by Jacqueline Emigh
With remotely accessible, high capacity multimedia home networking in mind, Netgear has rolled out the ReadyNAS Ultra series of Tivo-compatible digital video recorder (DVR) storage units.
The new devices are designed to let you store large volumes of video, music and photos in a single centralized device and stream multimedia content to TiVo boxes, TVs, desktop and mobile PCs, digital cameras, and virtually any other networked device.
Products in the Ultra series integrate Tivo compatibility with Skifta media-shifting software and Orb software for multimedia transcoding.
Orb is designed to automatically format and size streaming video content for mobile devices and browsers, on the fly.
The Skifta software is aimed at letting users remotely access their private media libraries from any DLNA-certified device, according to Meyer.
Through the built-in Tivo integration, users can also offload multimedia storage from the Netgear box by streaming it to TiVo devices, further expanding the amount of content they can keep on hand.
Like earlier ReadyNAS storage systems, the Ultra line-up also includes ReadyNAS Remote, for secure drag-and-drop remote access; X-RAID2, for self-managing volume expansion; and ReadyNAS Vault, an embedded online backup and recovery service.
In addition, through a capability called Rsync, you can replicate and synchronize files between two ReadyNAS devices.
The customizable Ultra boxes come with a choice of dual-core Pentium, dual-core Atom, and single-core Atom processors in different configurations. Netgear is providing two-, four-, and six-bay options. Currently, each bay is able to hold a 1TB or 2TB drive, but Netgear plans to support 3TB drives when those become available later this year.
Each device in the series comes with two Gigabit Ethernet ports for ultra-fast networking connections, plus three USB ports for plugging in devices such as printers or cameras.
The Ultra 4 and Ultra 6 units are currently available for pre-order on Amazon.com, with shipments slated to start this week. The Ultra 4 four-bay system is priced at $599 by itself or $800 with two 2TB drives, for example. The Ultra 2 is expected to start shipping in October, at pricing which has yet to be set.