Not content to simply dish out quality wireless routers, Netgear now wants to bring the likes of BBC iPlayer, Netflix and Lovefilm to your living room with its new Neo TV range.
Aiming squarely at the likes of Apple TV and Roku, the Neo TVs are dinky little things that plug into your TV’s HDMI socket and transform your non-smart TV into an all-streaming genius.
The range consists of the NeoTV (NTV300) the NeoTV PRO (NTV300S) and the NeoTV MAX (NTV300SL). All devices output 1080p Full HD video and 5.1 Surround Sound and can be connected to your broadband router wirelessly or via Ethernet.
The NeoTV PRO and MAX versions support Intel’s WiDi technology – so if you’ve got a laptop with WiDi built in then you’ll be able to wirelessly display your laptop screen on your TV. The PRO and MAX also come with AV ports, meaning they can connect to older TV sets which don’t have HDMI.
The NeoTV’s are all controlled by little remotes which have hotkeys for services like Netflix and YouTube. The press renders we’ve seen come feature buttons for US-only services like Hulu – presumably we’ll see BBC iPlayer buttons on the UK remotes as well as the ability to assign favourites to hotkeys.
The NeoTV MAX’s remote goes one better than the rest by bringing a full QWERTY keyboard on the back. Alternatively, those who are fond of using their phones as fancy remote controls (i.e. us) will be able to download remote control apps for iPhone and Android phones later on.
Finally, the NeoTV MAX – clearly the stud of the stable – also lets you play your own personal media from external hard disk drives, USB drives and DLNA media servers.
Like Freesat’s forthcoming Free Time (and unlike Netgear’s earlier NeoTV ProHD) NeoTV features an HTML5 interface meaning it should run as smooth as silk and future services ought to be easily added. Now that Now TV has landed first dibs on Warner Bros movies in the UK we’d naturally love to see this service make the jump to NeoTV.
The NeoTV range is expected to land in UK stores around November/December this year. British prices have not yet been announced but we know that the US prices are $49.99, $59.99 and $69.99 respectively.
This works out at £30.99, £37.09 and £43.25 in UK money. Let’s hope that the spectre of Rip Off Britain doesn’t loom large once they actually land here.