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Netgear adds storage, Draft N to content streamer

Netgear's new Digital Entertainer Elite EVA9150 outdoes its predecessor with a 500GB internal hard drive, faster wireless connection, and then some.

The Digital Entertainer Elite EVA9150 at Netgear's CES demo. Dong Ngo/CNET Networks

During CES 2007, Netgear joined the home entertainment department with the Netgear EVA8000 Digital Entertainer HD, a networked digital content streaming device. Two years later, Netgear unveils the device's successor, the Digital Entertainer Elite EVA9150, which offers a few significant improvements.

First off, it now comes with a 500GB internal hard drive for extra local content storage. This means the device now not only works as a media-streaming device but it can also store content on its own. The hard drive is even removable so you can change or replace it with a larger hard drive.

Secondly, the new player now sports Draft N wireless (as opposed to the sluggish 802.11g in the EVA8000), making it a true wireless HD media streamer. The device supports both 2.4GHz and 5GHz frequencies with a speed of up to 300Mbps.

The EVA9150's wired connection, however, remains at 100Mbps, which is disappointing considering its wireless connection could be three times as fast.

Like the EVA8000, the new player can plays video, MP3s, and digital photos from PCs, Macs, or a network attached storage device to your HDTV. It can streams media directly from the Internet sources, such as YouTube, Internet radio, Flickr photos, RSS feeds, and podcasts. The EVA9150 can also automatically find all shared digital media files on your home network and organizes them into an easily accessible library.

The Digital Entertainer Elite EVA9150 has a long list of supported multimedia content formats, including:

  • MP3 up to 320Kbps or variable bit rate
  • WMA8 and WMA9 files up to 192 Kbps or variable bit rate
  • WMV9 up to 1080p (to 40Mbps)
  • Internet radio (streaming MP3)
  • Video codecs: MPEG 1/2/4 SD; MPEG-2 HD; HP@HL to 40 Mbps; MPEG-4 Part 2 HP@HL to 10 Mbps (Xvid); H.264 HP@HL 4.1, VC1/WMV9HD to 1080p 40 Mbps
  • Video file formats: AVI, DivX, Xvid, WMV9, MOV, M4V, VOB, MPG, MP1, MP2, MP4, ISO, IFO, MKV (with AC3 only), TS, M2TS, PS Audio formats: MP3, WAV, WMA, AAC, FLAC, WMA-Pro, M4A, M4P, AC3, DTS pass-through, PCM, LPCM, AIFF
  • Photo formats: JPEG, BMP, PNG, TIFF

On the back of the device, you will find the following ports:

  • HDMI for audiovisual output
  • RCA connector for composite video output
  • RCA connectors for component video output (high-definition support)
  • Digital audio output S/PDIF (coaxial/optical)
  • Stereo RCA audio ports
  • USB 2.0 port
  • Ethernet port
  • S-Video port
  • SCART composite and RGB

Netgear's new Digital Entertainer Elite EVA9150 is expected to be available in the U.S. in February for $399. In the meantime, you can check out CNET's review of the Netgear EVA8000 Digital Entertainer HD for more information.

The EVA9150's ports Netgear