Netgear is bringing its own wireless media streaming dongle to the market, with a few tricks that should give it an advantage over Google’s Chromecast.
The NeoMediacast NTV300D is about the size of a large USB pen drive and plugs directly into a TV’s HDMI port. Users can stream online content via 802.11ac Wi-Fi or media from their Android devices via Bluetooth 4.0. Additionally, the device has a Micro-USB port and microSD card slot for users to plug their physical storage into.
Miracast is supported for local streaming at up to 1080p, and users won’t be able to circumvent digital copyright protection measures, but there’s no information yet about which specific content service providers will be supported at launch, and which countries these services will work in.
Netgear seems to be positioning the device as a set-top box replacement which service providers can provide to subscribers. The dongle’s software can be customised using the Android SDK, raising the possibility that content or distribution companies can use it as a gateway to their own media streaming services. A press statement released by Netgear reads: “With NeoMediacast, service providers can develop and operate a complete media streaming solution that supports their multi-screen video initiatives, where quick time-to-market is critical… service providers can leverage the Android apps they have already developed to support linear TV on tablets and phones.”
The NeoMediacast might not even be sold directly to consumers. Netgear says the device will “become available for service provider deployments in the first half of 2014”, but there’s no word on price or end-user availability.