Netgear Digital Entertainer Elite: groundbreaking video streamer to debut at CES

via DVICE by Charlie White on 12/1/08

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Could this be the home theater PC (HTPC) killer? Netgear just placed its upcoming Digital Entertainer Elite network media streamer up for FCC approval, and so far, it looks excellent. Not only can it play a long list of file types, including those Matroska, DivX and XviD video files favored by, uh, excessive file sharers, but it can also play DRM-infested files from iTunes.

If you don’t like the idea of streaming from a Mac, PC or Linux box, downloaders can easily slide in a 3.5-inch SATA drive and play those files locally. There’s also built-in wireless-N networking if you don’t happen to have an Ethernet port nearby. Wow. This one has it all.

Expected to be officially introduced at the upcoming CES show in January, this hot box has the oomph to play back even fat 1080p video, with a mighty 40Mbps of bandwidth giving it far more playback power than Apple TV, or even the Xbox 360. Even though the instruction manual (pdf) looks great so far, we’re wondering if Netgear is capable of ginning up some kind of elegant user interface. In the meantime, take a look at this comparison table between Netgear’s box and its competitors:

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Via Engadget

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PlayStation 3 XviD Playback Update: It Works, Kinda

Huzzah! I’ve discovered why XviD files didn’t work in the PlayStation DivX Playback test. Apparently, streaming over Windows Media Player 11 does not work for any XviD files and most DivX files, but it does work fine if you load the files onto an external USB drive or burn it to a DVD. But there’s a workaround, kind of.

The best alternative to get “streaming” to work with Windows Media Player 11 is to first locate the file you want to watch over the network, then press the triangle button and copy it to your PS3. The same file that couldn’t play back a minute ago will happily render itself when viewed off the PlayStation 3’s hard drive.

It seems to us that the fault may either lie with the way that WMP11 streams files or the way that the PS3 plays back streamed files over the network—we’re not sure. If the PS3 supported SMB networking, this problem might be eliminated. We’ll have to check back in the future if and when they do add this feature.

Sorry for the confusion everybody! When I got DivX, and not XviD, to stream correctly, I assumed that XviD does not work. I should have tested it on an external drive as well. But hurray, XviD works fine on PS3. Thanks for checking up on us.

Update: I just did another test, and EyeConnect on Macs seem to stream DivX and XviD just fine for me. So it looks like a WMP11 problem. Has anyone else gotten it to support streaming w/ WMP11? TVersity seems to stream alright on PCs too, according to some users.

Update 2: Just re-confirmed that TVersity works for me, but the same files that work in TVersity don’t work streaming over WMP11. Very strange.

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