The Digital Entertainer EVA700 is getting a big brother that seems to widen features and possibilities for the consumers, especially since it is announced the EVA8000 will support H.264 beside a whole list of other formats. Rather this player will be based on the EM8622 (limited H.264) or a more advanced chip is unknown, yet based on the expected release price of 349$ it probably will be based on a chip as Sigma EM8622 to close the gap to the launch of the heavier EM8634 processors. Never the less, functions as "Follow me" and "Party Mode" surely makes us curious what "NetGear" has done this time. Promising it is, in the least considering the price is low and the features high and from NetGear that certainly does not translate in the use of lighter materials (read cheap). Click on "Read more
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NetGear, who is concentrating on Media Players lately, surely wants to become a big player in Home Entertainment. proof is the recent release of the EVA700 followed by the EVA8000 now. The plans to have in house developed firmware surely have not been rolled out yet so expected is also the EVA8000 is based on Syabas FW (just a guess). Anyway, with the included software you can stream iTunes and YouTube to the EVA8000 and NetGear also announced an ongoing collaboration with BitTorrent to promote Video Streaming online (VOD).
With a Tuner in your PC, the EVA8000 Software can record and playback the feed on your TV. It is even possible to pause playback and continue in a different room with the "Follow" mode while party Mode synchronizes the music playback thru multiple receivers at home to have the same playback anywhere in your house. Further Web Radio and CSS, Weather info and local News is available as well.
The NetGear is a Streaming Player (no DVD Drive) that comes with HDMI (1.1), Component, S-Video and Composite. Via the HDMI output, 1080p is supported (is this even possible unless using HDMI 1.3?) . Optical and Digital analogue outputs provide the options for sound and dual USB Ports can offer some extensions in the form of memory Cards or USB Hard Drives. Further you get the usual 10/100 Mbit Network interface and the 802.11g Wireless feature.
Formats the EVA8000 can handle for video are MPEG 1/2/4, WMV, Xvid, H.264 and for music you can use MP3, WAV, WMA, FLAC, M4A, AAC and AC3 and in combination with the software M4P (iTunes, Windows only). Image formats supported but will not be limited to JPEG alone but additionally support BMP, TIFF and PNG. All that, and a design in the style of the EVA700 will become available in the first quarter of 2007 at retail price 349$ or for Europe, I expect around 299 Euro. We'll get in touch with NetGear and see rather we will be able to review the EVA8000. Certainly this might become the first player supporting H.264 and we don't want to miss out on that.
To be continued...