The market for the toaster-sized, desktop-seated home storage network device appears to be heating up.
Competing with similar recent releases from Seagate Technology, Cisco Systems, Rebit and several other companies, Netgear on July 12 announced that it has upgraded its ReadyNAS storage line to include the capacity and compatible software to store and stream high-definition video created by TiVo.
If you're into saving a lot of broadcast and cable TV content and have been frustrated by capacity limitations on a TiVo device, this may be an option to consider. The ReadyNAS Ultra networked-attached storage drive can stream HD video to any TiVo box in a house or small office and provide terabytes of storage space, the company said.
This upgraded network streaming technology is provide by Skifta, a developer of software that enables digital media to be obtained from anywhere over a network.
Netgear, which built its reputation making networking hardware and software for small and midsize businesses and home users, is refocusing itself on the "prosumer" market, said Drew Meyer, Netgear's director of storage marketing.
"We're re-establishing ourselves in the prosumer space," Meyer said. "In recent years, we've been more focused on the SMB commercial market. With the ReadyNAS Ultra, we're focused on the prosumer geeks who have complicated home entertainment systems."
The ReadyNAS devices come in two-, four- and six-bay options with each bay being capable of holding a 1TB or 2TB drive. They also will be able to handle 3TB drives when those become available later in 2010, Netgear said.
The units come with Intel processors-a choice of dual-core Pentium, dual-core Atom and single-core Atom-which come in different configurations. They use Orb software to access remote content and Netgear's client for remote navigation, DLNA streaming and media serving. The features list is topped off with Netgear's X-RAID for redundancy and overall capacity control.
Users can buy as many hard drives as their budgets allow. The ReadyNAS Ultra 6 six-bay]device without drives retails for $899; with three 2TB drives, the price becomes $1,349. The Ultra 4 four-bay machine costs $599 by itself and $800 with two 2TB drives.
Shipments of the ReadyNAS Ultra6 and Ultra4 start this week, and they are available now for preorder on Amazon.com.
The Ultra2 will begin shipping in October, the company said. Pricing was not disclosed.