CES 2013: Netgear pushing into living rooms with Google TV, Sling Media

Summary:Netgear has rolled out a slew of announcements at CES, with a big focus on the smarter home thanks to partnerships with Google TV and Sling Media.

LAS VEGAS -- The smarter, connected home will definitely be one of the biggest (if not the biggest) takeaway from the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show this year.

Following up a new series of routers unveiled earlier on Monday by Linksys, Netgear followed suit with its own introductions.

But it the wireless networking giant's strength might stem more from partnerships and integrations more than just new products.

The likely biggest announcement is one that has been rumored about for awhile now: a set-top box for Google TV.

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The new Netgear NeoTV PRIME with Google TV (GTV100) streaming player looks like a fairly straightforward set-top box for the Google TV platform and services.

Netgear is trying to differentiate itself from other Google TV collaborators such as Sony and LG (and previously Logitech) with emphasized support for supported playback of personal media on external USB hard drives and servers.

See also: Complete CES 2013 coverage on CNET

Users should also be able to access digital media stored on Android devices, and there is an app for both Android and iOS devices to use their smartphones as remotes too.

That remote looks a little more sleek than the one that rolled out with the original Sony-made Google TV and more like the ones from LG. The Netgear one is two-sided with a touchpad and directional pad on one side and a full-featured QWERTY keyboard on the other.

The NeoTV PRIME with Google TV is available now in the United States for $129.99.

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Netgear is also teaming up with Sling Media to add SlingPlayer app support to its NeoTV streaming set-top box suite. Thus, NeoTV users can stream TV feeds from other TVs hooked up to Slingboxes from their Netgear-made set-top boxes.

This is a bit of a coup as not a lot of the major Internet-connected TV platforms and set-top boxes offer SlingPlayer support. Sometimes it's available through a web browser, but the quality is usually quite poor.

Thus, as Netgear tries to grow its brand beyond just wireless connectivity hardware into the connected home entertainment segment, having partnerships like these could give it an edge with many consumers.

The Netgear NeoTV Streaming Player line is available now in the United States, ranging from $49.99 to $69.99.

Screenshots via Netgear

More coverage on ZDNet from CES 2013:

Topics: CES, Data Management, Hardware, Networking, Unified Comms

About

Rachel King is a staff writer for CBS Interactive based in San Francisco, covering business and enterprise technology for ZDNet, CNET and SmartPlanet. She has previously worked for The Business Insider, FastCompany.com, CNN's San Francisco bureau and the U.S. Department of State. Rachel has also written for MainStreet.com, Irish Americ... Full Bio

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