NETGEAR’s Digital Entertainer HD
May 09, 2007
When I was at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) earlier this year, I remember seeing NETGEAR’s Digital Entertainer HD (EVA8000), because it was chosen as a finalist for CNET’s Best of CES Awards. It’s a media streamer that can take just about any audio or video format from your computer to view it on your high-definition home entertainment system (supporting resolutions up to 1080p). It’s a fighter against Apple’s iTV.
The Digital Entertainer HD automatically discovers HD movies, TV shows, audio files and photos on your network or computers/servers, and organizes them into a single media library on your TV without the need for media server software running on your computer. You can stream Internet TV (i.e. YouTube), play Internet radio or view pictures (i.e. Flickr) onto your TV.
“Consumers have been waiting for the ultimate entertainment solution to bring PC and Internet multimedia content to their HDTV,” said Vivek Pathela, NETGEAR’s vice president of product marketing. “Our Digital Entertainer HD is the most advanced digital media device to do so, offering robust capabilities, a user-friendly interface, and an elegant design. We designed it to give consumers the freedom to experience their collection of digital multimedia files in a way that takes full advantage of the latest HDTV technology and home entertainment systems.”
Using the included remote, you can search your entire library with multiple criteria - title, actor, date, genre or thumbnail images from photos, album art or DVD covers. If your computer has an optional TV tuner installed, you can schedule recordings and pause/rewind live broadcasts without the need for a DVR device. If you happen to have multiple Digital Entertainers in your home, the “Follow Me” feature lets you pause a video in one room and resume it in another. In “Party Mode” you can synchronize your music playback for whole-home listening.
You’ll have access to created, downloaded and purchased content on Windows Media Connect. EVA8000 can also stream many unprotected file formats from Macs, Linux machines, iPods, flash drives and other portable music and video players. Specific formats include audio: MP3, WAV, WMA, WMA-Pro, FLAC, M4A, AAC, AC, M4P; video: MPEG 1/2/4, WMV, XviD, H.264; images: JPEG, BMP, PNG, TIFF. The Digital Entertainer HD also supports multiple interoperability standards including Universal Plug-and-Play (UPnPAV), Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA) and Microsoft Windows Media DRM 10 for Network Devices. As far as wireless, WEP, WPA-PSK and WPA2-PSK are also supported.
I think the Digital Entertainer HD will be most appreciated for those who need/want advanced capability. Physically, it’s a little big - about the size of a DVD player. NETGEAR’s Digital Entertainer HD is fun to play with, especially if you’re a techsavvy media geek. It retails for $399 - for more information and a complete list of retailers, check out http://www.netgear.com.
Since my husband graduated from Kamehameha Schools, we always try to catch the annual Song Contest. We both enjoy listening to the beautiful voices of the students singing their hearts out, and I’m sure it brings back fond memories to my husband from his high school years there. Well, if you enjoy that music as much as we do, you can now download the songs from this year’s contest online at the iTunes Store. Proceeds from your purchases will benefit the Ke Ali’i Pauahi Foundation and its support of Native Hawaiian education through scholarships and community partnerships. Check out the Kamehameha Schools website at http://www.ksbe.edu for more information.
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