Netgear shows 'world's largest HD video jukebox'

CES 2009: Netgear puts all its eggs in the internet TV basket

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Netgear isn’t the first name you’d associate with exciting keynotes at CES, but the company usually pulls one or too decent networking devices out of the bag. This year was no exception, with 15 new products including crossover kit for putting internet content on your TV and a device the company called “the world’s largest HD video jukebox”

“This year we’re ready to take our products to a new level, the empowerment of the connected lifestyle,” eulogised Vivek Pathela, Netgear’s VP of Product Marketing before showing us the first of three headline products, the Internet TV Player, the ITV2000.

This is like the YouTube streaming on other media boxes but with added Tequila. It brings a plethora of internet content to your TV, all controlled using a simple remote and clean scrolling interface. Pathela showed a YouTube clip of Formula One to demonstrate the basics of the device.

Premium content

But not only does it playback YouTube videos, but you can also watch premium content from CinemaNow or search for videos elsewhere via vTap (what extra content we'll get in the UK is an interesting point) It’ll be available in Summer, but it’s key feature is one that was underplayed by Netgear – torrents. If your PC is on (or presumably a NAS device) you can queue up torrents for download right from the device’s interface – something we like a lot.

Pathela was in particularly vivacious mood as he unveiled the device, attempting to whip up the crowd. “Simple! No hassle!” He’s a particularly charismatic presenter, but he's showing networking devices, after all.

New streamer with storage

The Digital Entertainer Elite (EVA9150) broke cover next, with Pathela announcing “this year we’re taking things a step further.” At this point Pathela had a dig at Apple TV, by biting a chunk out of an apple and throwing the fruit at the wall. Calling the new device “the world’s largest HD video jukebox,” he reeled off its features.

As you’d expect, it’s a standard streamer which can take content from PCs, Macs and NAS devices as well as online sources such as YouTube or Flickr. It also adds a 500GB for storing content and supports 1080p upscaling. The interface is clean and crisp and appeared to eschew the menu lags in accessing content that plagued earlier models – however the proof will be in the pudding.

There was also a 3G broadband router, designed to share your mobile broadband - a basic wireless router that you can attach your USB stick to - as well as the RangeMax Dual-N Gigabit router (WNDR3700) among the other releases.