Following the debut of its high-definition PC-to-TV
streaming box at CES, Netgear is now shipping the Digital Entertainer HD (EVA8000) through select e-commerce sites at an MSRP of $399. Similar in size
to a standard DVD player, the EV8000 is able to stream media from PC and Mac
computers, as well as network storage and USB devices to an HDMI-enabled HDTV.
The device can access media without the assistance of a
computer. The EV8000 can play HD movie downloads, including those from BitTorrent’s new
online marketplace, as well as stream videos to their TV from sites such as
YouTube. The shutterbugs can access photos directly from Flickr without a
computer and music lovers can play their iTunes libraries on a home theater
system. The Digital Entertainer HD can also play Internet radio directly and
can access RSS news feeds and NOAA weather and maps.
The Digital Entertainer HD supports a wide array of codecs,
such as audio formats MP3, WMA, FLAC, M4A, AAC and AC3; video formats MPEG1/2/4,
WMV, XviD and H.264; and image formats JPEG, BMP, PNG and TIFF. For network and
streaming features, the EV8000 integrates a 10/100Base-T Ethernet controller,
support for 802.11g wireless networking, and two USB 2.0 ports.
The EV8000 connects to any high resolution display with an
HDMI for a video resolution up to 1080p and provides digital audio output via a
TOSLINK connector. If the connected PC has a TV tuner installed, the EV8000 can
act as a DVR device to schedule recordings and pause or rewind live broadcasts.
Aside from moving computer-based media to the entertainment room,
the EV8000 can also help to unify video watching in the home. For example, if
there are multiple Digital Entertainer HD boxes in the home, the device has a “Follow
Me” feature that enables users to pause a video in one room and resume it in
another. In “Party Mode,” users can synchronize music playback for whole-home
“The number of U.S. digital home networks has mushroomed as
consumers demand more interconnectivity among their electronic devices,
especially personal computers, HDTVs and audio systems,” said Jonathan Gaw,
research manager for home networking at IDC. “Set-top digital media receivers
such as the NETGEAR Digital Entertainer HD target the growing demand for a
device that is easy to use, supports multiple platforms, and provides smooth
content streaming from popular Internet sites, in HD. Products that can meet
these criteria should do very well."
Backed by a one-year warranty and 24/7 technical support,
the Digital Entertainer HD is available now in North America through select
e-commerce sites at an MSRP of $399 and will be available at retail worldwide
in the second quarter of 2007.
Other recently launched PC-to-TV devices include the Sony LocationFree,
and the Bravia
Internet Video Link. Apple was originally set to launch its Apple TV product
in February, but was recently delayed into March.
Netgear competitor Cisco
is also working on a similar device.