RealTime IT News

AOL, D-Link Tune in Customers

Looking to expand digital home entertainment, America Online and D-Link have introduced an offering using D-Link's MediaLounge DSM-320 media component and Radio@AOL.

"We've worked with AOL in the past on some minor deals, but this is the first time we are actually delivering content for them," Darek Connole, a D-Link spokesman, told internetnews.com.

For D-Link, which specializes in gear for wireless home networks, partnering with the Internet arm of media giant Time Warner provides it with a long list of potential customers for the new product and a large trove of music. Radio@AOL offers music, news and sports. The service also has a playlist of over 150,000 songs spanning 16 genres of music.

The MediaLounge, which also streams digital music, photo and video files from any PC on the network (via wired or wireless connection) to the TV or stereo, will be sold online and by national retailers for approximately $200.

AOL, meanwhile, can use the partnership as an added selling point to move its dial-up customers to its more expensive broadband service.

The alliance is the latest in the field of digital home entertainment, which is growing because of the increased number of broadband connections, wireless technologies and new content services.

Larger IT and electronics firms, including Dell , Intel , Microsoft , HP and Sony, have invested in products that touch some part of the space.

Though a lot of progress has been made, experts say challenges remain concerning security, interoperability and connectivity, and digital rights.

AOL broadband subscribers who buy D-Link's MediaLounge DSM-320 receive unlimited access to Radio@AOL, a service offering 175 programmed stations.

Non-members receive the full service free until Sept. 30, after which they can subscribe to AOL broadband for $14.95 per month or pay a monthly fee for Radio@AOL, AOL spokeswoman Adele Gambardella said. The cost of the service for nonmembers will be set in the next few weeks.