTube videos right out of the box. The EVA2000 can also stream Netflix movies if you’re a subscriber, but only if you spend an additional $40 to buy third-party media server software (MediaMall Technologies’ PlayOn) and run it on another PC (or server) in your network. You’ll also need PlayOn to stream content from Hulu and CBS. The WD TV Live HD can’t stream Netflix, but it will stream video from Hulu without forcing you to buy third-party software, and it can stream music from the Pandora Internet radio service and display digital photos stored on Flickr; features Netgear’s product can’t match.

The EVA2000 will, however, let you rent or purchase movies from CinemaNow and Amazon Video on Demand (but you’ll need PlayOn to access the latter). Amazon’s service is pretty good, but CinemaNow’s library is dominated by direct-to-video schlock. Who would spend $4 to rent (we’re not making this up) Apocalypse and the Beauty Queen or Journey to the Center of the Earth (no, not the Brendan Fraser vehicle; we’re talking about the on-so-forgettable 2008 TV movie starring Peter Fonda and Rick Schroeder)?

eva2000-e2
Image used with permission by copyright holder

We tested the EVA2000 with both a hardwired Ethernet connection and with Netgear’s EVAW111 USB Wi-Fi adapter ($50). Video and audio performance was very good with both connections (mileage with your wireless network will vary, depending on the strength of your connection). Installing the EVAW111 couldn’t have been easier either. Netgear provides a flexible extension stalk that allows you to orient the adapter to achieve a stronger reception, and the device supports Wi-Fi Protected Setup which makes establishing a connection to your router push-button easy (provided your router also supports WPS, but that includes just about every router made in the past couple of years).

Conclusion

If all you want is a means of streaming Netflix movies, Roku has a cheaper solution, and if you want access to Hulu, Western Digital’s product is far superior. If you’re looking for the ultimate media streamer, on the other hand, Netgear’s EVA9150 Digital Entertainer Elite is the answer. It’s considerably more expensive at $399.99 (and it might explain why the EVA200 is so hobbled), but it handles just about everything, comes with its own 500GB hard drive, and supports wireless networking right out of the box.

Highs:

  • HDMI support
  • Two USB ports
  • Supports WMA Lossless
  • Quiet

Lows:

  • Max video resolution limited to 720p
  • Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon streaming requires third-party software and a host PC
  • Doesn’t support FLAC
  • No S/PDIF audio output
Michael Brown
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Spotify’s Song Psychic feature is like a Magic 8 Ball for music
Screengrabs from Spotify's Song Psychic feature.

Music streaming behemoth Spotify is leaning hard into this year's leap day, using the once-every-four-years phenomenon as a springboard for its new Song Psychic feature that, like a Magic 8 Ball, serves up a song suggestion for all of your burning (or not-so-burning) questions.

Spotify is excellent at regularly adding fun features to its music streaming interfaces, such as its hugely popular year-end review Spotify Wrapped, collaborative playlists, and algorithm-based DJ. Today the company is at it again with Song Psychic that it's calling "a new, mystical music experience." They even enlisted the help of American rapper Baby Tate to help with the launch with this TikTok video.

Read more
Paramount serves ‘true sports fans,’ CEO says
Sports on Paramount Plus.

Paramount may find itself in a bit of a weird spot when it comes to the upcoming super sports streaming service set to launch this fall. That is, that it's not involved in the joint venture that plans to combine the sports whose TV rights are currently held by Disney (as in ESPN), Fox, and Warner Bros. Discovery.

But if there's any real consternation, Paramount CEO Bob Bakish wasn't showing it during his company's fourth-quarter earnings call this week. And, in fact, his reaction to a question during the call was much the same as ours.

Read more
LG’s incredible 65-inch C3 OLED TV is 35% off right now
The LG C3 Series OLED 4K TV in the living room.

If you want a highly rated OLED TV at a fraction of the price, right now is the time to acquire one. That's because this deal, which we found over at Woot, takes over a third of the price off on the 65-inch LG C3 OLED TV, known for gaming prowess and great visuals. It's one of the hottest LG TV deals going on right now. And, unlike a lot of Woot deals we've seen, this TV is brand new, so you'll be the first one to use it. But you'll have to act fast, as this deal is disappearing when today does, lasting just a hair past midnight over here on the US's East. And that's if it doesn't sell out before then. To pick up your LG C3 OLED TV at $1,697, $903 off from the usual $2,600, just tap the button below. And, to get more information about the offer, plus see what are thoughts are about the TV, keep on reading.

Why you should buy the 65-inch LG C3 OLED TV
In a lot of ways, this TV feels like all screen, no edge due to its slim bezel. If you have a darker wall the slim bezel may nearly blend in. This will help the immersion into the worlds the TV wants to bring to you. The LG C3 OLED bills itself as a sort of gaming TV, using a game optimizer to bring you instantly good settings during gameplay, a game dashboard for quick launches, and the GeForce Now cloud gaming suite will deliver tons of games directly to your TV with no console required.

Read more