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 (s APPL) and Netflix (s NFLX) on LG and Samsung devices, plus startups like Roku, which offers a set-top box at $100 less that features Netflix and Amazon (s AMZN) content and will most likely open up to offer web video as well.