New HD media player from Netgear

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Tim Higgins

The EVA8000 can display still, music and video files streamed from UPnP AV sources without the need to run server software on a PC. However, running included software on a Windows PC enables the EVA8000 to play iTunes content, view YouTube videos and access a Windows desktop across a network.

Netgear also announced an "ongoing collaboration and agreement" with BitTorrent to "promote video downloads streamed to high-definition televisions" through the EVA8000.

If the PC has an optional TV tuner, the software allows the EVA8000 to access it to record and play TV content. The product also plays internet radio directly and can access RSS news feeds and local and national NOAA Weather and maps. Multiple receivers can use a "Follow Me" mode to pause a video in one room and resume it in another. A "Party Mode" can synchronize music playback for whole home listening.

Video ports include HDMI 1.1, component video, composite video and S video. Up to 1080p video is available via the HDMI output. TOSLINK optical digital and sterao analog outputs are provided for audio.Dual USB 2.0 ports allow attachment of storage devices for content access. Network access is via 10/100 Ethernet and 802.11g wireless, although the 11g wireless does not have the bandwidth to support HD streaming.

The digital media receiver decodes many leading audio formats (MP3, WAV, WMA, FLAC, M4A, AAC, AC3), purchased music from iTunes on Windows only (M4P), video formats (MPEG1/2/4, WMV, XviD, H.264) and image formats (JPEG, BMP, PNG, TIFF).

The EVA8000 is "expected to be available" in Q1 2007 at a target MSRP of $349.

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