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Summary:

Netgear announced its new Internet TV Player, the ITV2000, set-top box at CES today. Based on Verismo‘s VuNow, the compact box lets users watch live Internet television programming from around the world, check out web video and access premium content. From the press release: “[F]or the […]

Netgear announced its new Internet TV Player, the ITV2000, set-top box at CES today. Based on Verismo‘s VuNow, the compact box lets users watch live Internet television programming from around the world, check out web video and access premium content. From the press release:

“[F]or the Internet families who enjoy online video, and for those who are geographically displaced from their preferred television content, such as international sporting events and Bollywood productions. It streams content from popular sites such as BBC.com, CNN.com, ESPN.com, EuroSport.com, NBC.com, PGATour and TMZ.com, as well as video powerhouses YouTube, Google Videos, Yahoo Videos and MetaCafe. NETGEAR’s Internet TV Player supports streaming of live TV broadcasts from Internet sites around the world, and premium, paid movies on demand such as CinemaNow.com, in addition to downloaded videos from sites such as BitTorrent.”

The ITV2000 plugs into your TV and does not require a PC to work. To give you a sense of the functionality, here’s a video demo Liz did of the Verismo box in action last year.

The box can connect to your home network wirelessly or via Ethernet, and you can access your own media like music and video by connecting a USB device into the ITV2000 or by accessing media stored on Netgear ReadyNAS storage products.

The ITV2000 will be available this summer, priced at $199.

The company also officially announced another set-top box today, the Digital Entertainer Elite, which we wrote about (and did a video demo of) last month. The Digital Entertainer Elite is geared towards a more tech-savvy crowd, which plays into Netgear’s nuts-and-bolts brand reputation. It will be interesting to see if it can parlay that techie history into success in a non-PC-related device like the ITV2000.

Netgear is going up against heavyweight brands like Apple and Netflix on LG and Samsung devices, plus startups like Roku, which offers a set-top box at $100 less that features Netflix and Amazon content and will most likely open up to offer web video as well.

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  1. I posted a video-review of the Verismo Networks VuNow VN1000HD box yesterday at http://techvideoblog.com/reviews/vunow-vn1000hd-hi-def-pod/

    As far as I know, it is the best value video-on-demand set-top-box solution. Starting at $99 with the Texas Instruments DaVinci processor inside, it’s probably the most feature packed box that works unlike Netgear’s previous entertainer HD without the need of a computer in the home. Thus this is the cheap box that could revolutionize IPTV, thus getting on-demand Youtube, video-podcasts, webtv and all other web videos directly on any TV.

  2. It is yet to be confirmed officially though if Youtube HD thus 1280×720 h264 2mbit/s video streaming will be supported by this box. I think that could be the crucial hardware requirement for a very successful version of this box with HDMI to use on HDTVs. That would be a total Blu-ray killer feature.

  3. Ah another of the never ending little set top boxes that kind of work with internet video.
    Personally if you want internet tv buy a pc and connected it to your tv. These little devices never work as well
    as claimed.

  4. Taking videos out of web pages and diverting them to the TV is not as straightforward legally as many naive set top box makers assume. Advertisers who subsidize these videos with ads usually buy synchronized clickable ads around these videos as well. These little boxes don’t seem to offer a way for users to click thru to those ads. That is a serious issue. Content people will get upset if videos they put up for consumption on a PC end up on the TV without their knowledge, cutting into their main source of revenue. I am in no hurry to waste money on these boxes unless a box comes along with proper licensed content. Content may start disappearing from these boxes one by one when content owners start objecting.

  5. Chris,

    needs a small fix – Verismo’s website is http://www.verismonetworks.com and not http://www.verismo.com.

    Thanks

  6. I saw the box today at Netgear’s press conference. Was surprised to see the Netgear logo but the VuNow screensaver. Wonder who really makes the hardware. Probably not Verismo nor Netgear…

    Still waiting to get my hands on one.

  7. Chris Albrecht Thursday, January 8, 2009

    @Greg,

    Thanks for catching that. Link updated.

  8. The Netgear press release that I saw says that it will be available this summer for $199, but the Verismo VuNow is available for $99.00. Is there a difference between the two?

  9. Another question: Does anyone know if Hulu videos are supported?

  10. TV Box Set Search Engine Results Tuesday, January 13, 2009

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