January 07, 2010
| by Arlen Schweiger
Netgear calls it the ABCs of networked media: access, backup and centralize. The company’s new Stora media hub delivers it all to you, whether you’re checking in from an iPhone or TV screen, inside your home or elsewhere.
Netgear showed off the Stora during its CES 2010 press conference, unveiling how easy it is for people to simply log in to the hub website from any browser and summon media from the 1TB storage server. The company plans on adding a 2TB model in the coming months.
It’s all part off the “anytime, anywhere, any media, any screen” solutions Netgear is touting. Drew Meyer, director of marketing for networked storage products, clearly had a good time prepping his demo, showing how from his smart phone he could find a photo of his 99-year-old grandmother. Then he played a trailer, flawlessly, of The Fast and the Furious, and also gave the username and password info to press members to try out the portal—which one quickly did with success.
Because of its DLNA certification, the media hub’s files can be accessed from any such DLNA networked device, such as broadband TVs, gaming consoles, even digital photo frames, so you can call up your digital media like video and audio downloads anywhere in your home—or halfway around the globe, as Meyer says, just by logging in.
The stored files are also easily shared, as demo’d. By adding files to an RSS feed, for example, his grandma’s digital photo frame could automatically receive the photo he showed to the crowd. You can also do sharing tasks such as designating email addresses to send media to, and sharing it automatically to social networking sites like Facebook.
Stora is available now on Netgear’s site for $229.
Netgear also demonstrated that it not only wants the networked content to be easily broadcast to any DLNA device, but that it wants you to enjoy it in high quality.
The company did a side-by-side comparison of how it’s able to expand bandwidth by up to 3x so web videos would be played at optimal 6.5Mbps stream, without any stuttering, buffering or pausing. From the same content source, Netgear showed two videos—one playing choppy while the other played beautifully (see photo below, though not captured well the left TV had the choppy video).
Netgear technology manages to enhance the standard-def, and often sub-standard-def, web video streams to near-HD quality so it still looks good on a 50-inch plasma, for example.
Arlen writes about home technology installations and product news and reviews for electronichouse.com
and Electronic House magazine.