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Netgear unleashes NeoTV 550 and NeoTV 350 in the crowded media streamers market

In a move that places them in direct competition with Western Digital’s WD TV Live Plus and Viewsonic VMP75 (both reviewed by ReviewHorizon), Netgear unveils their latest media players/media streamers NeoTV 550 (NTV 550) and NeoTV 350 (NTV350). Both models have similar functionality, the only difference is the lack of an eSATA port and a cheaper remote for the 350 model. Both models are able to play Blu-ray discs from an external USB or eSata player and have an above average media sorting capability. Unfortunately neither model implements Netflix clients which makes you wonder what the Netgear designers were thinking. We know what happened with the Popbox media streamer launch…Check after the break for the technical specs, supported codec list and photo gallery.

Play content from local USB/ESata/SD slot and Network

  • USB ports x2 (front/back)
  • Memory Card Slot (Front SD/SDHC)
  • eSATA port x1
  • External DVD/BRD optical drive support via USB / eSATA
  • Wired Network connexion (10/100) x1
  • Network access – auto discovery, dynamic update, manual addition
  • 802.11n Wireless Network connection *Via optional – WNCE2001 adapter
  • Network support – CIFS/Samba,dlna/uPnP AV, NFS, Win7 PlayTO
  • Customizable share display options

Blu-Ray Media

  • BDA certified
  • Playback – Full – Menu, navigation & BDLive
  • Auto 24fps support
  • Subtitles Support – HD

Photos

  • JPEG, BMP, PNG, TIFF
  • Slideshow on the fly changes
  • Slideshow Transition mode with 7 HQ effects inc. Ken burns
  • Slideshow music source via radio or local or network

Video Codec format:

– H.264 HP@L4.1 to 1080p
– VC1 MP@HL, AP@L3
– WMV 7/8/9
– MPEG-2 MP@HL to 1080p
– MPEG-4 Part 2 ASP@L5 to 10 Mbps (Xvid)
– MPEG1/2/4 SD
– H.263

Video Container format:

– AVI, Xvid, MOV, MP4,MPEG2-PS, MPEG2-TS, DVD ISO/VOB/IFO,MKV, ASF, AVCHD, DivX, WMV, M4A, M2TS,MTS, MP1,  – MP2, MPG, DVR-MS
– Auto 24fps support
– DVD support with Full Menu & Navigation

Subtitles
– HD + placement supporting SRT, SMI, SSA, SUB, TXT, DVD, PGS

Audio Codec Support
• Dolby® Digital (AC3), Dolby® Digital Plus,TrueHD
• DTS 2.0+, DTS HD 7.1 and DTS HD MA 7.1 (passthru)
• MP3 up to 320 Kbps or variable bit rate (VBR)
• WMA8 and WMA9 up to 192 Kbps or variable bit rate (VBR)
• WMAPro, AAC, FLAC (to 5.1, 192Khz), PCM/LPCM/WAV (to 5.1, 192Khz)
• Internet radio (streaming MP3)
• MKA

Internet Video content

  • YouTube

Video On Demand Acetrax – EMEA (*Coming Soon est Nov/Dec.)

  • Music/Radio via Shoutcast and Radiotime
  • Photos via Flicker and Netgear Readynas photo
  • Embedded RSS feed, Customised RSS feed, Weather feed & forecast

Movies & audio metadata

  • Metadata support via embedded,external cover (.jpg) and fully tagged (folder)
  • Metadata software provided (Tag Tool) automatic (videos & audio)
  • Movie Cover art display via preview – 1 cover & nav, single row – 7 covers & nav., multi row – 27 covers & nav.
  • Audio Cover art display via preview – 1 cover & nav. , enhanced – 3 cover & nav.

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  • Dan

    Got one of these today and not too impressed. No manual and the included CD opens a web page that says the manual is coming soon. Youtube playback is not working although I see there’s a new firmware (beta) that fixes it. Not having the manual would really confuse the standard consumer which I’m sure, would not know how to go to a support forum and seek out a beta firmware update that allows their new product to work. Anyway, I applied the beta firmware update and it played a couple of youtube videos but on exit, it froze the unit. Had to remove the power cord and reboot.
    Movie files play well (for the most part) but an MKV confused the unit when I hit FWD too many times. Also, if you’re forwarding near the end of a movie, if it jumps too close to the end, it won’t just stop there. Nope, will just continue and start playing the next movie in the folder listing.
    Music files play but if you select more than one (which adds them to the playlist), the next music file generates an error when it starts to play. Highlighting a folder and pressing PLAY, will sometimes play all the files in that folder but other times will generate same error as previously mentioned, indicating file cannot be play or location does not exist.
    All of my media (movies and audio) are on a combination of network attached storage and also on a Windows file share.
    I’ve signed up for the beta tester program and hopefully, I can provide them with some good testing/evaluation to make this a better product for everyone else.