D-Link Pebble to dive in the digital player pond

D-Link joins the digital player market with the Pebble.

The back of the D-Link Pebble. Dong Ngo/CNET

LAS VEGAS--If LaCie's announcement of the LaCinema Mini HD or Seagate's upgrade to the FreeAgent Theater+ aren't exciting enough, here's another one for you.

D-Link, a prominent networking vendor, announced Wednesday at CES 2010 its interest in the digital content player market with the brand-new and unique-looking D-Link Pebble. The company says the new player is "a stylish addition to any home entertainment environment" that is able to play virtually all media on a TV.

Unfortunately, for now, it's still unclear which media formats the player can play back, both locally or from the Internet. However, it's highly likely that it will support the same type of media as other contenders, such as the FreeAgent Threater+ or the WD TV Live.

The new player is lightweight eye candy. It's about the size of a medium antenna-less wireless router, except it looks like a pebble, with a top that's round and super sleek. On the back, it has two USB ports to support two external storage devices at the same time, an Ethernet port to connect to a home network and the Internet, a digital sound output, an AV port, and an HDMI 1.3 port.

D-Link says the Pebble can stream music, photos, and video wherever they are stored: on external hard drives, on USB thumb drives, SD/XM/flash memory cards, network-attached storage devices, PCs, or the Internet. It also comes with an optional dongle for wireless 802.11n connectivity.

According to D-Link, the Pebble will be available in the first half of the year and will cost about $120. More details on the products will be available then, so make sure to check back for a more in-depth take.

About the author

CNET editor Dong Ngo has been involved with technology since 2000, starting with testing gadgets and writing code for CNET Labs' benchmarks. He now manages CNET San Francisco Labs, reviews networking and storage products, and also writes about other topics from online security to new gadgets and how technology impacts the life of people around the world.

 

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