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Network World - Netgear goodies for 2011 include HD over Wi-Fi, filling in Wi-Fi deadspots, Power Line adapters, shared 4G connections and Gigabit routers
In honor of its 15-year anniversary, Netgear on Tuesday launched a barrage of home networking products at CES 2011 in Las Vegas, including a gigabit router for home networking, a 3G/4G wireless router with SMB uses and a Powerline router that pulls power from the network connection.
Also watch: CES 2011: Gadgets Galore
In the process Netgear won at least three CES design and innovation engineering awards. The winning products are the ReadyNAS Ultra 2 (RNDU2000) home media server, its Netgear 3DHD Wireless Home Theater Networking Kit (WNHDB3004), and its NeoTV 550 Ultimate HD Media Player (NTV550).
Netgear did a slew of things to improve home networking with various products in this launch - it lets users stream full 1080p high-def video to multiple devices in the home, including tablets and smart phones; it boosted home networking speeds and, with new bridge devices, extends their distances; it provides a means for connecting Ethernet-enabled TVs, video consoles and Bluetooth boxes into the home Wi-Fi network (with new gateways optimized for HD video) and it brings 3G/4G into the wireless networking fold, letting users access their home-stored content from anywhere that they can get a signal.
At a standing-room only Netgear press conference at CES on Wednesday, Netgear executives drew a few ahs and nods from reporters in the room (not easy to do - as reporters are not easily impressed). The so-honored products were:
• The Netgear Universal WiFi Range Extender (WN3000RP) which increases the coverage of an existing home network to eliminate 'deadzones,' Simply plug it half-way between the home router and the deadzone. It also includes an Ethernet jack so it can act as a bridge to link another wired device into the WiFi home network (such as the DVD player in the bedroom).
• The 3DHD Wireless Home Theater Networking Kit (WNHDB3004) is a 4x4 MIMO bridge that solves the problem of not having an Ethernet plug in your family room for your new HD TV and other home media. Plug your TV into the Kit and it will connect the TV to the Wi-Fi network and broadcast multiple jitter-free 1080p high-definition video streams throughout the home. The CES demos of the kit showed it working true to the company's promises.
• The Broadband router (MBR1000) creates a Wi-Fi hotspot out of a 3G/4G connection (it also supports a wired Ethernet WAN connection). The device is geared toward remote offices.
For those of you who enjoy a walk down memory lane, Netgear founder and CEO Patrick Lo mentioned the company's first product, launched 15 years ago. Its main purpose was to allow multiple PCs to access AOL.
Here are the other highlights of Netgear's product launch blitz:
• Netgear N600 Wireless Dual Band Gigabit ADSL Modem Router (DGND3700), includes a DSL router, USB ports, and a media file server, guest access, and broadband usage meter.
• The Netgear N750 Wireless Dual Band Gigabit Router (WNDR4000) delivers top speeds of up to 450Mbps for fast and HD video streaming
• Netgear N300 Wireless Router with Powerline AV (WNXR2000) a "hybrid" with a 200Mbps powerline integrated into the router's power supply that doesn't need to be plugged into an electrical outlet and can be expanded with the addition of more Powerline adapters throughout the house.
• The HomePlug AV certified Netgear Internet Adapter for Home Theater (XAVB5004) is the firstfour4-port 500Mbps powerline adapter kit.
• The Netgear Powerline AV 200 Nano Adapter Kit (XAVB2101) is the smallest 200Mbps powerline AV adapter.
• The ReadyNAS Ultra 2 (RNDU2000), which stores and serves media content including movies and photos. With Netgear's Orb transcoding technology, it can also act as backup storage for DVRs like Tivo, and automatically reformats content to optimize them for the device accessing (big screen TV to tiny smartphone).
• The NeoTV HD Media Players (NTV550) enable users to play their digital videos, photos, or music directly on their HDTVs whether the media is stored locally, on the home network, or the Internet.
• The company also introduced an Android-based Home Security Screen (HSS101), used to view surveillance video, control lighting and HVAC as well as see live traffic, weather and news, and an IP camera (HSC101) with night vision and motion detection for video surveillance.
In addition to the new products for home and SMBs, Netgear introduced several products for cable and telco service providers.
Read more about wireless & mobile in Network World's Wireless & Mobile section.