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Netgear EVA8000 Digital Entertainer HD
List Price: $510.00

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Product Description

NETGEAR Digital Entertainer HD EVA8000 streams movies, videos, music, Internet radio, and photos from your home PCs and storage devices to your HDTV. It automatically finds all the digital media files on your home network and organizes them into an easily accessible library.

The NETGEAR EVA8000 Digital Entertainer HD offers:
  • An easy way to connect your home theater with your home network.
  • Playback of video and music stored on your computer on your home theater.
  • Support for 1080p HD video resolution.
  • A built-in USB port for connecting iPods, digital cameras, and other devices.
  • Support for 802.11g wireless networks.
The NETGEAR EVA8000 Digital Entertainer HD connects your TV and home entertainment system to your computer network, letting you enjoy the HD videos, music, and photos from your PC on your HDTV and high-quality speakers.



The EVA8000 supports HD video up to 1080p. View larger. View Rear.
Easy Setup and Strong Security
The EVA8000 plugs into your home theater system with a variety of outputs including RCA, S-Video, Digital Coaxial/SPDIF audio, HD component video, and HDMI for resolution up to 1080p. The Digital Entertainer HD supports both 802.11g wireless for up to 54 Mbps speeds, as well as wired connections via an 10/100 Mbps RJ-45 jack. Note that in order to connect the device to your home network with sufficient bandwidth to stream your HD videos, you will need to use the wired connection. Dual 2 dBi antennas are built-in for better wireless reception.

In addition to the hard drive of your PC, the EVA8000 also works seamlessly with the NETGEAR SC101 storage device (sold separately). There is also a USB 2.0 port, letting you play files saved on an iPod, USB thumb drive, USB disk, or digital camera.

The Digital Entertainer boasts hardware-based WEP 40/64-bit and 128-bit encryption and WPA-PSK and WPA2-PSK for enhanced security.

Support for Digital Media File Formats
The Digital Entertainer can handle a large variety of digital media file formats. Compatible audio formats include: MP3 (up to 320 Kbps or VBR), WAV, WMA (up to 192 Kbps or VBR), M3U, and AAC. Compatible video formats include: MPEG1, MPEG2, MPEG4, AVI, WMV (up to 1080p), and Xvid. Compatible photo formats include: JPEG, BMP, PNG, TIFF, and GIF.

If you have a TV tuner card (not included) installed on your PC, the EVA8000 will let you schedule recordings and pause and rewind live TV, providing an easy interface to your DVR. If you purchase two or more Digital Entertainer HDs and have them in different rooms, you can synchronize music throughout the house for parties, and you can keep watching a video moving from one room to another by pausing it in one room and unpausing it in another.

An included remote control lets you control all the media files on your home network, as well as from popular internet sites, from the comfort of your couch. You can also access your desktop and some applications such as email. The NETGEAR EVA8000 Digital Entertainer is backed by a 1-year warranty.

What's in the Box
EVA8000 Digital Entertainer HD, infrared remote control (2 AA batteries included), power cable, Ethernet cable, component video cable, installation guide, resource CD, and warranty/support information card.

Features:
  • Connect your home theater to your computer network for streaming playback of digital media including HD video
  • Supports most audio and video formats including MP3, WMA, WMV, MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, Xvid, and AVI
  • Built-in USB port to connect a USB drive and music player
  • Supports wireless networks with 802.11g built-in
  • Device measures 17 x 2 x 10 inches (WxHxD)

Customer Reviews:

  • With improving FW releases, this box is getting better
    I've owned the netgear eva8000 for 8 months now. At first I was quite upset that it didn't perform all the tasks advertised on the box, especially the TV feature. However, now that I've been a beta firmware tester, I'm seeing that this box is getting much much better. The latest firmware versions are very stable and easy to navigate. The TV feature still doesn't work for me, but the engineers at Netgear are working on this issue.

    On the weekends, I just let the box randomly play music from my collection during a photo slideshow. It really brings all your media to the family room and makes it easy to enjoy. I am really happy with this product....more info
  • It's Great Now
    When I purchased the EVA8000 a year ago, I was horrified at how many bugs there were in the software. But I have to give Netgear kudos for really supporting the device. I have grown to love it now. I am using it with two DNS-323s for 3TB of music, photos, and movies. I have a thousand CDs and 300 movies which can be access from any room in my place at my fingertips. It's the heart of my AV system. My CD and DVD players are gathering dust now....more info
  • stay away from it
    This product is full of defects. Definitly not ready to ship to the market.
    After 4 days of operation it would not boot any more. Tech Support was not able to hard reset it.
    Other defects:
    If you apply the online firmware update then you cannot use 802.11G WPA encryption any more.
    It consistently does not find SMB file shares.
    Video playback suddenly stops during payback. They are no error messsages. It just jumps back into the main menu.
    The software is written very poorly. There are never error messages. If something fails it either resets or jumps back to the main menu. Belive me, you will see that a lot !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!







    ...more info
  • DLNA but not really
    The score that this box deserves depends what you buy it for. I wanted a DNLA player (the box and brochures claim DLNA support). It is not a good DNLA player (1 star or zero stars!). It is a good Internet radio player (4 stars), and excellent HD video renderer (plays 1080p well - 5 stars), and a poor client for accessing media on a home network (2 stars).

    I have had great experience with Netgear networking products, and have nothing against the company, but this is a negative review overall.


    THE GOOD:

    The Internet radio works well, once you pick out your favourites. The video and audio RSS/podcasts also work well when they work, but the EVA8000 could not play some video formats.

    There is a nice picture-in-picture mode where you can watch the videos while you browse for other content.

    The EVA is able to display very good quality video that is stored locally (on a USB drive) or over the network on a file server. I played 1080p WMV files with no trouble; I have never seen better HD rendering. I used a Sony Bravia 1080p TV.

    Doing software upgrades is easy.


    THE BAD:

    This product claims to support DLNA, but is not DLNA certified, and does not work well with my QNAP server (which runs a DLNA certified Twonky server). The EVA is unable to list the QNAPs' Twonky Server music -- it just searches forever and thinks it's finding 100's of thousands of songs where there are really only 10,000. It can find and play some of the videos, and can display most of the photos. But the navigation is very poor.

    The Eva also does not work with a Nokia N95 which is a DLNA certified controller. The EVA does not even show up as a DLNA player, which suggests the EVA is not using PnP to announce itself as a media player. This is a shame because the N95 has a nice control interface compared to the EVA's own.

    It has a typical Netgear User interface - i.e. not intuitive (I keep giving Netgear the benefit of the doubt, and thought it unlikely they would make and sell a DLNA player with a poor user interface - well, yes they did). The EVA takes ages to search for content and insists on doing it all over again on restart and at other times.

    It crashes (restarts) when it tries to play small videos made with my Sony video camera (stored as .MOV files). This is very annoying since it takes so long to get running again.

    I could not get it to play a YouTube video. It would be continually buffereing content, but never play. I have 15Mbps VZ FiOS broadband, so bandwidhth should not be an issue.

    So, if you want a DNLA player, do not buy this; and if you do not want DLNA (why not?!) and you want to play internet radio and media from your NAS, a PC or attached USB drive, and don't have a lot of content to navigate, then this box is OK but expensive for that role.

    My overall impression is that Netgear rushed this thing out, slapped on the "DLNA support" tag without knowing what this means and skipped quality control altogether. I will in future look for DLNA Certification rather than "DLNA supported". There is really no point making or buying a media player that does not recognize and know how to work with industry standard media servers! An Xbox is a better media player than this (and the price is similar).

    STOP PRESS - While writing this review, I did an EVA software upgrade (nice and easy). The menus have improved and there are more options for parental control etc; the weather report is more useful. Also the EVA no longer even lists the media servers (QNAP and ORB). And it no longer offers the RSS media that it cannot play. (This is better than being offered content the device cannot play, but I was hoping for fixes rather than sweeping problems under the carpet). It does not crash when it tries to play .MOV and .AVI files, but has crashed a couple of times for no apparent reason in the last few hours. I still wish I had not bought it.

    ...more info
  • adequate
    I was excited to get and try this product but was somewhat disappointed in trying to get it to do what i wanted to - so i just plugged the computer directly to the tv-hd-monitor - set the appearance settings and it was marvelous as is without the inbetween netgear box - save your money - plug in directly to your tv and it'll be better!...more info
  • The best I've seen
    I've been fussing with MCE since 1.0 I've been playing with video long before that (early VCR, etc.) I've been in the computer business (hardware and software)for over 38 years. YES, you may consider me over the hill, but if I am... I'll take my EVA8000 with me. I now own two units and I have given an additional two units as gifts to my sons. This product is built well, performs as advertised and solves a basket of video related problems for me. Now my challenge is to build a video server to store all of that multimedia I can now flawlessly deliver via my EVA8000 throughout my home! Did I mention my music collection? I could go on for hours about the product. Try it - I believe you will LOVE it....more info
  • Works alright
    This device works as described, and has a lot of power but the interface for setup and operation modes is somewhat limited. The web interface is nice to have, but it is not nearly powerful enough to make up for the onscreen interface problems. The machine occasionally fails to respond to the remote, and had difficulty catalogging some items. Rebuilding the library by rescanning the media storage locations solved that problem....more info
  • Easy to use and solid unit
    I got the EVA 8000 for my birthday in early Dec to replace an old PRISMIQ I had that is no longer supported because the company is out of business. This unit is way ahead of the PRISMIQ. I have used the unit extensively and I have to say I don't see all these issues people keep talking about. I installed the unit and it quickly found all my share folders on my NAS with music/pictures/video. While I haven't used it extensively on the video side, it has played all the files I've thrown at it. I tried ripped DVDs, downloaded AVI and MP4 files. As for music, I have all my music in MP3 format and it all played flawlessly. The pictures displayed fine as well. I played around a bit with the original firmware then upgraded to the beta firmware which has some nice new features. The navigation is easy and quick. You can search by folder/artist/album etc or even use album art. I also like the internet RSS feed feature and weather feature. The forum on netgears website is helpful for any issues and they are constantly working on the firmware to update it. I am running Vista and I had no issues installing the latest PC software from the netgear website and using it to navigate and set up my EVA. I haven't tried the You Tube feature because I have no interest in that so I can't comment on how that works. I would definitly recommend this for anyone looking to attach their PC to the TV/Stereo setup....more info
  • Very cool
    If you've seen AppleTV but want to play more than the stuff on your iTunes then this is the tool for you - plays iTunes, XVids, avi's etc - basically everything.

    A much better solution than my s-videod laptop.

    Very cool - will last me ages and I still haven't gotten into the details of the gizmo - so far very impressed with set up and scannning of my shared folders - please note that this device only shares info from one computer. So far it has performed flawlessly....more info
  • Didn't work and lousy tech support
    I have a new PC with Vista and this thing kept crashing. I called tech support and got some guy in India that new nothing. Said he would call back and never did. Get an XBOX360 instead - it does all the same things and works smoothly....more info
  • Technical user device
    I am in a Network Admin so the network setup was a snap (both wireless and wired)

    BUT...Nothing worked. Every media format I tried to play would give me the "media format is not supported" message. Image files would not display and mp3's would not play. Even after several cold reboots.

    I registred on the forums and downloaded the latest Beta firmware and DEW and installed both.

    Finally it started to work. Most of my AVI files (MJPEG from a digital camera and DV files from a camcorder) still don't work and messes up the system which requires a restart. I will need to re-encode them.

    It does play all my mpeg files and DVD rips with DVDShrink just fine. I also tried a MKV (HD) file and it works good.

    JPEGs look great on my 50" 1080P DLP! But...the UI sucks so bad that I probably will never use it. I dont understand why they dont copy TIVO's UI format.

    Enable "browse folders" is a must to make this thing usable (Just like TIVO does). I have the EVA8K connected to a Windows Server 2003 and XP Pro workstation and a 1TB USB drive (Icydock+Seagate). There are duplicate files on each source so seeing a listing of all files all at once is a nightmare.

    I only had 2 days to play around with it so far. My main usage will be for Video.

    Pros:
    1. Plays ripped DVD's and mpegs extremely well
    2. Beta firmware updates support new formats like .mkv files
    3. YouTube works well (although if you have Tivo - they have it too)

    Cons:
    1. Initial frustration of a $300+ item needing me to "hack" around just to get it to work properly.
    2. User Interface is horrible as others have said. They can take a lession from TIVO and they would probably dominate this market niche.
    3. The need to convert unsupported video formats to play on this device.
    4. 802.11g - I'm not using wireless but I don't think G is fast enough for streaming HD content.
    5. HUGE, actually 19" wide. WTF? If you look inside there is a ton of empty space. Probably enough to add 2 hard drives and some cooling fans - I'm sure some modder will. I think they made this unit huge so you dont feel bad paying $300+ for it.
    6. Expensive for something that is unstable and crashes more than expected....more info
  • For early adopters only
    I bought this to replace a different brand, and as a result ended up having to completely reconfigure my media library. Most network media players are 'UPNP', or universal plug 'n' play and rely on media server software located on a remote computer for library information. This unit finds any shared folders (Windows file system only) on your network, and indexes the one you choose. EVERYTHING in the one you choose that it's capable of playing. This includes any and every image file, sound file & movie clip, so you'll have to have a share folder dedicated to only the items you want this unit to find or go mad from the clutter of unwanted and unexpected files. When I first set this up I was seeing software tutorial videos, computer sound effects, and pictures I wasn't aware I had in the menu. A last annoyance - I have a collection of TV series, and this unit took all folders titled 'season 1' and indexed all contents of all folders with this name in one directory, necessitating the renaming of all folders to a unique name to keep them separate. C'mon, Netgear, would it be asking so much to want a browse function instead of a buggy automatic indexing function?...more info
  • Mine was DOA
    I really wanted to like this unit but mine was essentailly DOA. I spent several hours with Netgear tech support and it wouldn't read networked files nor files from a usb stick directly plugged into the unit. Many other reviews which I have read note Quality Control issues on these units and unfortunatly mine was one of the bad ones too. Netgear tech support gave me a case number and I was able to return mine to Amazon so in the end I just wasted a few hours of my time; if you buy one be sure to set it up ASAP to check for problems while you are still within the tech support and Amazon return windows. ...more info
  • Overall a Very Good product. Good value for my money.
    I have been using this product for a month now. I have connected it to my HDTV and have used it to play my music, photos and videos and so far the experience has been very good. Some minor glitches as probably been pointed out by many other users about sound issues during fast forwards etc. But nothing that could stop me from using it. I am glad that I could get rid of S-Video cable setup that I used to use before to play the media files from my laptop. A lot of help is available through NetGear EVA8000 forum regarding general usage and issues and fixes.

    I have also used it to play DRM files with WMP 11 and it worked fine too. More than I could expect from it. Setup was easy. Took about 30 mins to bring it up on my wireless home network. I have recently upgraded it to the latest firmware version 2.1.150.

    Just one comment, the GUI can be improved a bit to give a Windows Explorer or desktop type interface rather than scrolling GUI that it has now. It just looks too primitive.
    ...more info
  • Bad bad bad...
    I have been looking for such a product for a while.
    Apple TV just did not cut it for me as I did not want to be limited to iTunes.
    This one looked great per the specs. I also liked the fact that they seem to have a partnership with bittorrent so I could buy some TV shows and movies.
    So I bought it regardless of the bad reviews.
    Big mistake.
    The product is just not ready. So unstable it is almost unusable. And terribly frustrating. Against my wife's advice I did not return the product and kept believing the next firmware update would fix everything. I did update the firmware every time a new version became available but it does not help much.
    I have seen so many crashers and bugs on basic usage features I even wonder if they have a QA team testing it. Playing a movie sometimes works, sometimes hangs. When it starts not playing a movie, no movie will play after that.
    This device sure works in mysterious ways.
    And the Bittorrent partnership is just a marketing thing. The bittorent web site does not even contain anything related to the EVA8000 other then the press release of the partnership. Since the movie you'll download from there have DRM, you won't be able to play them on the EVA8000 without some extra software on your PC. Lame.

    Long story short, stay away from this product, it just does not work. Sadly I do not have any suggestions on any other alternative products to make.

    ...more info
  • Overall a Good product
    Tested it over wired network. It was easy to set up and the box was up and running in 30 minutes. It takes about 20 minutes to scan specified folders on your PC for pictures, music and video. Quality of streamed audio, video and pictures is excellent. Tested file formats: .avi, .mp3, .wmv, .mpeg, .mov. No iusses.

    YouTube videos played just fine. You need to have Netgear Digital Entertainer software running on the PC for this feature to work.

    No issues playing internet radio.

    I am running MS Windows Vista on one computer and XP on another. The software that came with the box installed just fine on the XP machine, but got installation errors on Vista. Downloading the latest firmware and software seemed to have fixed the issue and EVA8000 is working just fine with Vista as well.

    I have a dual TV tuner card on my PC. EVA8000 allows one to stream live TV from your PC to the TV. Video quality was not as good as watching TV directly. Cool feature, but why would anyone want to stream live TV from PC on to TV.

    I only have recorded TV programs using widows media center. Media center allows me to use my PC as a DVR. However, I could not figure out how to stream programs recorded using media center to EVA8000. update: You can buy license for Electronic Programming Guide (EPG) from Netgear's website. Cost is $5. You can then schedule programs to be recorded using Digital Entertainer Software.

    Microsoft Windows Media Center has "Extender" capability. It did not recognize EVA8000 as a media extender.

    I would have loved to see EVA8000 and windows media center work together. That does not seem to be the case.

    Also read product review at http://reviews.cnet.com/Netgear_EVA8000_Digital_Entertainer_HD/4505-6739_7-32331171.html?tag=srch_1_3

    You can get latest weather information with EVA8000.

    If you are playing an .avi file and you want to skip it and go to the next one, there seems to be no way to skip the file. You can only fast forward it.

    You can enjoy music, video and photos sitting on the sofa in your family room. You are no longer tied next to your PC.

    ...more info
  • Not ready for Prime Time
    This product needs some software and firmware upgrades to make it a viable media center. Specifically the UI structure still seems to be in Beta mode. Setup was painless (altho if you are VISTA OS make sure you upgrade the firmware), Internet Radio worked well and playing AVI & WMV files worked well, it could not find my iTunes playlists either. But the biggest bust is the confused state of the UI which makes this product unusable (especially for VOB files). Tech Support was from abroad and was awful, they're not familiar with the product and the techy was shooting from the hip.
    Looks like i'm going back to my XBOX360 as my media center....more info