You may have noticed that small-scale networking expert Netgear
At the start of the company's annual analyst day, Netgear has announced a metric truckload of new products in what company spokespeople are calling the "biggest news day in history." There are 17 new products on tap in markets spanning from home media networking and wireless high-definition home theater connectors, to innovative networked storage boxes and full-featured but power-sipping gigabit switches for small businesses.
Now, Netgear is no stranger to product launches -- the company introduced 21 new products in the third quarter and averages about 20. What's different this time is that management deliberately delayed a few announcements to coincide with this mass event. Furthermore, CEO Patrick Lo tells me that every item presented is a company first -- in some cases, industry firsts. For example, the 3DHD home theater connector is a new twist on established Wi-Fi technology, enabling high-def video signals to be transmitted across large homes and through multiple walls without losing signal quality.
Though there are many truly innovative products on tap from Netgear today, the one that piques my interest the most is that 3DHD system. It's the industry's first four-antenna implementation of the 802.11n Wi-Fi standard, which stretches the signal range and improves network speeds to as much as 300 mbps. There's no reason why you couldn't use it as a general networking hub by plugging an Ethernet cable into your laptop, but the technology has been optimized for media traffic and jitter-free video streams even under difficult transmission conditions. Also, the connection is specially encrypted in order to appease TV networks and movie studios -- you wouldn't expect them to let you stream video willy-nilly around your house, now would you?
You might have expected Cisco Systems
This product appeals to a different section of the media food chain than the HDMI connector standard -- so Silicon Image
And if 3DHD doesn't become an instant hit, it's kind of hard to launch this many products and have all of them disappoint. Expect to see a real impact from this date on next February's fourth-quarter report. Netgear is nothing if not audacious.
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