by Jacqueline Emigh
Netgear is capping the rollout of a new line of multimedia storage, networking, and playback products for home wireless, wired, and powerline networks with the announcement of the new media player supporting 1080p HDTV.
A member of Netgear’s new AV Series of products, the NeoTV Ultimate HD Media Player 550 is designed for playback of video, music and photos whether the content is housed on the Internet or on a home network device such as a USB storage device, PC hard disk drive (HDD), game console, or Blu-ray player.
Special features of the new player include an extra E-SATA port for faster transfer speeds, advanced metadata tagging aimed at letting users browse cover art, and compatibility with Netgear’s new AV Series Universal Wi-Fi Internet Adapter for optional wireless connectivity.
Unveiled on Monday, the new multimedia player also comes with a built-in memory card slot, Blu-ray support through external drives, and DLNA/UPnP compatibility for media server access. Like other products in the AV series, both announced and possibly unannounced so far, the V 550 will be geared to ease of use.
AV products also announced for powerline home networks
Also on Monday, NetGear announced several other members of its new AV line-up, including the NeoTV 350 Ultimate HD Media Player and a new series of kits for home powerline networks.
The NeoTV 550 and 350 are both slated for availability in October. However, the 350 will only be available in Europe and Australia, whereas the V550 will be sold in North America as well as Europe and Australia, according to Netgear.
In a statement, Netgear called the new media players the “flagships” in its AV line-up. North American MSRP for the NeoTV 550 is set for $219.99 US.
Netgear’s powerline adapters are scheduled for availability this fall on a worldwide basis, although home powerline networks are still more common in some other parts of the world, such as Europe, than in North America.
The powerline products include the AV+ 500 Powerline and AV 500 Powerline adapter kits, which add an extra
integrated and filtered power socket for pass-through capability, plus the AV 200 Wireless-N Extender Kit, for integration between powerline and WiFi networks.
Netgear is a major producer of hardware devices for both home and business networks. Other multimedia-capable home networking products recently unveiled by the company include the ReadyNAS Ultra digital video recorder (DVR) storage unit, along with an assortment of adapters and networking kits for using WiFi to push content from laptops to TV screens and to stream HD media over home theater networks.