Netgear Tackles Shoddy Web Video, Streaming HD in 2010

EVA9100

For all the improvements set-top media boxes have made to ease-of-use, price and yes, even remote controls, the quality of video they actually deliver hasn’t moved forward all that much in recent years. Netgear will attempt to remedy that with new technologies incorporated into its own Digital Entertainer streaming media devices throughout 2010, claiming it can enhance both the smoothness and image quality of video from the net.

According to Netgear, future products will be able to spin standard-def content to “near-HD” quality by “enhancing contrasts and color, and reducing the graininess, mosquito noise and block artifacts.” This is a claim we’ve seen before – last year Toshiba showed off a unit that used the same Cell processor found in the PlayStation 3 to upscale Web video with certain enhancements (Update the technology is back again this year in a big way. We weren’t that impressed with Toshiba’s tech last year, but a quick demo from Netgear actually showed some promise. Although “near-HD” might be a bit of a stretch, blurry Web video from HQV.com actually appeared considerably clearer – without looking artificially amped up.

On the other end – Web video that’s already available in high quality – Netgear has focused on smoothing out the stutters and buffering typically associated with cramming such high quality data through a broadband connection. The “secret sauce,” they say, is tech that allows hardware to recover lost video packets and improve video bandwidth by up to three times. The company’s demo showed Netgear’s hardware playing silky smooth videos of storks and prairie dogs, while a competitor spat and stuttered through the same clip. Frankly, the stark difference made it a little tough to believe, but having watched Netflix struggle through buffering and the stalls on The Office during lunch breaks, we have to hope there’s some nugget of truth to it.

Although Netgear didn’t detail which devices would be making us of this tech through 2010, we hope that firmware upgrades will bring it to some of the company’s existing line up, as well.

Home Theater

Here's a handy guide to mirroring your favorite devices to your TV screen

A vast arsenal of devices exists to allow sending anything on your mobile device (or PC) to your TV. Our in-depth guide shows you how to mirror content from your smartphone or tablet to the big screen.
Home Theater

The best Dolby Atmos movies for your home theater sound as good as they look

If you've got your hands on some sweet Dolby Atmos gear, the next step is to find films that take advantage of it. These are our picks in several genres for the best Dolby Atmos movies currently available on Blu-ray and streaming services.
Home Theater

If you've got questions about Ultra HD Blu-ray, we've got answers

Ultra HD Blu-ray discs and players are a killer way to beef up your home theater. Here's everything you need to know about one of the most significant advances to hit home entertainment in years.
Deals

Take a gander at the best deals on 4K TVs for February 2019

There's no doubt that a good 4K smart TV is the best way to take your home entertainment setup to the next level to enjoy all your favorite shows, movies, and games in glorious Ultra HD. We've got the best 4K TV deals right here.
Home Theater

Make the most out of your new Apple TV with these must-have apps

If you're looking to turn your fourth-generation Apple TV or Apple TV 4K into an all-in-one entertainment powerhouse, we can help you get started with this list of the best Apple TV apps you can download.
Home Theater

Reasons not to mount a TV over your fireplace (and other helpful tips)

Mounting a TV above your fireplace may be popular and it might even seem appealing, but we have some concerns. We've got a list of reasons why placing your digital picture machine over a fire should be avoided, if at all possible.
Product Review

These are the affordable noise-canceling headphones you’ve dreamed about

The TaoTronics TT-BH060 are a value-packed pair of wireless noise-canceling headphones that offer solid sound, exceptional battery life at a great price, making them one of the most compelling pairs out there.
Product Review

Sleek and expensive, the Apple TV 4K will still delight the Apple faithful

Is Apple’s latest streaming set-top box a revolution, or too little too late? Find out in our Apple TV 4K review, and learn how this device wins in some big categories, but falters in others.
Home Theater

Charter’s Spectrum TV Essentials offers 60 live TV channels for $15 a month

Charter Communication's Spectrum TV Essentials is a package of 60 live TV channels for $15 per month designed to keep cord-cutters happy. But with no sports or major broadcasters, is it enough?
Home Theater

What is Netflix Roulette, and how exactly does it work?

For years, educated viewers have been using Netflix Roulette to broaden their horizons. The web app can help you find movies and shows you'd never think to watch! What exactly is it, though, and how do you use it? We explain it all.
Movies & TV

ESPN Plus is a great sports companion. Here's everything you need to know

ESPN's streaming service, ESPN Plus, arrived in 2018. Despite appearances, ESPN Plus isn't a replacement for your ESPN cable channels, and it differs from other streaming apps in a few key ways. We answer all your questions in this guide.
Home Theater

Viacom deal brings more entertainment options to sports-first streamer FuboTV

If you’re looking for a live TV streaming service, with a big emphasis on sports, FuboTV could be exactly what you’re looking for. We’ve got everything you need to know about it right here.
Home Theater

Still wondering why you should buy a smart TV? Here's what you should consider

If you've been living under a rock, you might wonder: What is a smart TV, anyway? Luckily, we've put together a quick-hit guide to teach you everything you need to know about televisions with big brains.
Product Review

Samsung’s Galaxy Buds are a brilliant combination of value and comfort

With six hours of battery life, an extremely comfortable fit, sweatproofing, and a very palatable price tag, Samsung’s Galaxy Buds are putting all other true wireless earbuds on notice.