The success of Google's Chromecast surprised many industry watchers. Google had tried to enter household living rooms in the past through Google TV and saw very limited success. It turns out, though, that a small, inexpensive solution is exactly what customers seem to want from their TV streaming devices.
Today at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) Netgear announced a new competitor to Google's Chromecast. The Netgear NeoMediacast (NTV300D) is HDMI dongle that heavily resembles the form-factor of the Chromecast.
Like the Chromecast, the NeoMediacast is based on Android. Also like the Chromecast, Netgear is keeping the NeoMediacast strictly on lockdown. Approved apps and service providers will be able to release their software for the NeoMediacast or enable TV support for their mobile apps. Netgear explicitly stated in its announcement that the NeoMediacast will have support for DRM and let content companies know that the NeoMediacast would not circumvent TV content restrictions in any way.
“Consumers are clamoring for new options for accessing digital content across their screens, including their wide-screen HD TVs," said Michael Clegg, GM for Service Provider Business at NETGEAR. "With the NeoMediacast HDMI dongle, our service provider customers have the means to provide a plug-and-play solution to their subscribers that also provides opportunities for additional revenue stream. The NTV300D platform supports seamless integration with other NETGEAR home connectivity devices so that service providers can offer a worry-free connected media solution to their subscribers, knowing they can trust the NETGEAR reputation for quality, reliability, and ease of use.”
The NeoMediacast will be available sometime during the first half of 2014. So far Netgear has only announced that the device will be available through service providers.