Netgear Digital Entertainer upsets the Apple box

While Apple is dithering on the release of its all-singing, all-streaming set-top box, Netgear's nipped in and launched its TV offering in the US toda

While Apple is dithering on the release of its all-singing, all-streaming set-top box, Netgear's nipped in and launched its TV offering in the US today.The Digital Entertainer HD has not only snuck in before Apple TV, but it also promises full HD streaming from launch – something we're still not sure about on the Apple box.Rather than being confined to iTunes content it'll find and screen any video, music or image on a home network and organise them in a single media library without any extra software needed on the PC. But the piece de resistance is its ability to play Windows Media protected HD movie downloads from online video stores.Of course, that's nothing the Xbox 360 isn't already doing but the Netgear box has the all-important HDMI slot that's missing from Bill Gates' baby. It will also buddy up with a Linux PC or a Mac, which isn't something we can see the 360 doing anytime soon.While it's on sale already in the US, we'll get to see it here by June at the latest, by which time it'll be fully locking horns with the Apple offering. Stand back, now, it could get messy.

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Netgear Digital Entertainer HD EVA8000 Price: £TBA ($400 in US) On sale: Q2 2007 (Now in US) Contact: Netgear Related stories: Apple TV put on pause