Netgear’s new initiative is total interconnectivity: “Content anywhere, everywhere,” according to their PR folks. The Stora NAS (MS2110, $229, available now) can be connected to the RangeMax wireless router, from which the Digital Entertainer media player (EVA2000, $130, available now) can stream media to a television or monitor. Folks can upload to the Stora through mystora.com, a connected service which permits users to access their Stora from anywhere in the world.
Netgear also showed off the DGN2200M, a DSL modem with 3G/4G capability, available in April for $179. The 3G/4G is meant to act as a backup in the event the DSL connection fails. This could be an interesting development—if Netgear could get wireless carriers in on it, charging consumers a few dollars a month for service, then charging per diem for use, I’m sure folks who absolutely cannot be without Internet would sign on.
Lastly, Netgear showed its Powerline network adapters. Netgear’s PR folks stated that a few barriers have prevented the public from embracing Powerline networking as broadly as some had hoped: pricing and popularity of wireless. Everyone knows about wireless, but the major players in electric wiring networking have been unable to penetrate the minds and hearts of consumers sufficiently to drive adoption and thus lower the price. The standard set still costs $129 for a set of two adapters—that’s enough for a pair of routers, easily set up in a mesh network. However, the need for Powerline still exists, especially for folks with large houses, which may take several wireless routers or access points for 100% coverage. Additionally, Netgear plans to launch a passthrough adapter—one which exposes a power outlet so that the user doesn’t have to sacrifice an outlet.
Seagate shipped an initial rollout of 100 of its BlackArmor PS110 USB 3.0 external hard drives at 1 TB for $179 each yesterday. It comes with an ExpressCard adapter for laptops. More units will ship in the coming weeks, but Seagate isn’t going into full-scale production until demand is much higher.
Seagate will issue an update to its FreeAgent Theatre firmware, improving the media player’s capabilities and interface. Seagate partnered with several media providers including Hulu and Dtuner to provide even more video and audio playback capabilities.