Powerline products allow you to share your home’s web connection with any room in the house—even the ones without an Ethernet jack or WiFi support. These types of products can turn any outlet into a networking option. However, Netgear wants to maximize that power station, with its new Powerline Music Extender.
The newly announced Powerline Music Extender (XAUB2511) actually creates an Internet connection anywhere there is an outlet. It also throws in the option to play music via that same outlet.
Now, don’t expect music to be coming out of the wall plate. You’re going to need to hook up some type of speaker. However, it can be any type of speaker, including something like a boombox. Once everything is set up, the XAUB2511 allows users to stream music from an iOS- or Android-supported smartphone or tablet, as well as Windows PCs. (Mac users will need to use the Airplay function.)
Besides putting your old speakers to use, Netgear’s little gadget can connect smart TVs, HD set-top boxes, gaming consoles, Blu-ray players, networked DVRs, PCs and pretty much any other Ethernet-based devices, via an Ethernet port. It can also connect your PC to remote USB devices, such as a USB printer or a hard drive.
Of course, it also leaves the option for you to plug something in. The XAUB2511 includes a “pass-through” power outlet, so you don’t have to give up those power options in your room.
“Consumers want to remotely control and play their music anywhere in the home without being confined by distance or device,” said Fred Guiot, senior product line manager of consumer products at Netgear. “By enabling users to connect and use existing speakers, Netgear Powerline Music Extender facilitates the ‘play music anywhere’ lifestyle we have come to expect. The Extender also turns any power outlet into a high-speed Internet connection, and can be used as a network connection for USB printers and USB hard drives on the home network with minimal setup.”
Netgear will start selling the Powerline Music Extender in October 2012. Expect the starter kit to be priced at $139. If you already have one of Netgear’s power products at home, you can opt for a single pack XAU2511 for $99.
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Over the past 15 years, Rachel Cericola has covered entertainment, web and technology trends. Check her out at www.rachelcericola.com.