Netgear Updates Entertainment Lineup with Push2TV 3000 and NeoTV 300 Seriesby Ganesh T S on September 20, 2012 8:30 AM EST
- Posted in
- Media Streamer
- Home Theater
Netgear has been at the forefront in supporting Intel's WiDi initiative on the receiver side. In fact, they had an exclusive on the first WiDi receiver (Push2TV 1000) for close to a year back in 2010. In June, we covered the launch of Netgear's NeoTV Pro NTV200S WiDi / Media Streamer combo. Using Broadcom's BCM7615, it had all the features of the NTV 200 media streamer and also added support for WiDi 2.1 (1080p / HDCP2 / DVD & Blu-ray / 5.1 channel audio etc.)
Today, Netgear is pushing out a number of products targeting the same market at various price points. These include the Push2TV 3000 WiDi receiver and three members of the NeoTV 300 series, the NTV300, NTV300S and the NTV300SL.
Anand recently covered the launch of WiDi 3.5, and briefly mentioned that a new Push2TV receiver from Netgear would be made available at a $59.99 price point. The credit card-sized Push2TV 3000 supports both Intel WiDi 3.5 and Wi-Fi Alliance's Miracast (pre-standard compliance). These technologies allow the user to wirelessly mirror a laptop, smartphone or tablet screen onto another HDMI-equipped display.
The PTV3000 is one-third the size of the PTV2000, and supports all the WiDi 3.5 features. It can be powered over USB and Netgear expects consumers to get that from one of the USB ports on the display. However, a power adapter is also available (in the case that the consumer's display doesn't have a USB port). Miracast certification will take place towards the end of 2012 (after the finalization of the specifications). The PTV3000 is priced at $59.99 and available for purchase starting today.
NeoTV 300 Series
The NeoTV 300 series differs from the NeoTV 200 series in two aspects. The first visible aspect is the departure from Adobe Stagecraft 1.2 to a HTML 5 based UI. The second aspect is the replacement of the Broadcom BCM7615 SoC with chips from MediaTek. While the base model (NTV300) has the MTK8633, the two others (NTV300S and NTV300SL) have the Mediatek MTK8653 SoC. Mediatek seems to be a highly secretive company and doesn't seem to have published any of its datasheets online. All the units can connect to the network through wired Ethernet or Wi-Fi. Remote control apps are available for Android and iOS.
The NTV300 is similar to the NTV200 in terms of support for online streaming services, full 1080p HD and 5.1 channel Dolby Digital audio. The NeoTV PRO (NTV300S) has all the features of the NTV300 and also brings the PTV3000's Wi-Di 3.5 supoort feature. The NTV300S also has legacy A/V port (component?) support (for use with TVs which don't have HDMI ports). The NeoTV MAX (NTV300SL) has all the features of the NTV300 and NTV300S. It adds support for local media playback (over USB). It is also a DLNA DMR (Digital Media Renderer). The remote is similar to that of the Boxee Box's, with simple navigation buttons on one side and a QWERTY keyboard on the other. It also supports Vudu's 3D videos when connected to a 3D TV.
All the three models are available for purchase today. The NTV300 is priced at $49.99, the NTV300S at $59.99 and the NTV300SL at $69.99.
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ganeshts - Thursday, September 20, 2012 - linkNo Wi-Di on Roku, and these units have historically provided more bang for the buck.
Purely on technical merits, the NTV lineup is definitely ahead of the Roku (official YouTube support, Vudu etc., though Roku added Vudu just yesterday, I believe).
The only reason everybody talks about Roku is because of their marketing and fanboys. As a person who started looking at the media streamer scene only around 2008, I fully skipped all the initial enthusiasm that Roku's innovative products (at that time) generated in the initial days. Post-2008, I seriously can't imagine why anyone would want to choose Roku when there are more full-featured units available at a lower price point.
ganeshts - Thursday, September 20, 2012 - linkBtw, interface in NTV200 wasn't that great. I am yet to evaluate NTV300 series. Will definitely keep readers updated.
bznotins - Thursday, September 20, 2012 - linkNetgear lost me as a customer back in the EVA9150 days. They abandon their hardware quite fast and thus don't expect a long future of firmware updates on these players or any others of theirs for that matter.
If it works out of the box, great, but if you're waiting for a feature, it might never come.
My 2 cents.
atbain - Thursday, September 20, 2012 - linkIntel's WiDi is an interesting concept and I applaud it but there are some serious issues that consumers need to consider.
1) Range... WiDi doesn't have great range. In some instances a laptop can't be more than a couple feet from the receiver otherwise the signal drops. In these situations, it is almost easier just to hook up a cable and be done with it.
2) Lag... There will always be lag when moving the cursor around the screen. While Intel has tried to make an effort to address this issue, I don't think the nature of the beast ever makes this issue completely go away. For a doubly awesome effect, turn on mouse cursor tails to add to the distraction.
3) Multichannel sound... Video and stereo sound work fine but multichannel audio is a problem. Has Intel addressed this issue in an elegant way yet?
The other random issue with WiDi is the requirement for an Intel GPU. In high-end laptops equipped with 10-bit IPS panels (Dell's Precision line & HP's 8xxx line), Intel's on-board Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge GPU is disabled because it can only do 8-bit output. While I'm sure someone who can fork over that much money for a laptop can manage to buy a second system, I find WiDi becomes impossible to use when all of these issues are taken together.
BTW, I'm not a huge Apple fan but AirPlay's IP-based-over-wifi solution is better. I can sit anywhere I have wireless access and transmit. Intel could have easily gone this route. Yet Apple seems to be heading in the WiDi direction with AirPlay's non-IP-based option for some reason. Perhaps this better for in-car situations? Maybe someone can explain this to me. Either way, I think WiDi's utility is limited.
zilexa - Saturday, September 22, 2012 - linkWhat about the NeoTV 550? It used to be the best mediaplayer for an attractive price but suddenly Netgear dropped ALL support and left a big group of angry customers. Netgear had shifted its focus away from mediaplayers.
Suddenly there is a NeoTV 300????
Netgear, why did you drop 550 support?
zilexa - Saturday, September 22, 2012 - linkIn addition:
The NeoTV 550 is:
- It's one of the few mediaplayer on the market that plays BD ISO/folder full 1:1;
- It's the only media player that has the WOL;
- It's the only media player that has the follow meIt is one of the few mediaplayer which manages posters and indexing of files
- It's the only media player that manages network resources in a way so simple and functional.
- It's the only video player that can play gapless-music.
- It's the only video player that handles all music formats.
In my opinion, it is one of the best media-players out there.
But with all of its ambitious features, it is still has bugs. Also, it does not sell for enough or in large enough quantities for Netgear to commit resources to fixing those bugs.
If Netgear wants to stay in the market, they cannot EOL the 550.. thats suicide.
dannytill - Thursday, October 4, 2012 - linkDoes anyone have any info regarding support for Miracast on the NeoTV 300S/L? What does the PTV3000 have that the NeoTV's don't? If they support Intel WiDi 3.5 does that also mean they will support Miracast? I saw one poster who said he tried the PTV3000 with the S3, has anyone else tried?
iriejohn - Monday, October 8, 2012 - linkTried to make this work but it repeatedly fails to connect.
Did some Goggle searches and looks like Miracast won't be in Android until Key Lime Pie (follows Jelly Bean).
"Google has not announced native Android support for Miracast, but I expect it will be included in the next release of Android (Key Lime Pie). Android 4.x already has support for Wi-Fi Direct, which Miracast builds on."
Didn't know this otherwise wouldn't have bothered. S3 WiDi doesn't work either.
FlyBri - Saturday, November 17, 2012 - linkNot sure if anyone is going to see this post at this point, but I figured I'd give my recent experience with the Push2TV 3000. Just got my LG Nexus 4, and just like the other person on here with their Galaxy SIII, it recognizes the P2TV 3000 when it's in Miracast mode, but cant' connect. My Ivy Bridge laptop also won't connect to it in Miracast mode.
My laptop does connect to it in WiDi mode, but I compared it directly to my Belkin Screencast (which I got a couple months ago), and it seems the Push2TV 3000 has more lag, and video doesn't play quite as smoothly, despite the fact that the Push2TV 3000 is a newer revision software that is supposed to have reduced lag with the new v3.5 WiDi drivers -- quite disappointing. Also, the Belkin Screencast has an oversized mouse pointer that shows up on the TV which is placed over the regular mouse pointer. Not only does it make it easier to see when you're using just the TV display, but it also has virtually no lag at all when moving it around, which makes it MUCH easier to navigate To me, until the transmission lag of WiDi is all but completely eliminated, the "lag free" oversized mouse pointer feature needs to be on every WiDi adapter. Sadly, the Push2TV 3000 does not have this. I am truly hoping a firmware update in the future adds a feature like this, reduces lag, and gets Miracast to properly work (which I'm pretty sure at least that part will definitely happen, since they said they will get full certification sometime later this year or early 2013).
FlyBri - Saturday, November 17, 2012 - linkCorrection: I meant to say that the Push2TV 3000 has newer revision HARDWARE, not software.