If you’re looking for breakthrough products from NETGEAR at CES this year, you’ll be disappointed. The company’s announcements primarily featured enhancements to its NeoTV players and routers, with a few new powerline and wireless products thrown in.
NETGEAR had two announcements about its NeoTV line of streaming media players. While others (including me) think that Google TV is dead and buried, NETGEAR apparently does not. But the $129.99 price of the new GTV100 NeoTV PRIME with Google TV and its other features will help the company sell at least a few.
NETGEAR GTV100 NeoTV PRIME with Google TV
Those other features include access to Google Play apps, including Netflix, Amazon Instant Video, HBO Go, Crackle, Flixter, Rhapsody, Pandora and "many more".
The NeoTV Prime will also play your media from and attached USB drive or your LAN’s DLNA media servers. The Google TV content search functions come from a Prime Time app, which promises to "help you find and watch your favorite movies and TV shows all in one place, whether they are on live TV, an app, or the web". Other features include a Chrome browser, search function and picture-in-picture that will simultaneously show NeoTV output and your regular TV source.
Of course, the GTV100 will be old news to some, since it was outed about a month ago by the good ol’ FCC filings. Either way, it is said to be "available now", which means sometime soon.
This good news for sports-lovers and ex-pats in NeoTV land is the announcement that the current generation (and new GTV100) NeoTV’s are getting an app that will let them connect to Slingboxes. You’re also getting TuneIn Radio and ShopNBC apps, too.
Moving on to another relatively unexciting product, the VueZone Add-On Night Vision Camera (VZCN2060) is an extension of NETGEAR’s line of IP cameras it got through the quiet acquisition of Avaak last July. The "night vision" comes in the form of a separate, large AC-powered outboard IR lamp module pictured below.
NETGEAR VueZone Add-On Night Vision Camera (VZCN2060)
This advantage of this approach is that you can place the lamp and camera in different locations. The downside, of course, is that that second location has to be within reach of an AC outlet. Being an "add-on", the VZCN2060 requires one of NETGEAR’s existing VueZone kits.
NETGEAR specs the camera’s motion detection range at 15 feet, with the IR lamp module illumination spec’d at 25 feet. The camera is completely wire-free using an unspecified wireless connection method to connect to its base station. It is powered by two Lithium CR123 Photo batteries, which are said to last for 6 months of normal use (turned on for five minutes per day). Video quality isn’t very good at only 3 fps with VGA (640 x 480 px) quality, best case. If you want one, you can buy it shortly for $129.99 MSRP.
NETGEAR made a few networking product announcements. First, they are enabling beamforming on its existing draft 802.11ac products (R6300, R6200 routers and A6200 WiFi USB Adapter). Since Cisco also touted beamforming as "new" in its CES intros, we expect to see it be a theme this year.
Also in the networking enhancement category are the new features being added to its Genie network monitor / manage / repair utilty for Windows, iOS and Android, i.e.
- EZ Mobile Connect lets you scan a QR code from the genie WiFi screen without typing in security keys or SSIDs to quickly connect devices to your NETGEAR network
- TurboTransfer enables drag-and-drop transfer among devices using Genie’s network map
- WiFi analytics for measuring signal strength and identifying interference
- Enhanced MyMedia mobile app for browsing and photo "swiping"
- Per-user Parental Controls
- The Windows version of Genie will now show powerline devices and let you see link rates and access settings.
For actual new products we have the WN3500RP Universal Dual Band WiFi Range Extender, Wall-plug Edition, pictured left. It’s a simultaneous dual-band extender that has "N300" 2.4 and 5 GHz radios and works with any router (no WDS required).
WN3500RP Universal Dual Band WiFi Range Extender, Wall-plug Edition
It also includes a built-in combination AirPlay / DLNA client (or DLNA compatible Digital Media Renderer as called out in the device specs). So you can plug in speakers and stream away from iTunes servers, iOS devices or DLNA sources.
NETGEAR announced only one new router, the D6200 WiFi DSL Modem Router that it says is the first draft 11ac router with a built-in modem. Its dual-stream radios have maximum link rates of 300 Mbps in 2.4 GHz and 867 Mbps in 5 GHz, making it an "AC1200" device.
D6200 WiFi DSL Modem Router
There wasn’t much other information on the product other than the note that it also sports a Gigabit Ethernet WAN port for use with cable and other outboard modems. No pricing or availability timeframe was given and no word of how many Gigabit LAN ports. A NETGEAR rep did say it has a USB 2.0 port for storage sharing.
The final news on the networking front was news that NETGEAR will "showcase" a combination wireless / powerline router with 802.11n radio and IEEE 1905 compliant powerline. This is evidently a product peek with no model number, pricing or ship date.