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CES Report: Netgear Surprises with Google TV, SlingPlayer Devices

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Netgear's founder and CEO Patrick Lo began the company's International CES Press Day conference with visions of the smart connected home, but Netgear's key announcements were firmly in the living room. That's fine, though, as Netgear surprised the audience with its first Google TV-enabled set-top box, and Sling functionality bundled into three models.

The NeoTV Prime with Google TV (GTV100, $129 list, available today) combines everything that users would expect from Google's streaming TV platform - live content, apps, web browsing, and robust search - in a compact and affordable package. The box (shown here) can create recommendations based on viewing history, and lets owners stream YouTube videos from their smartphones. The Netgear MyMedia app lets owners browse their personal content. It also includes a remote with a QWERTY keyboard on one side.

"Neo TV Prime is Google TV done right," said David Henry, Netgear's vice president of product marketing.

Netgear also announced it's bundling Sling functionality into four new models, all available today: the NeoTV Streaming Player (NTV300, $49.99), NeoTV Pro Streaming Player (NTV300S, $59.99), NeoTV MAX Streaming Player (NTV300SL, $69.99), and the NeoTV Prime with Google TV. They can make any TV a Sling receiver, capable of receiving content sent from a Slingbox. Don't be confused (as we were, at first): these devices aren't substitutes for a Slingbox, itself. They're meant to be used with a Slingbox. Henry suggested that owners could use the Sling functionality to trim pay TV bills by stopping service to a second home or a dorm room, and streaming content from the primary home, instead.

Henry also showed off the third generation of Netgear's Push2TV ($59.99), for wirelessly streaming video, music, and photos from notebooks and other mobile devices to a television. The device now supports Miracast.

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