Nearly every networking company has tried its hand at products for the living room, but not many HDTV manufacturers (if any) have created networking products that you can use with or without connected home theater devices. Vizio, however, is taking a stab at this new market segment, announcing today a dual-band wireless router that can be used for streaming media to reach your TV, or just to another computer on your home network.
The XWR100 is an 802.11n router that can simultaneously transmit data via the 2.4GHz spectrum and the less-used 5GHz frequency. Why would Vizio waste its time on such a device when there are other dual-band routers on the market already? The company claims that its QoS (or Quality of Service) technology can prioritize bandwidth-heavy traffic like streaming video in order to optimize its performance when sent to devices running Vizio Internet Apps, such as the company's networked HDTVs and Blu-ray players. The XWR100 is due in the third quarter of this year for $99.99.
Vizio hopes you'll pair its new router with its new dual-band wireless Blu-ray player, the first one on the market. In theory, the VBR231 could access communications apps over the 2.4GHz band while streaming from Netflix or Vudu video services using the 5GHz band. Otherwise, the VBR231 has similar features to the new Wi-Fi-enabled single-band VBR210 and VBR220 players, though only a slight price boost. While the VBR210 and VBR220 are available now for $189.99, the VBR231 will reach the market in July at $199.99.