Linksys, D-Link Unveil Media Players

Linksys and D-Link both announced ahead of Tuesday’s start of CES 2005 new wireless media players that will allow consumers to play and stream multimedia through their home entertainment systems. However, D-Link’s offering will be the first player to support Windows Connect Now, a proprietary version of DTCP-IP.

D-Link’s media player will have the capability to play DVD and CD-Rs, as well as be able to read flash cards through included drives on the unit. Linksys’ device, on the other hand, can only be used for media that is stored on the host computer.

“We are pleased to be working with D-Link on the introduction of the streaming wireless media player with DVD and flash card reader that supports Windows Connect Now,” said Erin Cullen Harris, group product manager for the Windows Digital Media Division at Microsoft.

Linksys partnered with Intel for its wireless media player, which includes support for DTCP-IP (Digital Transmission Content Protection over IP). As opposed to Windows Connect Now, DTCP-IP is an industry standard for moving internet content from PC to other devices on a home network.

Malachy Moynihan, Linksys vice president says that support for this standard was important to the product’s future success. “Without a standard for home network content protection, it will be difficult for consumers to build the networks they need to move Internet-based protected content from the PC into the living room.”

Both devices are expected to be available in retail stores later this year.