updated 09:50 pm EDT, Wed August 31, 2011
Adapts to built-in Ethernet port on some models
A number of HDTV and Blu-Ray devices now sport Ethernet ports for connecting to a home network, but do not have built-in wireless capability. The new Netgear WNCE3001 Universal Dual-Band Wireless Internet Adapter is an add-on -- for smart TVs and Blu-Ray players which have an Ethernet port -- that allows them to join wireless home networks, using the "cleaner" 5GHz Wi-Fi band for faster delivery and the avoidance of video "jitter," though it can use the 2.4GHz frequency as well.
Even if the TV or Blu-Ray player has wireless support, the Netgear device can add 802.11n support, able to better handle HD streaming from computers. The device is powered by a USB connection also found on recent-model HDTVs and Blu-Ray players, so it does not require a "wall wart" connector for power, though it does include an AC adapter where USB is not available.
The product is expected to be widely available at electronics and technology retailers in the second half of September at a retail price of $90.