LAS VEGAS —
Netgear’s 2011 International CES introductions will reflect the growing importance of shifting entertainment content around the home.
Netgear plans to introduce seven products at the show this week, including routers, powerline networking adapters, Wi-Fi range extenders and a TV Internet adapter. The company also plans to celebrate its 15th year in the networking category.
David Henry, Netgear’s senior director of product marketing for home products, said these introductions are intended to take advantage of a blossoming of Internet- enabled CE products expected this year.
“2011 will represent a tipping point for the industry when more consumer electronic devices than computers will be connected to the Internet in the home,” he said.
The CE devices that will create this environment are Blu-ray players, game consoles and set-top boxes, Henry said, adding that it is now important to have products that can function with these products.
One such product being introduced is the 3D+HD four-port universal Internet adapter for home theater. It is powerline-based and can send 1,080p and 3D streaming video around a home from a TV, Blu-ray player or game console. The theoretical data rate is 500MBps, but the actual data rate will be closer to 250MBps, said Henry.
Up to four devices can be connected at once. It will ship in January with a $169 suggested retail.
Netgear will also introduce its first hybrid Wi-Fi/ powerline router, the N300. The company’s research has found more homes are constructing their own hybrid systems so the N300 eliminates the need to combine separate devices, Henry said.
The power brick on the router also acts as the powerline adapter and can connect with other adapters scattered around a home, the company said. The N300 uses Netgear’s Pick-a-Plug technology that tells the user which outlet in a room is best for network performance. The user plugs the adapter in and an LED indicator light on the adapter shows whether it has a clean connection to the power grid.
The N300 will ship this month with a $119 suggested retail.
Another powerline product is the Powerline AV 200 Nano Adapter Kit. Netgear is positioning the AV 200 for customers who want to save space around their power outlets. In addition, it features new technology that indicates which outlet is best for a superior networking connection, Henry said. It also features Picka- Plug.
The AV 200 will ship during the first quarter with a $139 suggested retail.
In the traditional router space the company is showing the N600 Wireless Dual-Band Gigabit ADSL Modem Router Premium Edition. It will ship during the second quarter with a $179 suggested retail.
The DLNA-certified N600 has several new features. It will automatically find the clearest wireless channel available at any time when it is used, Henry said. Normally, a router selects the clearest channel available when it is being set up and then does not change, but the N600 will do this continuously.
It also has the ability to allow an attached external hard drive to be accessed away from home via the Internet. This essentially turns a basic external hard drive into a network-attached storage device and enables friends and family to have direct access to content you wish to share.
The N600 will allow additional storage capacity to be added to a Tivo through an external hard drive and it will act as a printer server for a home network giving wireless access to any device on the network.
Also being shown is the Universal Wi-Fi Range Extender. This $99 product, shipping in March, will double the range of a wireless router helping to eliminate dead spots.
It uses a special set up routine that only requires the push of a button on the adapter to connect it to the network. It will also measure a home’s Wi-Fi signal and help locate the best place for it to be plugged in and it will work with any brand of 802.11b/g/n router.
The company will also offer the TV Internet PTV2000 Push2TV HD set-top box. This was designed with Intel to work with that firm’s wireless display technology. It will allow a person to wirelessly project FullHD 1080 from a laptop to a television.
Henry said it will deliver a full browser experience on a TV and is scheduled to ship during the first quarter with a $119 price tag.