updated 06:50 am EDT, Mon April 13, 2009
HP updates home servers
HP is prepping a software update for its MediaSmart home servers, adding video conversion and video streaming to iPhones. The free update works only with the recently introduced MediaSmart EX485 and EX487. A free app will be available through iTunes to support video streaming to the iPhone and iPod Touch.
The new video converter automatically transcodes non-protected video to H.264 format in two resolutions -- one for mobile devices and a higher resolution for home use. To avoid performance issues, the converter works in the background as a low-priority function. Video can be downloaded directly to a variety of mobile devices including the iPhone, iPod touch, Sony PSP and Microsoft Zune.
The HP iPhone app will allow users to access video streams, photos and music over the internet using 3G or WiFi networks. An HP executive says the MediaSmart can handle up to 5 simultaneous HD video streams "without issues" on a properly equipped network.
HP says it has also added several "ease of use" enhancements, including improved support for Apple's Time Machine, an updated Media Collector and the ability to create public and private albums in the Photo Viewer.
Introduced at Macworld in January, MediaSmart servers work with Windows and Mac systems, providing a central point for backup and storage on home networks. Equipped with a 750GB hard drive, the EX485 sells for $600. The 1.5TB EX487 sells for $750. The software update will be automatically delivered to existing users.