Netgear Intros Powerline Music Streaming From Smartphones and Tablets

Netgear has introduced the Powerline Music Extender, which uses powerline technology to stream music from a smartphone or a tablet to any room in the home with an electrical outlet, the company said on Wednesday.

The Powerline Music Extender is compatible with Apple's iPad and iPhone and with Android-based tablets and smartphones. Music can also be streamed from Macs and PCs, according to Netgear.

For Macs, iPhones and iPads, the extender uses the Airplay function to stream music stored on the device or from services such as Pandora, Spotify and Deezer or Internet radio stations. Owners of Android-based devices and PCs have to download a separate app to stream music stored on their device. PCs can also stream Internet radio and music from Pandora, Spotify or Deezer apps.

Users should just be able to choose the music they want to hear from their smartphone, tablet or PC and play it by selecting remote speakers connected to the Powerline Music Extender, Netgear said.

The system consists of a unit that is attached to a power outlet and connected to a wireless router using an ethernet cable. The wireless router communicates with the devices that stream the music. A second unit is located in the room with the stereo, and then connected to it using a cable. Any type of audio system is supported on the receiving side as long as it has RCA, 3.5mm mini jack or USB connectors.

Both units have a pass-through power outlet so other electrical devices can share the same outlet.

The Netgear Powerline Music Extender will be available worldwide in October 2012. A starter kit with both units costs from US$139, while owners of an existing Netgear powerline network can buy the audio unit alone for $99.

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