Digital Entertainer brings PC content to big screen

Jul 02, 2009 By Craig Crossman

So there you are with all those videos, photos and MP3 music files, and the only place you can play all that digital entertainment is on your computer. It's probably sequestered away somewhere in the room you've designated to be your home office.

Yes, you can offload some of it to your iPod, but your real entertainment system is down in the game room or the living room or some other location in the house. That's where you spent the really big bucks on the 50-inch plasma screen or projection system with the surround-sound speakers that rattle your teeth and subsonic woofers that make your insides vibrate.

So the question is: How do you get all that great content from your computer into your entertainment system?

Netgear just introduced their next-generation Digital Entertainer Elite media player and it's ready to do the job. Unlike some of the earlier offerings out there, the Elite plays more audio and video formats that I've seen to date. And as newer formats and standards become available, Netgear seems committed to making them work with this media player by offering both software and firmware updates. For example, the popular Web site that offers up first-run and recent television show content just became compatible with the Elite in an additional release from Netgear.

The Digital Entertainer Elite is a simple black box that connects to your entertainment system via a variety of interfaces such as composite, component, optical, S-Video and the most technologically advanced HDMI standard.

You can connect the Elite to your computer with an Ethernet connection, but who wants a cable running up the stairs and across the room? Fortunately, the folks at Netgear knew this and equipped the Elite with their fastest 802.11n wireless standard. Actually it's even faster with Netgear's 40-megabit Dual Band arrangement. This really fast data rate lets you easily transfer high-definition video with room to spare. And their Push N Connect option lets the Elite interface do everything automatically. You don't have to know anything about all of that networking stuff such as IP addresses and encryption to make it work. It's really sweet.

Once you have the Elite operational, all you need to do is use the included remote control and sit in front of your entertainment system. A series of really easy-to-navigate on-screen menus lets you play most anything you have on your computer. And if your computer is down, don't worry _ the Elite's built-in 500-gigabyte hard drive lets you offload any or all content so you can play it all even when the computer is turned off.

You can also plug in another external hard drive or install a SATA internal drive. And if you have more than one in the house, the Elite can pull content from all of them, as long as they are on your home's network. Netgear has really put a lot of good thought into this second-generation product _ their previous model didn't even have a hard drive.

The Digital Entertainer Elite is multi-platform, meaning it works with Windows PCs, Macintosh OS X, Linux and others.

The bottom line is that the Netgear Digital Entertainer Elite will handle today's multimedia demands and its upgradability insures you're going to be using it for a long time to come. The Digital Entertainer Elite sells for $399.99.

More information:


(Craig Crossman is a national newspaper columnist writing about computers and technology.)


(c) 2009, McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.

Explore further: Review: Gadgets for the beach and getting you there

Related Stories

Netgear Acquires Infrant for $60M

May 04, 2007

Router company Netgear announced Thursday that it has acquired networked storage provider Infrant for $60 million in cash, and the deal is expected to close in the second quarter of '07.

Netgear Launches A New Family Of Wireless-N Routers

Sep 29, 2008

Netgear today has announced a new family of Wireless-N networking solutions that will make it easy for anyone to upgrade their wireless home network to Wireless-N technology. This new technology supports the ...

Netgear Routers to Add QoS for Home Video Streaming

May 08, 2007

In June, Netgear plans to add quality-of-service (QoS) enhancements to its top-of-the-line RangeMAX 802.11n routers to improve the quality of home video, a source close to the company said.

Recommended for you

Hidden cameras, invisibility cloaks in Israeli spy expo

Jun 30, 2015

Hidden cameras, invisibility cloaks and mini-drones were among the gadgets on display Tuesday at an exhibition of Israeli surveillance technology, offering a rare peek into the secretive world of Israeli ...

In the UK, bPay offers fob, band or sticker options

Jun 29, 2015

Method of payment: "Cash or credit?" The two options sound so yesterday. In the UK, technology support in banking offers a new type of menu—band on the wrist, fob or sticker. The three new devices from ...

Apple Watch lands in competitive S. Korea market

Jun 26, 2015

Apple's first smartwatch landed in South Korea, one of the world's most competitive markets Friday, drawing a good response from fans, but analysts cast doubt on its long-term success there, citing a tough ...

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

not rated yet Jul 03, 2009
Geez..this technology has been around for years...nothing new. If you can't stream files to your TV yet, you are behind the times (unless you just don't care to do so).

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.