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CES 2013: Netgear NeoTV Prime does Google TV right

Google TV hasn’t quite been the hit that the search giant might have wanted, but Netgear is determined to change that with the NeoTV Prime. In fact, the NeoTV Prime could be the your TV’s perfect partner.

The NeoTV Prime offers up all the entertainment hiding within Google’s Play store as well as anything you might have on your home network or external USB drives. The device will also support multiple streaming services for both music and video – expect it to launch with Netflix and LoveFilm clients in the UK.

The NeoTV Prime has two HDMI ports – one input and one output. The HDMI input allows you to plug your cable or satellite TV into the NeoTV Prime and assimilate it into your centralised TV environment. There’s an IR Blaster port too so you can control your TV box using the NeoTV remote.

With all your entertainment services flowing through the NeoTV Prime, searching is taken to a new level. If you, for instance, search for a particular movie, you’ll get results from the Internet on where to buy it, results from services like Netflix reporting whether it’s available and how much it will cost to rent, and it will even tell you if said movie is on live TV and when.

Even YouTube looks good through the NeoTV Prime interface, with search results displayed more like a video library than the usual anonymous list.

If you want to manually search the Internet, that’s not a problem either, since the NeoTV Prime has the Chrome browser built into it. The bundled remote control has a full qwerty keypad on the back, or you can use the smartphone/tablet app to type.

Netgear has also equipped the NeoTV Prime with SlingPlayer, so you can send any of the entertainment content pumping through it to another TV in your house, or even to a completely different location.

The NeoTV Prime has a price tag of $129.99, which sounds pretty reasonable considering the functionality it provides. There’s no word on UK pricing, or when the device will hit our shores, but I’ll be chasing up a review sample as soon as I get home.

Riyad has been entrenched in technology publishing for more years than he cares to remember, having staffed and edited some of the largest and most successful IT magazines in the UK. In 2003 he joined forces with Hugh Chappell to create They built TR into the UK’s market leading technology publication before selling the title to IPC Media / Time Warner in 2007. As Editorial Director at Net Communities, Riyad will be helping to develop the publishing portfolio, making IT Pro Portal the best publication it can be.