HP abandons Windows Home Server for webOS
Microsoft was dealt a hit late Tuesday as HP confirmed that it was dropping Windows Home Server. The company will phase out its MediaSmart home servers at the end of 2010 and will switch to Palm's webOS for future devices. Microsoft was adamant that the exit had nothing to do with the upcoming Vail update dropping Drive Extender.
HP outs free app that ties TiVo DVR, MediaSmarts
HP on Wednesday has released a MediaSmart Expander for TiVo application that will give TiVo DVRs the ability to transfer recorded TV content to and from HP MediaSmart Servers, freeing up storage capacity on the DVR. The free application will also let users manage the recordings stored on the server and stream the content to any connected compatible devices, including PCs, Macs and gaming consoles.
HP outs MediaSmart server 3.0 software update
HP is about to finally release a software upgrade for its EX470-and EX480-series MediaSmart servers, after numerous delays. The optional upgrade, v3.0, will most notably bring with it server administration capability for Macs and faster image level backup and recovery for the computers from Apple. It is applicable to EX470, EX475, EX485 and EX487 MediaSmart servers, though HP does not recommend owners of the EX470 and EX475 to install this software unless they have upgraded them to at least 1GB of RAM. Some new features may break if this is not done.
HP EX490 and EX495 Home Servers
In amidst its launches today, HP updated its MediaSmart Server line with an unusually strong emphasis on Mac support. Even as they're based on Windows Home Server, the EX490 and EX495 both can be administrated over the network using the current version of Microsoft's Remote Desktop Client for Mac. They can also be used directly to recover a Mac from a Time Machine backup created on the server and have a new media aggregator that automatically pools content from Macs and Windows PCs based on the media type, the individual computer or a given folder.
Acer Aspire easyStore
Acer on Thursday contributed its own more frugal entry into the home server space within the US through the Aspire easyStore Home Server AH340. Similar to HP's MediaSmart LX195, the easyStore runs on a 1.6GHz Atom to manage traffic to and from the server without the cost overhead of other processors. Acer's larger design, however, affords it four 3.5-inch drive bays that can take as much as 8TB of storage if completely filled.
HP MediaSmart LX195
HP tonight officially unwrapped a key update to its MediaSmart Servers in the LX195. The new version of the Windows Home Server is more compact and power-efficient than earlier models by dropping the existing AMD Sempron and Intel Celeron processors in favor of a 1.6GHz Atom and by removing interior expansion: a single 640GB drive provides storage, with 4 USB ports on the back allowing for more space through external disks. It's also the first MediaSmart Server to support Time Machine backups over the network on Mac OS X in addition to Windows Home Server backups.
HP MediaSmart servers
HP is on the verge of updating the look and capacities of its MediaSmart series of home servers, and photos of the LX190 model have leaked online to confirm the move. While hard specs are still not available, the photos reveal the new model has four USB ports and a 1-gigabit Ethernet port on its rear panel, while the front has three indicator lights and what is most likely to be a recessed Server Recovery button.
HP TouchSmart tx2
HP today became the first PC maker to incorporate a multi-touch display in a home-focused notebook with the TouchSmart tx2. Stylistically similar to the tx2500 series convertible tablets, the new model now accepts two-finger gestures to pinch, rotate and otherwise control media both in the MediaSmart front-end (which also makes its first notebook appearance) and in general apps such as the Office suite. Users can drag objects or flick to scroll quickly, and still have the option of falling back to a stylus for handwriting or more precise actions.
HP quits HDTV production
A Monday report has HP exiting its MediaSmart LCD TV business by phasing out and stopping sales of its MediaSmart HDTV line-up. The company will instead focus on its MediaSmart Connect digital media receivers that connects to users' existing HDTVs and enables them to browse the net, view photos or movies or perform any other functions via their PCs.
HP MediaSmart Connect
HP on Tuesday unveiled the MediaSmart Connect, a new digital media receiver that can obtain images, music, and movie files from a home network to display on an HDTV. The piano black-finished device also includes connectivity with online media services like Snapfish, CinemaNow, Live365, and several others, as well as Windows Media Center Extender functionality. HP is expected to sell the MediaSmart Connect unit for $350, and will be available later on this year.
HP offers direct YouTube
HP on Tuesday announced a partnership with YouTube that will enable users of the company's HP MediaSmart connected entertainment products to view YouTube videos on their TVs, using nothing but a remote control. The company's MediaSmart products already make accessing digital media content from networked home PCs simple with one menu. In a similar fashion as Apple TV, the new alliance will bring full-screen YouTube videos to users' living rooms, requiring them only to log in to their YouTube accounts via the keyboard-less MediaSmart interface.
HP MediaSmart Win Media
HP this morning extended the life of its MediaSmart TVs with a firmware update that adds a Windows Media Center Extender function. The LCD sets purportedly become the first TVs to add the Microsoft feature without an external hub and can now play music, videos, and other content from Windows Media PCs on a home Wi-Fi network. This includes the most recent Internet TV beta features and protected content from MovieLink and other services.
HP MediaSmart and Vaults
HP wrapped up its primary batch of CES announcements with an upgrade to its MediaSmart HDTV equipment and MediaVaults. The HDTVs themselves now feature a refreshed look and 1080p resolution with every model as well as 802.11n wireless that ensures streaming even high-resolution video across a local network, including CinemaNow movie rentals. Its universal remote also controls as many as four different devices. The sets each bring three HDMI inputs and should be available in the spring, though HP has not supplied prices.