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HP MediaSmart EX485 and EX487 Announced

The new HP MediaSmart Server’s codenamed "Encore" have today been officially announced.

Using the same chassis as the original versions, “Encore” will be available in two configurations the two new models will be available in early February and will consist of the EX485 which comes with 1 x 750GB hard drive and 2GB of RAM and the EX487 comprising 2 x 750GB hard drives (1.5TB in total) and again 2GB of RAM. US pricing is $599 and $749 respectively whilst UK pricing and availability is still pending.

I have had the privilege of testing the EX487 extensively for the last month or so and must say I am really impressed. It’s good to see that HP took notice of consumer criticism and upped the RAM from the 512MB which came as standard in the EX470/EX475 to the 2GB in the new range which is more than enough to run the MediaSmart Server even whilst streaming and backing up at the same time.

The English dictionary definition to encore is:

"an extra or repeated performance; usually given in response to audience demand"

OR 

"a second achievement especially that surpasses the first"

And the new range of MediaSmart Server’s defiantly live up to both expectations. Extra performance is there courtesy of a Intel Celeron 2.0 GHZ 64-bit Processor and in response to consumer demand HP have packed in additional features on top of Windows Home Server and in addition to what was in the existing models.

So what’s new?

The HP MediaSmart Server now includes three types of streaming media servers which stream media from the HP MediaSmart Server to your devices:

Packet Video’s TwonkyMedia allows you to share your music, photos and videos to connected media receivers and mobile devices throughout your home like a XBOX 360 a Sony PSP and other Digital Media Receivers (DMR) including Generic Media Players, WinDVD, Windows Media Player, Archos, DirectTV DVR, generic Media or Music Receivers, HP MediaSmart TV, Roku SoundBridge, and generic DLNA 1.0/1.5 device’s to name a few.

Streaming Media Flow

The Web Media Streamer streams your media to the internet where you can access it via any computer with a web browser.

Web Interface

The Server for iTunes allows you to stream your music and playlists, even protected content to computers that are running iTunes or compatible devices.

Within the setup, a Media Collector provides the ability to copy your iTunes music library and playlists to your MediaSmart Server, centralizing your iTunes library for playback on any computer on your home network that runs the iTunes software.

The Media Collector also has the job of taking your media files from computers on your network and copying them to the HP MediaSmart Server and organizing them.The Media Collector continuously copies files allowing you to maintain a comprehensive library of music, photos, and videos in one location in your home.

You can also stream media to a television and/or stereo which is attached to a Digital Media Receiver.

Mac backup is now supported with Mac OS X 10.5 or later on the new HP MediaSmart Server. You can use Time Machine to back up a Mac to the HP and get easy access to the shared folders on the server using the Control Center.

Mac OSX

Accessible by clicking the desktop “HP MediaSmart Server” shortcut icon, the Control Center is a a panel which provides shortcuts to valuable resources and tasks within the MediaSmart Server.

Control Center

Online backup is now taken care off via a supplied add-in from HP which uses the services of Amazon S3 to save your selected important shares to a remote location on the Internet.

Amazon S3 Backup

As well as scheduling backups you can also do immediate online backups and also browse and restore your online files.

The HP Photo Publisher allows you to post photos which are stored on your server to the following photo sharing sites. HP’s snapfish, Yahoo’s flickr, Google’s Picasa Web Albums, the social networking site facebook and the internal generated MediaSmart PhotoViewer.

HP Photo Publisher

Uploading your photos is a simple 4-step process enabling friends and family to see your photos on the internet.

The HP Photo Viewer allows you to open, rename or delete an album as well as allowing you to view the albums in a Filmstrip or Slideshow view via a personal URL.

HP Photo Viewer

A Power Management screen within the console settings enables you to define a time period to let you put your MediaSmart Server into sleep mode thus saving power. The server will automatically wake up, either for a backup, from input from the Control Center, or by pressing a button on the server.

Power Management

US pre-orders will be available from the 5th of January from Amazon.com, BestBuy.com, Buy.com, Frys.com and NewEgg.com. Both models will be officially announced at both the International Consumer Electronic Show (CES 2009) in Las Vegas and Macworld in San Francisco. Availability is expected in early February.

What an amazing start to a New Year!

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Comments (9)

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  1. Ima DingBat says:

    I noticed that the screen shot of the Online Backup applet shows an instance of McAfee Total Protection Service in the left hand pane. Does McAfee indeed have a version of their product that is suitable for use in the WHS? I have been reluctant to use any antivirus or Internet security software that does not specifically state that it is intended for use with WHS, since I didn’t want to mess up the operating system. Can you advise on this issue as to which McAfee products are suitable for WHS use? Thanks very much.

  2. Hi Ima,
    McAfee Total Protection is only included with the HP MediaSmart Server’s and is not available as a download to other WHS users.
    Other security software which is specificly designed for WHS are avast! Windows Home Server Edition, F-Secure Home Server Security 2009 and BitDefender Total Security 2009.

  3. Cruzer says:

    My EX475 saved my bacon twice today! I did a fresh install on my wife’s laptop, and lost some of her files. No prob, I just loaded them from the last backup. Then I played around with my Media Center registry and completely killed it. No prob, 30 minutes later I had fully restored it to the last backup. I’m addicted to WHS!

  4. cj says:

    Will the Power Management & Time Machine features be provided to existing MediaSmart servers?

  5. English says:

    Great site, but please stop putting apostrophes where they are not required…

    “…including Generic Media Player’s, WinDVD, Windows Media Player, Archos, DirectTV DVR, generic Media or Music Receiver’s”

    There is no apostrophe in either “players” or “receivers” in this context!!!

  6. Hi English,
    My spelling was always bad in my English lessons – Corrected.

  7. Rafe says:

    Would love to update my 475 to support Macs at home using Time Machine. Will a software upgrade be available? Thanks.

  8. Ima DingBat says:

    Thanks for the reply Phillip. However, since McAfee obviously now makes a WHS product, can you tell us why it’s not available to the general WHS community? Does HP have some type of sweetheart deal with McAfee in this matter?

    I’d really like someone like you and this credible web site to put some pressure on McAfee to explain why the remainder of the WHS community are being left out in the cold on this new WHS product, especially since some of us have faithfully supported McAfee with our hard earned money by buying some of their other products in the past. The more I consider this HP/McAfee situation, the angrier I get. Thanks for anything you can do. Ima

  9. […] the end of the month, and year the end of the year and HP announce that the next generation of MediaSmart Server’s will include Mac backup, online backup and smart […]

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