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Multimedia & VoIP Reviews

Introduction

Updated 12/27/2009: VuNow is now free.

NETGEAR EVA2000 Digital Entertainer Live

At a Glance
Product NETGEAR Digital Entertainer Live (EVA2000)
Summary Easy-to-use device plays multimedia content from local or Internet sources on analog or HDTVs.
Pros • Simple Setup
• Supports both analog and HDTV (720p)
• Plays content from DLNA and UPnP A/V devices
Cons • Need to purchase licenses to access anything other than YouTube, VuNow and your own content after trial periods expire
• Need to run a Windows app to access Hulu, Netflix and other better content
• Search not available for all content types

NETGEAR’s ITV2000, announced at CES 2009, has finally emerged as a revamped and less expensive product – the EVA2000 Digital Entertainer Live.  Priced at $149.99, the EVA2000 not only plays multimedia content stored on your computer, DLNA / UPnP AV servers or USB devices, it also plays video and radio from a number of Internet sources. 

Without using your computer, this compact HDTV media player can browse YouTube, search for video clips via vtap on the Internet, view streaming video from over 200 websites and live Internet TV via the VuNow service, or play your choice of Internet radio stations on your standard or high definition (720p) TV. 

In the United States, you also an buy or watch pay-per-view movies on demand through NETGEAR’s partner, CinemaNow.  And with the installation of MediaMall’s PlayOn media server on a compatible PC, you can also view content from Hulu, your NetFlix account, CBS, CNN and other content providers through MediaMall’s partners.

The EVA2000 is pretty small—about the size of one of NETGEAR's 5 port switches. The front panel, shown above, has only a power indicator that flashes until it is connected to your network and the Internet.  The rear panel (Figure 1) has a connector for the power supply, a 10/100 Ethernet port, HDMI port for connecting to an HDTV, and a jack to connect to an analog TV. 

There are also two USB ports where you can attach USB disk or flash drives that contain multimedia content.  Alternatively, one of the USB ports can be used with the EVAW111 wireless USB adapter (MSRP $39.99)  to connect the EVA2000 to your wireless home network..

Rear panel of the EVA2000

Figure 1: Rear panel of the EVA2000

The EVA200 ships with everything you need to get started – except an HDMI cable.  Included in the box is an Ethernet cable, power supply, analog cable, installation CD, and a 17 button IR remote control (including 2 AAA batteries) shown in Figure 2.

EVA2000 remote

Figure 2: All functions of the EVA2000 are controlled by the included 17 button IR remote control.

I wasn't able to get the case open with risking breaking it, so I wasn't able to get a photo of the board. But the Product Manager told me that the EVA2000 uses one of TI's DaVinci Digital Media Processors.

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