Netgear Entertainer Live ($150)
The new Netgear Entertainer Live (EVA2000) was originally announced as a VuNow platform device at Netgear’s CES press conference back in January. At that time, I saw the unnamed Netgear product demo-ed using VuNow’s non-distinctive hardware, but has since been repackaged with some left over Netgear router enclosures. In addition to YouTube and CinemaNow VOD access, and unlike Roku’s similar small box solution, the EVA 2000 is also capable of streaming a wide variety of local media. PlayOn is supported (and offered at a discount), but that PC-based software hack is only interesting until Hulu drops the hammer (technically or legally). However, this $150 box should gain a bit more traction than Verismo‘s VuNow with the Netgear brand and retail relationships.
LG BD390 Blu-ray Player with Vudu ($400)
Vudu continues to execute on their hardware diversification strategy as LG announces a network upgrade to their existing 802.11n-capable Blu-ray player. The smooth Vudu experience and extensive HD video-on-demand library joins Netflix on YouTube on the well-regarded connected BD390. While the $400 MSRP may seem a bit steep for what it offers and compared to the Sony unit below (or the $300 PS3), this box can be found online for significantly less. We’re hopeful of taking a look at a review loaner in the near future.
Sony BDP-N460 Blu-ray Player with Bravia VOD (~$250)
Sony just unveiled a new Bravia-connected device at CEDIA. The BDP-N460 Blu-ray Player will be available in October “for about $250” and features “Bravia” Internet services, including video-on-demand, YouTube, Slacker, and Netflix streaming. While it doesn’t incorporate the type of wireless connectivity found in the LG BD390 above, Sony’s upcoming model sure looks aggressively priced to boost holiday sales.