Netgear rolls out wireless home entertainment wares

Netgear Inc. introduced two wireless products for the home entertainment market Tuesday at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

The WGT634U Super Wireless Media Router allows users to store and share digital media content, such as MP3 files and digital photos and video, on a home network or remotely over the Internet. The router, which uses the 802.11g wireless LAN standard, links to storage devices with a USB (Universal Serial Bus) interface and transfers data at 108M bps (bits per second). The company claims the device can transfer streaming video over distances of 200 feet (60 meters).

The router's security measures include a double firewall, 64- and 128-bit WPA PSK (Wi-Fi Protected Access Pre-Shared Key) support, VPN (virtual private network) support, intrusion detection, URL (uniform resource locator) filtering and security logging featuring e-mail alerts.

Netgear prices the WGT634U Super Wireless Media Router, which will be available in the first quarter of 2004, at under US$200.

The company also launched a wireless network adapter for home stereos at the trade show. Called the MP101 Wireless Digital Music Player, the device links a stereo with a home computer network, permitting users to listen to music stored on any PC over their stereo. An antenna is attached to one end of the device and allows a wireless connection while the other end features audio input jacks for the stereo system. The player also has audio-visual and headphone jacks.

The adapter, which works with 802.11b and 802.11g standards, gathers all MP3 and Windows Media music files from every computer on the network into a database. Users view the playlist on the device's display and navigate the playlist with a remote control. The product also streams Internet radio and comes with a 30-day free trial for RealNetworks Inc.'s Rhapsody digital music subscription service.

The player is priced at under US$200, according to Netgear, and will be available in February.

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Fred O'Connor

IDG News Service

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