Linksys, Netgear intro wireless networking products

Jan. 11, 2008
January 11, 2008 -- The 2008 International CES saw wireless networking vendors Linksys and Netgear each rolling out a bunch of new products.

January 11, 2008 -- The 2008 International CES in Las Vegas saw wireless networking vendors Linksys and Netgear each rolling out a host of new products.

Linksys introduced its Media Center Extender with DVD Player (DMA2200) and Media Center Extender (DMA2100). Both products are enhanced to allow support for popular video and audio codecs such as Xvid, along with continued support for Windows Media Video HD files. The extenders also support the ability to send protected HD content to additional rooms, including recorded TV from over-the-air ATSC or Cable Card tuners along with movies and music available from providers. Support is also included for features such as news feeds, Public Radio broadcasts, up-to-date sports reports, and subscription music.

Both extenders are designed to leverage the company's Dual-Band Wireless-N technology to receive content contained on a Media Center PC. Dual-band capabilities enable consumers to utilize the less-crowded 5 GHz wireless spectrum to separate the network streams that contain their entertainment content from those that contain traditional data content, says the company. This separation allows for greater network reliability when streaming latency-sensitive video or audio.

"The key to the success of the Linksys Media Center Extenders lies in our home networking expertise, particularly Dual-Band Wireless-N," comments Greg Memo, vice president and general manager, Linksys Consumer Business Organization. "Together with other Linksys devices like the Network Storage System and Home Monitoring Camera, the DMA2200 and DMA2100 offer consumers a whole-home solution that makes their lives easier and more enjoyable."

The DMA2200 and DMA2100 are available at estimated street prices (ESP) of $349.99 and $299.99 respectively.

Also at the show, Linksys introduced its Wireless-G Internet Home Monitoring Camera with Audio (WVC54GCA). According to the company, unlike standard "Web cams" that require an attached PC, the camera is designed to contain its own Web server, so it can connect to a network, either over wireless-G (802.11g) networking, or over 10/100 Ethernet cable. The WVC54GCA is also designed to offer up to 640 x 480 video streaming by choosing either a MPEG-4 or Motion JPEG video compression.

"Leaving the home empty while away is always somewhat of a concern for families but the Linksys Internet Home Monitoring Camera provides consumers with an advanced home control solution to keep track of your home or your workplace, from virtually anywhere in the world," comments Mani Dhillon, director of product marketing, Linksys Consumer Business Organization.

Its unique form-factor and wireless connectivity allows the Internet Home Monitoring Camera to be mounted on virtually any wall, says the company. An included stand enables desktop use. Once connected to the home network, users can see via the camera from any PC in the house, while the video stream is secured from the outside world, hidden behind the router. To view the video from outside the home network, it is possible to open an appropriate port on the router, then create password protected accounts to manage access to the camera, or to leave it open for any to see.

A security mode tells the camera to send a message with a short video attached to up to three email addresses whenever it detects motion in its field of view. It is then possible to log onto the live video stream if the situation warrants, and to record the audio/video stream to the local hard drive through the camera's Viewer & Recorder utility, "live" or on a predetermined schedule.

The WVC54GCA is available for an ESP of $119.99.

Also at CES, Netgear, Inc. introduced its family of Wireless-N networking products, expanding its line of wired and wireless network bridges and extenders, while launching a family of intelligent network-attached storage devices for consumers.

In addition to introducing 18 new products and showcasing its six CES Innovations Award honorees, the company hosted a number of workshops and presentations and broadcasted live to online visitors.

"This year at CES we're introducing an unprecedented slate of networking products in the wireless, broadband, powerline, optical fiber, coaxial, and storage categories that will enable consumers to take full advantage of and enhance their experiences with these new network-enabled applications," commented Patrick Lo, chairman and chief executive officer of Netgear. "The 'All-Access' home at our booth on the CES show floor demonstrates to consumers how our broad family of products provides access to the Internet, stores digital media, and enables seamless in-home distribution of content, enabling them to fully appreciate these new networked applications like never before."

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