NETGEAR @ CES 2013
After attending NETGEAR’s press conference there wasn’t anything that new or surprising to see when I stopped by their suite last week, but it was great to get a more detailed look at what they were bringing out this year. I did get a chance to take a closer look at their upcoming Google TV box, and the slick little IP cameras mentioned a few days before as well as a couple other things. Take a look after the click.
Last year NETGEAR showed off some early work they’d one building an app store for their NAS/networking products, and this year they were back with a pretty cool app that lets you share content with your Facebook friends without having to hand it (and your privacy) over as part of the deal. The concept was very slick, I’ll have to let those who actually use Facebook speak to how useful it is in practice however. The nice thing is that it’s pretty easy to write apps (if you know Java), and since the box is an always-on server in your home it’s also nice to be able to use it for things beside serving content around the house.
Not everyone is committed (or crazy) enough to pull Cat6 through the house, so it’s great to have options on the Powerline and WiFi front to get IP in every corner. It’s also pretty cool that NETGEAR has some options that provide AirPlay (Powerline/WiFi) and DLNA (WiFi) receivers built in for budget whole home audio.
It’s hard for me to argue with the convenience of the VueZone wireless cameras. Especially because wireless is really wireless, as in no wires not even one for power. This makes it almost too easy to add and move cameras around the house, or outside if you want because there are raincoat and night vision options as well. The downside here is that everything goes off into “the cloud” (oh how I hate that term), which is great for casual users who don’t mind paying a fee for storage (real time access is free) but also limits their usefulness to power user looking to integrate the video streams into a home automation system or something similar.
After taking a detailed look at the first generation Google TVs I have to admit that I pretty much lost interest in the platform and there wasn’t enough change the second time around to change that, but you know what they say about the thirds. Google is back with another go, and this just might be the one that gets them there, lots of apps, Chrome, Play store, and a remote that felt really good in the hand has piqued my interest again. I’d love to see more players in this space, so hopefully this is Google’s year.