Media From Your Computer on Your TV in HD

March 14th, 2007 |
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NETGEAR has announced its new Digital Entertainer HD. It’s the next step in bridging the barrier between your television and the digital media on your computer. Listen to this conversation with Jamison Ching of NETGEAR, as he outlines all the cool features of this wireless device, which allows you to use your TV to watch movies in high-def, listen to music, stream Internet content, and more.

Transcript:

Host: Paul Lancour – PodTech

Guest: Jamison Ching – NETGEAR

Paul Lancour – PodTech

I am Paul Lancour with PodTech.net and in this Podcast I speak with Jamison Ching, Digital Media Product Line Manager with NETGEAR. Jamison is here to discuss NETGEAR’s EVA8000, the Digital Entertainer HD. I started by asking him to describe it for us.

Jamison Ching – NETGEAR

The Digital Entertainer HD was called a Digital Media Receiver. It’s under your HDTV in your living room and you connect it up to your home network and it will stream digital media files from your PC, whether they be video files, music or photos for instance, and then play them on your HDTV or Home Entertainment System.

Paul Lancour – PodTech

Now, it looks to me very similar to a standard Wireless Router. So, it connects wirelessly with your PC. Is that correct?

Jamison Ching – NETGEAR

Yeah, we recommend for HDTV content for instance, to have a wired connection over the Ethernet network or maybe through our power-line HD adapters, which go through the power-line network in your home and then ultimately for standard definition quality, we also include Wireless G, 802.11g to allow you to do wireless communication over your home network to your PC.

Paul Lancour – PodTech

So, you are connected with your PC and then it also connects with your TV. So, what I am doing is taking the content from my computer and watching it on my television.

Jamison Ching – NETGEAR

Correct, over the Internet and so we have some ability to stream some content over the Internet as that content becomes more available.

Paul Lancour – PodTech

So, which content can I watch from the Internet on my television?

Jamison Ching – NETGEAR

Well, right now we offer two types, the Internet Video feature so you can stream Internet Video right off of the Internet and then we also have a unique feature that streams YouTube Videos from the YouTube Website onto your television screen, so you could watch your YouTube Videos as well and you will be able to get the top 25 YouTube Videos or search by user or tags.

Paul Lancour – PodTech

And any other content that’s available on my computer, so all my photos, all my music, all of that can be accessed through my television?

Jamison Ching – NETGEAR

Correct, in full 1080p, up to 1080p resolution on HDTV, so it looks fantastic.

Paul Lancour – PodTech

The tag line with this product is any content in any room; any time will pretty much cover the any content in any room as well any time. You want to explain some of the features associated with that?

Jamison Ching – NETGEAR

Sure, any room, meaning the fact if you have multiple EVA8000, so you have one in your living room and one in your bedroom. We have multi room features such as one of them is called ‘Follow Me’ and the way that works is if you are watching video or listening to music in your living room and you want to move to your bedroom, you just pause it in your living room and send the video up to your bedroom and once you get to up to your bedroom you can continue where you left off.

We also have another feature called ‘Party Mode’, which allows you to synchronize all of your EVA8000s in your home for music. If you want to play your party list or playlist, you can synchronize all of them, so that they play the same song together in a synchronized fashion, so you get a whole home experience.

Paul Lancour – PodTech

So, it sounds like it’s breaking down the barriers between my television and my content on my computer which have been getting more and more blurred lately. So, this is really another step to breaking down those barriers, it seems to me. I sit with my remote and I am watching my content from my PC on my television set in High Definition.

Jamison Ching – NETGEAR

Sure, sure and actually there’s more and more content being available on the Internet to be downloaded on to PCs or onto your storage devices in the home and most people are watching it on their laptops or in their home office and the Digital Entertainer HD allows you to take that content and transfer it over to your living room, where you are more comfortable dealing it with your family on the couch, or leafing through a big collection of your movies, or listening to your entire music collection on your home stereo system.

Paul Lancour – PodTech

While I am doing that, is someone at that same time able to use the PC in the fashion that they normally would without any interference with their work as well?

Jamison Ching – NETGEAR

Sure, somebody could be doing email or cruising the net on the PC and then in the background the PC is actually serving up all your Digital Media content throughout the house to Digital Entertainer HD.

Paul Lancour – PodTech

So, what are the features of the Digital Entertainer HD should our audience know about?

Jamison Ching – NETGEAR

Well, one of the most important connections actually available on the Digital Entertainer HD is our HDMI connection, which is a High-Definition MultiMedia Interface, which is the Interface of choice right now for connections up to high-performance HDTVs. So, that’s a nice feature that will give you up to full 1080p resolution on your High-Definition television. Another nice feature is our optical digital audio output.

So, we can go directly into Dolby Digital Receiver or some other audio video receivers digitally and you can get full surround sound in your living room. Another nice feature is the USB Interface port on both the front and back of the Digital Entertainer HD that allows you to hook up your iPod or a USB Hard Disk Drive, so that you can transport content directly through the Digital Entertainer HD and have it play on the television set without having to go over any home networks.

Paul Lancour – PodTech

So with the USB Interface, this doesn’t just interface your computer with your television, but other sources of media can also be brought into this system to be shown on your television as well.

Jamison Ching – NETGEAR

Yeah, that’s correct. I think a lot of people have USB Hard Disk Drives or they have a lot of their music on their iPods and if you want to go over to your friends house and just plug right into his Digital Entertainer HD, you can share your music right there or you can bring over all your movies and if there are on a Hard Disk Drive, you can just plug right into the Digital Entertainer HD without having to go over the home network.

Paul Lancour – PodTech

Can I record using the Digital Entertainer HD?

Jamison Ching – NETGEAR

You can control a PVR, Personal Video Recorder function on a PC that has a TV tuner and so we give you the software to be able to turn your PC into, say, like a TiVo type product in order to record shows and then just play them back through the network, onto the HDTV.

Paul Lancour – PodTech

So, if I have PC, TV tuner, I can schedule recordings through the unit as well.

Jamison Ching – NETGEAR

Correct, you can choose different programs on your television using your remote control and then have the PC automatically record them at the times that you want to record them and then play it back through the Digital Entertainer HD in your living room.

Paul Lancour – PodTech

So, this is just new to the market right now as well? It’s available in stores now?

Jamison Ching – NETGEAR

Correct, correct. You’ll be able to actually buy it online first and then we’ll be rolling out to selected retailers.

Paul Lancour – PodTech

As I was saying, this really seems to be the next step as more and more people are watching YouTube on their computers, as more and more people are getting into the world of High-Definition Television, into High-Definition media in general. This really seems to be breaking down from a user point of view, an arbitrary barrier between media on the computer and media on the television.

Jamison Ching – NETGEAR

Correct, I think we’re really seeing a revolution in digital media and being able to break down the barrier between people, their HDTVs and the content that they want to watch. If you look at the ways that people watch television today or listen to music, it’s all through DVDs or CDs and then also beginning to have downloadable in MP3s.

Now we’ll be getting into downloadable video and so it’s a lot easier for people to say, “Hey, you know what, if I want to watch the latest movie that came out, I can either download it from the Internet onto my PC and then play it on my television or I can go out and get the HD DVD for instance, which is just rolling out as well.”

So, I think there is going to be sort of race or competition between downloadable movies and say, the new HD DVD or Blu-ray standards in order to distribute content. Will it be that people want to download it and get it into their PC and then play it on their television like what the Digital Entertainer HD does, or will people want to go out and buy a new DVD player and go buy new DVDs, for instance, in order to watch the latest film and Digital Entertainer HD actually allows you so much more in order to play your photos; all your high-resolution photos on your HDTV, or your music on your HDTV, and then in addition to the videos and either movies or home movies that you might be putting together yourself.

So, I mean this product really is a revolution, I think we’re going to see more and more available content to be played and the Digital Entertainer HD is probably the start of number of different products that can be conceived out there, that would be rolled out.

Paul Lancour – PodTech

I know, my brother just got a Plasma TV and he is complaining you know outside of sporting events essentially, there are three movies that he keeps watching over and over again because there is really not a lot of content and this would solve this problem.

Jamison Ching – NETGEAR

Correct, I think that’s one of the biggest problem is that there is a lot of HDTV screens out there, but not a lot of HDTV content and so that’s one of the things that we are working on with content providers, is to get content that’ll be able to play on the Digital Entertainer HD because we can handle like I said up to four 1080p resolution, which is the highest resolution that’s available for your HDTVs out there.

Paul Lancour – PodTech

So here is the inner here, I bring this home with me. I set it up. I connect as we discussed and I turn it on. What do I see on my television set?

Jamison Ching – NETGEAR

Oh, what happens is you’ll see a very attractive Graphical User Interface, a GUI that you can control with your remote control and one of the great features of the Digital Entertainer HD is that it goes out onto your home network. It finds different computers that are out there. It looks for shared files, your shared media files and then it combines them all into one big library that you can search and we have a very nice search mechanism within the unit itself that allows you to drill down into and find, say, movies by rating or by the actor who is in the movie, or, for instance, when the movie was released and be able to sort by all those different criterias.

So, if you have say like a library of 1000 movies or 1000 songs, you can easily get to the songs or the movies that you want to watch through our user interface.

Paul Lancour – PodTech

So, is it as simple as plugging it in, telling it to go find my media and then going through the menu structure and finding the media that it has already found?

Jamison Ching – NETGEAR

Yeah, pretty much. We include a Setup Wizard that allows you to go step by step through the setup process and it will go out and connect your network for you and it will go out and find all your media for you and so once you get through the Wizard, it’s pretty much point and click and you are often listening to your favorite songs or watching your videos on your HDTV.

Paul Lancour – PodTech

Great, well thanks for taking some time Jamison and talking to us about the Digital Entertainer HD.

Jamison Ching – NETGEAR

Okay, you are welcome.

Paul Lancour – PodTech

Jamison Ching is Digital Media Product Line Manager at NETGEAR.

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