Netgear's NeoTV Gears Up to Take on Roku

Netgear's NeoTV set-top box doesn't have the hype of Roku or Apple TV, but Netgear is trying to make up for it by packing in more features at low prices.

At CES, the company announced that it has added Hulu Plus to the NeoTV NTV200, which currently sells for $70. Netgear's product manager for connected entertainment, Damir Skripic, also talked with PCWorld about future plans to beef up the streaming set-top box.

Netgear's NeoTV Gears Up to Take on Roku
In a couple of months, NetGear plans to launch a new NeoTV model, the NTV210, which will add a USB port and support for Wi-Di, which will allow users to stream content from Wi-Di-enabled laptops. The new model will cost roughly $90, but Netgear hasn't settled on a price yet.

Skripic argues that NeoTV is a better choice than Roku because it has apps for YouTube and Vudu, which Roku does not. And because NeoTV uses 2-by-2 Wi-Fi, Skripic says it's less likely to run into buffering issues. The NeoTV also has an Ethernet jack, which is only available on Roku's more expensive models.

However, Roku's base model, the Roku LT, is $20 cheaper than the NeoTV, and it has some key apps of its own, including MLB.tv and HBO Go.

Skripic said sales are going "quite well" for NeoTV, but didn't offer any figures. NetGear will soon bring the NeoTV to Walmart and wholesale stores such as Costco, in addition to Best Buy, Staples, Fry's and other retailers where it's available now.

For more blogs, stories, photos, and video from the nation's largest consumer electronics show, check out PCWorld's complete coverage of CES 2012.

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