Netgear adds Google TV streamer, Slingbox support, night-vision security camera
LAS VEGAS—Netgear's got Google TV, as of today. At the International CES, the home networking company announced a new member of its NeoTV product family that adds the search and web browser features of Google TV to the line's previous media streaming functionality.
Netgear also announced the addition of a SlingPlayer channel to all its NeoTV streamers, which, in addition to the newly announced $130 NeoTV Prime with Google TV (GTV100), include the entry-level NeoTV (NTV300), the NeoTV Pro (NTV300S) and the NeoTV Max (NTV300SL).
For beefing up an existing home network, Netgear has introduced a new dual-band Wi-Fi range extender—the Netgear Universal Dual Band WiFi Range Extender—that plugs into wall outlets. And on the home security front, Netgear also announced a new Netgear VueZone camera with night vision technology.
Netgear's Google TV streamer
The NeoTV Prime with Google TV streamer joins what's expected to be a rejuvenated field of Google TV players being exhibited at the International CES this week. Like the previously shipped Sony Internet Player and the Vizio Co-Star, NeoTV Prime is a set-top box (Google calls it a "buddy box") that connects to TVs and the Internet, but vendors such as LG are also shipping connected TVs with Google TV functionality built in.
In addition to robust search features, Google TV also supports Google Play apps and a Web browser with desktop functionality. The NeoTV Prime's remote has a QWERTY keyboard to help with data input for the browser and apps.
Having a NeoTV with a SlingPlayer channel will allow you to stream high-def home TV content from Slingbox-connected sets and set-top boxes to any HDTV in a location with a decent broadband network. You need only bring the NeoTV and an HDMI cable. It's a real boon for travelers, or even people who don't want to shell out for a second cable hookup in the home.
Expanding network reach
Also designed for home entertainment use, the Netgear Universal Dual Band WiFi Range Extender, Wall-plug Edition is a compact device that plugs directly into a wall outlet and promises to simultaneously extend coverage of both 2.4GHz and 5GHz Wi-Fi networks. Other features include a stereo jack to enable audio streaming to connected speakers, and a USB port for printer sharing.
For those who don't want to cover up a wall outlet, the device also ships with a docking station. It's available now for $100. And for places where Wi-Fi alone doesn't cut it, Netgear at CES is showcasing several products that incorporate powerline networking technology, including a demo version of an upcoming hybrid powerline-Wi-Fi product based on the IEEE 1905 standard for interoperable Wi-Fi, powerline, and coax networks.
A security camera with night vision
In addition to its see-in-the-dark technology (via a separate, included infrared lamp that you can position as needed), the Netgear VueZone Add-On Night Vision Camera (VZCN2060) also boasts motion-detection technology that can trigger recordings, adding to its usefulness as a tool for monitoring homes and offices in low-light conditions. Netgear says the infrared lamp will let you see objects up to 25 feet away.
Like other Netgear VueZone cameras, it's small and battery powered, and uses a proprietary wireless network so no unsightly cables are involved. It supports only low frame rate feeds, topping out at 8 frames per second for QVGA (320 by 240) resolution.
The $130 camera is shipping now. However, to use it you'll need a VueZone base station (available only in kits with at least one camera that start at $200) that connects to your broadband network, and a subscription to one of Netgear's VueZone plans, which enable remote monitoring of VueZone camera feeds. A free plan lets you monitor up to two cameras on a desktop PC; paid plans that start at $5 a month or $50 for a year let you use more cameras, store recordings, and monitor feeds on mobile devices.
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