Netgear threw a press event last night to show off some of the products it will be debuting at CES next month. Among them was its new set-top box, the EVA 9000 Digital Entertainer Elite, which, to my pleasant surprise, can stream HD YouTube videos to an actual HD TV.
How does it look? Awesome. Take a look for yourself. (The demo of YouTube kicks in around the 1:50 mark)
Watching YouTube HD on a big screen, you get a glimpse at YouTube’s future: premium content from networks and studios delivered straight to your TV sans any cable provider. And it makes you realize why the company reversed its position on pre-rolls as they will look just like commercials on a big screen and probably be more tolerated since people will be in their living rooms.
Beyond YouTube, the Netgear box can manage your BitTorrents as well as other video content on your network, and streams other web video like podcasts and such. It currently doesn’t stream Netflix content, but the Netgear rep didn’t rule that out as a possibility. The Digital Entertainer Elite will ship in the first quarter of next year and will be priced at $399. By Netgear’s own admission, the Digital Entertainer Elite is more for the tech-savvy, early adopter, not your average Roku user.