updated 10:05 am EST, Thu December 11, 2008
NETGEAR DEE 9150 Media Hub
NETGEAR hopes to lead the increasingly crowded networked media hub field with a new flagship, the company tells Wired. The Digital Entertainer Elite or EVA9150 will focus on brute hardware superiority to compete against rivals such as the Apple TV and will be one of the few in the category to play 1080p video. Appropriately, it will also carry a 500GB hard drive in an accessible bay that lets owners upgrade themselves if the storage is lacking.
Significantly, however, NETGEAR has declined to tie the Elite directly to any paid online video services and is instead relying on transfers from locally networked PCs to load commercial content. Free Internet content is available from Flickr for still images and YouTube for videos. Expansion and networking haven't been completely revealed but should include USB, component or HDMI for video, and at least Wi-Fi for its data link.
The new Digital Entertainer isn't due to start shipping until the early portion of 2009 and will cost $400 due to its feature set.