Western Digital Now Does Networking Gear, Intros the 200Mbps WD Livewire Powerline AV Network Kit


wd livewire powerline av network kitLooks like Western Digital is treading in new waters. The company has just introduced the WD Livewire Powerline AV Network Kit (MSRP $139.99) based on HomePlug AV, a first for the company. The device allows users to connect their network capable TVs, Blu-ray players, game consoles, media streamers, etc. to a 4-port Ethernet adapter which pairs with another 4-port Ethernet adapter connected to your router via your home’s powerlines. While that may sound complicated, it’s really not… and it’s a cinch to setup. What’s more, once you have everything in place, you’ll have secure 200Mbps connection capable of handling multiple 1080p video streams.

WD® LIVEWIRE™ POWERLINE AV NETWORK KIT GIVES CONSUMERS INSTANT 200 MBPS HIGH-SPEED NETWORK CONNECTIONS ANYWHERE IN THE HOME

Plug-and-play Device Uses Existing Electrical Outlets to Stream HD Video to the Connected Home Theater

LAKE FOREST, Calif. – Aug. 24, 2010 – WD® (NYSE: WDC), the world’s leader in external storage solutions, today introduced its new WD Livewire™ Powerline AV Network Kit (photo), a HomePlug® AV compatible solution that enables consumers to use their existing electrical outlets to extend secure and reliable high-speed Internet connections throughout the home. Complementing the WD TV® line of media players, the WD Livewire Powerline AV Network Kit enables consumers to easily and affordably deliver HD video streams to the home theater, transfer large files or play multi-player online games, all without running network cables around the home. With four ports on each of two adapters included in the kit, the WD Livewire Powerline AV Network Kit offers users the ability to connect their router and up to seven additional devices to their high-speed network.

According to research from Parks Associates, an increasing number of consumers own connected devices such as HDTVs, Blu-ray Disc™ players, game consoles and digital media players such as the WD TV Live Plus HD media player (Home Networks for Consumer Electronics 2009). By the end of 2010, Parks Associates forecasts consumers will own 111 million of these devices, with 37 million Internet-capable devices in the U.S. alone, but “connecting” them can be challenging and costly. In a recent Parks Associates survey, 42 percent of respondents unwilling to connect their TVs to the Internet indicated that either their router was too far from the device or it would be too complicated to set up or both (Digital Media Evolution II 2010).

Featuring HomePlug AV technology, the WD Livewire Powerline AV Network Kit provides users with data transfer speeds up to 200 megabits per second (Mbps), enabling glitch-free playback of Full-HD 1080p video streams on up to seven connected devices. Setup is as easy as plugging in a lamp. Consumers do not need to undertake home improvement projects to route new wiring between rooms. They simply plug one of the two adapters in the kit into their router and an electrical outlet then plug the other adapter into another outlet where they need access to wired network connections. Users can stream video to four connected devices in the home theater and also gain an additional three network ports by their router.

For an integrated entertainment solution, users can store digital media on WD’s My Book® World Edition™ home network drive and stream photos, music and HD video via the WD Livewire Powerline AV Network Kit to one of the WD TV line of media players or other DLNA®-compliant devices located throughout the home.

“Consumers are accumulating an increasing number of Internet-capable connected TVs, video game consoles and media players providing access to exciting online content through services such as Netflix®, YouTube™ and Pandora®,” said Dale Pistilli, vice president of marketing for WD’s branded products group. “Wireless networks, while popular, don’t always deliver the reliable high-speed connections needed to sustain HD video streaming. Meanwhile, drilling holes for new Ethernet cables is complicated, expensive and messy. With the WD Livewire Powerline AV Network Kit, it’s truly easy to enjoy all the HD streaming and broadband Internet capabilities of these great new devices anywhere there is an electrical outlet.”

WD Livewire Powerline AV Network Kit features:

  • Easy set-up and instant network expansion anywhere in the home;
  • Two 4-port HomePlug AV adapters;
  • Two Ethernet cables;
  • Two power cables;
  • Quick install guide;
  • CD with WD Livewire utility software;
  • Warranty and support guide; and,
  • A 1-year limited warranty.

Compatibility

The WD Livewire Powerline AV Network Kit is HomePlug AV certified and is IEEE 802.3 and IEEE 802.3u compliant. The kit requires an Ethernet router and AC power outlets.

Price and Availability
The new WD Livewire Powerline AV Network Kit has a 1-year limited warranty and is available now at select retailers and online at wdstore.com. MSRP is $139.99 USD.

About WD
WD, one of the storage industry’s pioneers and long-time leaders, provides products and services for people and organizations that collect, manage and use digital information. The company designs and produces reliable, high-performance hard drives and solid state drives that keep users’ data accessible and secure from loss. Its advanced technologies are configured into applications for client and enterprise computing, embedded systems and consumer electronics, as well as its own consumer storage and media products. WD was founded in 1970. The company’s storage products are marketed to leading OEMs, systems manufacturers, selected resellers and retailers under the Western Digital® and WD brand names. Visit the Investor section of the company’s website (www.wdc.com ) to access a variety of financial and investor information.




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