CES New: Netgear Gets Media Savvy

Network Attached Storage (NAS) drives are perhaps the most unsexy products imaginable: black boxes with hard drives inside that just spin and hum the day away. But when you load them up with videos, music, and pictures, that lowly black box can become an entertainment powerhouse, streaming your media to any computer, TV, or stereo in the house. Netgear’s new ReadyNAS Duo has its own operating system, and is an equal opportunity streamer – it can be used with Macs and PCs alike. If you want to use it for streaming music and videos, you’ll also need a media receiver/player like the Xbox 360 or Netgear’s Digital Entertainer, which hooks up to your TV/Stereo rig, and plays files from the ReadyNAS drives -- the beauty here is that no PCs (or Macs) need to be involved in the process. The ReadyNAS also allows multiple devices to access the media files simultaneously, so you can watch videos in one room, while music is streaming to another. Just think, you may never have to sit in the same room with your family again!

The ReadyNAS Duo has, get this, two hard drive bays, and comes in a variety of configurations, depending on how much storage you need/want/crave. And if one of the drives fails, not to worry – the built-in data redundancy can recover all of your files. A ReadyNAS box with 500GB will go for $500.