Google may currently have the lion's share of the HDMI streaming audience with Chromecast, but Netgear wants to provide smaller players with an alternative. Its new Miracast-enabled NTV300D NeoMediacast dongle is not only a streaming device but a complete platform that will let service providers deliver the content that their consumers want.
In terms of hardware, the NeoMediacast sounds just like about any other Chromecast contender out there. The HDMI dongle form factor keeps space footprint at a minimum. It connects to HDTVs via the HDMI port and is powered through a USB cable. This particular device uses Miracast for streaming content from mobile devices that support the standard. But there is also a microSD card slot for direct storage and support for USB OTG for attaching an external drive.
What makes the NeoMediacast different is Netgear's promise of a full platform. According to Netgear, the device supports the Android SDK from Android 4.2 and later. This means that service providers can leverage their existing Android apps for the big screen as well. Of course, they can also write their own apps around their content stores. The NTV300D also has support for DRM, so service providers can rest assured about the safety of their content.
As you can probably surmise, the Netgear NTV300D NeoMediacast dongle isn't actually targeted at end users, unlike other options currently out there. Instead, Netgear will be selling this to service providers, starting sometime during the first half of this year, who will then sell or rent these dongles under their own brands.