Year in CE
Wireless Vendors Turn Into Entertainment Providers
Realizing that most people who want a wireless network pretty much already have one, wireless vendors are expanding their product lines to allow those customers to extend their networks to their televisions.
D-Link, for example, officially re-established itself as an entertainment technology upstart at CES when it introduced a high-definition wireless media server. While D-Link had previously released products under its MediaLounge brand in 2005, the D-Link Wireless Media Server (DSM-5210R) is the first to include the necessary components for realistic adoption into consumers' living rooms. The new media server comes with a built-in 100 GB hard drive and a five-in-one media card reader. Consumers who already have an 802.11g Wi-Fi network can extend whatever media content they have running on their computer or media storage device to their televisions. Users only need to install a "small footprint" software application on their PCs so the media server can recognize and categorize the content running on the computer, according to D-Link spokesman Derek Connole. The device supports most popular media formats, including high definition video in either Windows Media Video 9 or MPEG-2 and -4 format up to 720p or 1080i resolution. The product will be available in the second quarter for $300 to $400 SRP.