Netgear expanded its NeoTV line of streaming media players earlier this year, and now the company has refreshed the entire line-up, including the addition of a new high-end model. Aimed squarely at competitor Roku, the updated NeoTV boxes feature faster processors and the addition of HTML5 support. The latter change, Netgear told us, was driven both by Adobe's recent shifts in its Flash strategy, as well as the increased adoption of HTML5 by developers — and has allowed Netgear to add services such as Rhapsody to the NeoTV line.
The new models come in three flavors. At $49.99, the entry-level NeoTV features the basics that you'd expect: 1080p output, Ethernet, and Wi-Fi connectivity. The NeoTV Pro, priced at $59.99, adds composite video output along with Wi-Di, allowing users with compatible computers to use their television as a display. Both are essentially the same products as the prior generation, save the HTML5 support and processor bump (both also feature more streamlined enclosures). Where Netgear is really trying to differentiate itself, however, is the NeoTV Max. The new model aims to be an all-in-one solution for users, adding a MicroSD slot, the ability to play content via USB or DLNA, and support for Vudu's 3D content. For the NeoTV Max's $69.99 asking price, customers will also get a new two-sided remote, with a QWERTY keyboard on the back to make searching for content more convenient.
Netgear is also updating its Push2TV streaming display adaptor. Originally released as a Wi-Di-only product, the credit-card sized Push2TV can be hooked up to any TV and let a compatible laptop use it as a monitor. The updated model, however, adds support for Miracast, the Wi-Fi Alliance's riff on Apple's AirPlay. Several smartphones and tablets have already adopted Miracast as part of their feature set — including the Samsung Galaxy S III and LG's Optimus G — making the new Push2TV an intriguing option for those that simply need to throw content onto their television screen. At $59.99, it doesn't seem to be nearly the value that the NeoTV line represents, but for the moment it is the only device in Netgear's living room line-up that supports Miracast (we were told that the feature would be coming to select NeoTV models via a firmware update, however).
Taken together it's clear that Netgear feels it has an impressive array of options to offer customers looking to spice up their viewing habits. If it sounds like one of the devices may meet your needs, they're available online and in brick-and-mortar stores starting today.