Video Streaming Box Announcements of the Week

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.

6 thoughts on “Video Streaming Box Announcements of the Week”

  1. The LG looks pretty good – $280ish on Amazon for a solid Blu-ray player with these additional capabilities is compelling. Especially for those who don’t have other Netflix and VOD solutions readily available. (Although, the space looks different now that the PS3 is available for $300.)

    The VuNow/Netgear box doesn’t much interest me much. There’s going to be a monthly VuNow service fee of some sort, PlayOn isn’t free, wireless isn’t included, and local media streaming may be limited to PCs (with WMP11).

    Todd, if the content is the same does it matter if you get it from Amazon, CinemaNow, or Vudu? I suspect their movie catalogs are similar. Amazon has more television offerings, though. I haven’t yet seen video delivered via Vudu’s new CDN and without local storage (as opposed to their P2P stand-alone boxes with hard drives), so I can’t do a quality comparison at this time. (All of Panasonic’s new connected Blu-ray players this year will have Amazon VOD.)

  2. If it works as poorly as the DMXNV1 Bravia Video Link that came bundled with my Sony Bravia KDL46WL140, I think I’ll take a pass…

  3. Hey Dave! How goes it at the new home location?

    I have been using the Netgear EVA2000 and have been very pleased with it. The size is nice, the remote is nice and small and fits comfortable in your hand. While there are certainly allot of these hitting the market it still seems to carry a sufficient bang for the buck.
    The biggest thing for me is fast Menu response. You can move around the different areas quite well without allot of lag and . or lockups. Overall at $150 (I bet around $129 street) I would say its a go if asked by someone for a recommendation.

  4. @Dave Zatz

    “…Todd, if the content is the same does it matter if you get it from Amazon, CinemaNow, or Vudu? I suspect their movie catalogs are similar. Amazon has more television offerings, though.”

    Its the pricing that matters most to me, content second. Unbox seems to be way cheaper on a per movie basis, no monthly subscription fees, pay-as-you-go with my existing amazon account that I have been buying books with for 10 years.

    I could really care less if Transformers 5 – Revenge of Michael Bay is available “furst” on whichever CDN.


  5. What is great about embedding all these options into the TV or DVD players is that these services get more eyeballs…the more eyeballs the more likely the content owners will finally take the VOD market as a serious revenue stream and invest more into it.

Comments are closed.