Plus new routers, WiFi extenders and more!
"We believe that, ultimately, there is only one single big pipe."
These words from Netgear's CEO kicked off the company's CES 2011 keynote. In this modern age of streaming video and always-on Internet, customers won't put up with jittering and stopping. Walls and dead zones are a huge problem. We demand steady, un-interrupted Internet access. And Netgear plans to deliver it.
Three of their new products this year have won CES Innovations Awards. First off is the 3D HD Wireless Home Networking kit. It is the first 3-radio wireless network solution, capable of supporting multiple full HD streams around the home. It can also be used to stream 3D HD video. There are 4 ports on the side, and this bridge works with your current TV or wireless router.
Next is the NeoTV 550 Ultimate HD video player. It supports full 1080p video and automatically scans and organizes all of your network content. It supports all codecs and works with PC and Mac. So all your devices- iPad, PC, whatever, will have access to all your content.
The last Innovation's award winner is the ReadyNAS Ultra 2 Home Media server. This network attached storage device allows you to back all multimedia up to a single location. It is DLNA certified and can even stream videos to your handset or mobile device when you are out of the home. TiVO users can even offload their stored content to the NAS to make more space.
And then we have the N600 Wireless Dual Band Gigabit router, premium edition. Netgear claims this is the most powerful router on earth. It has Clear Channel (auto-picks the best WiFi signal in the area) and Quick Start Steady Stream HD (which maximizes bandwidth efficiency for streaming) and Readyshare remote (which allows you to read USB sticks plugged into your router from anywhere on earth). And last, it has Netgear Genie, a new interface that merges all your router and home network control options.
N600 Wireless Dual Band Gigabit Router, premium edition. Most powerful router on earth (according to netgear) Clear Channel solution: auto picks the best wifi signal in your area and sends it to all devices. Quick Start Steady Stream HD, more efficient use of your bandwidth to ensure no jittering. Readyshare remote: plug a USB stick into your router and dump it into your network. Or access the data on that USB from anywhere on earth. NetGear Genie, a bit screen that shows you your internet connections, wifi connections, settings, network map, parental controls, etc.
As a proof-of-concept, the Netgear reps showed us two big TVs streaming full HD and one iPad streaming 720p HD, all on the same network with no lag. This is all the more impressive when you consider the fact that no one else in the damn room had any Internet access.
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My favorite new Netgear product has to be the Universal WiFi range extender. This device doubles WiFi range and allows you to bridge gaps and dead zones in your home. Just plug it into a wall socket somewhere between your router and the dead area. It extends the WiFi. And it also has an ethernet port, so you can extend a wired signal up the stairs without a huge cable snaking across your house.