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Netgear is Looking to Replace Cable Set-Top Boxes

By - Source: Netgear | B 5 comments

In addition to announcing new wireless range extenders and a "personal" router, Netgear introduced on Monday the NeoMediacast HDMI Dongle (NTV300D), a customizable, Miracast-enabled platform for TV operators to lease or resell to customers.

Based on Android 4.2, this device can turn any HDTV into a Smart TV, and will likely play host to popular services like Netflix, Hulu Plus and others not provided by cable companies. So far it's unclear whether this stick, which seems to have the same "vented" design as the Android-based Gamestick, will be compatible with Google services like Google Play and more. However, Netgear hints that current Android apps may already work on this stick.

"Service providers can leverage the Android apps they have already developed to support linear TV on tablets and phones. Combined with NTV300D support for DRM, this offers service providers a low-cost alternative to set-top boxes. By supporting this seamless portability of existing Android applications and the cost-effective development of new applications, the NeoMediacast Dongle enables service providers to instantly turn any TV into a Smart TV."

According to the specs, this device will sport two USB 2.0 ports: one for powering the stick, and one that supports OTG connectivity such as external drives, keyboards and mice. There's also a microSD card slot, RF support and an infrared port for using a legacy remote control. Other features include 1080p/60 full HD, H.264/MPEG4 video decode, Miracast capability, Bluetooth 4.0 and Wireless AC connectivity.

Could this be a Chromecast competitor? Given that this device will only be served up by cable companies and the like, you'd think that Google would have nothing to fear. But Netgear has set out to replace the set-top-box, so Google may have a while before competition begins to heat up. Then again, this could be the start of the next-generation Android TV wave.

"Consumers are clamoring for new options for accessing digital content across their screens, including their wide-screen HD TVs. With the NeoMediacast HDMI Dongle, our service provider customers have the means to provide a plug-and-play solution to their subscribers that also provides opportunities for additional revenue stream," said Michael Clegg, senior vice president and general manager for Service Provider Business at Netgear.

For more information about Netgear's TV stick, head here.

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  • 0 Hide
    razor512 , January 14, 2014 2:15 PM
    Hopefully it has a good price point. Given that many other devices like this already exist, they would have likely one-up'ed everyone else in terms of hardware.
  • 0 Hide
    drwho1 , January 14, 2014 5:05 PM
    I don't get "smart TV's".

    I rather use a normal remote control.

    There might be a future is this crap stays on where all TV's might have "smart TV features"....
    I just hope that when that day gets here we can still Turn all "smart TV features" OFF.
  • 0 Hide
    Recycled , January 15, 2014 4:21 AM
    > I don't get "smart TV's".
    > I rather use a normal remote control.

    > There might be a future is this crap stays on where
    > all TV's might have "smart TV features"....

    > I just hope that when that day gets here we can still
    > Turn all "smart TV features" OFF.

    I'm guessing You've never used a "Smart TV" (HD Media Player.) It's just another box plugged into another input on Your TV. You can choose to do web-based stuff (like streaming video) or You can play media off a storage device, like a flash drive or a hard disk. If it is a separate box (which mine always have been,) then You can just unplug it.
  • 0 Hide
    Recycled , January 15, 2014 4:28 AM
    > Hopefully it has a good price point.

    Not likely, since it's a big name-brand. For good prices, order direct from China (from a vendor with MUCH MORE EXPERIENCE in this field.)

    > Given that many other devices like this already exist, they would
    > have likely one-up'ed everyone else in terms of hardware.

    They do have Wireless AC on board, which is a step up from most other players. That surprised me. There are a few common chip for these things. Everyone uses the same chips. (I love my R300 based on the RTD1186DD chip.)

    It's unlikely that they fabbed a chip just for the one device, or that they were first-to-market with some new chip I've never heard of. Netgear, like WD before them, will put out a HD media player that is more stable than their cheap competitors, and put it on the shelves at US & EU electronics stores.

    Other than that, it's the same thing we've been using for years.
  • 0 Hide
    SpaceWrangler , January 16, 2014 9:05 AM
    Quote:
    I don't get "smart TV's".I rather use a normal remote control.There might be a future is this crap stays on where all TV's might have "smart TV features"....I just hope that when that day gets here we can still Turn all "smart TV features" OFF.
    I think you are mistaking what a Smart TV is with a voice command remote. There is a major difference. A Smart TV allows you to watch (stream) video from Netflix, Hulu, HBOGo, ESPN, Crackle, Amazon Video, etc. I am hoping for the day that we can phase out TV cable that allows the user to subscribe to channels directly. I can live without my cable TV with the exception that I love watching sports, of which my alma mater is across the country. I have to subscribe to expensive cable service to have ESPN to see their games. I would cut cable if I could directly subscribe to ESPN for $5-10 a month instead of paying $80 to Comcast. That would be a great thing.