If you're a fan of devices that play media from USB drives, such as the WD TV, you'll probably find the newest toy from Netgear interesting.
The company announced Tuesday the newest Internet-connected set-top box in its Digital Entertainer product family, the Digital Entertainer Live (model EVA2000). The device is similar to the WD TV as it also has two USB ports and supports playback of a long list of digital media files, including DivX and Matroska MKV, a popular compressed format for high-definition movies.
The EVA2000 incorporates an Ethernet port that gives it access to Internet-based media options that let you view YouTube, Hulu, Netflix, and a wide range of other free content on HDTVs. Other than free content, the EVA2000 also supports pay-per-view movies, such as those from Roxio CinemaNow.
According to Netgear, the Digital Entertainer Live features a built-in search engine that can perform dynamic keyword searches of more than 100,000 Web sites for Internet videos. The search results are categorized by popular subjects and put into separate folders.
The Ethernet port can also be used to connect the EVA2000 to other network devices, such as other computers or network storage devices to play digital content stored on them.
For those who want to use the new set-top box with fewer wires, the EVA2000 has an optional Digital Entertainer Live Wireless USB Adapter (EVAW111) that connects the device via Wi-Fi. However, it's always better to connect it using a network cable if you want to smoothly stream high-definition content from a network storage device.
The EVA2000 comes with an HDMI port for HDTVs and composite cables for older TVs. It also has regular RCA jacks to support analog TVs.
The Netgear Digital Entertainer Live is available now and costs $150. Its optional Wi-Fi adapter is available for another $40.