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New HP "digital media receiver" connects your PC to a TV

Written by Rich Fiscus (Google+) @ 17 Jun 2008 21:27 User comments (13)

New HP "digital media receiver" connects your PC to a TV HP has expanded their MediaSmart product line with the addition of a new product called the Connect digital media receiver. Right now it's available for pre-order from Amazon.com, Best Buy, Circuit City, and NewEgg.
It isn't a receiver in the traditional sense of a home theater receiver. What a home theater receiver does for your DVD player and perhaps a cable or satellite receiver, the MediaSmart Connect does for your PC. It features standard high definition A/V outputs like HDMI and component video, allowing it to be hooked up directly to a HDTV, but gets its input from a home network.

Paired with either a computer running Windows Vista Home Premium or Ultimate it can act as a Media Center Extender. If you have Windows XP or any type of storage device with UPnP (Universal Plug and Play) support, including the HP MediaSmart Home Server, you can use the built-in MediaSmart interface instead to take advantage of your network storage.

The most interesting feature of the MediaSmart Connect is its built-in support fo CinemaNow, which offers movies for rental via download. It can also stream internet radio from Live365.

The Connect can stream a number of video formats across your home network, including MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MP@ML, MPEG-2 MP@HL, MPEG-4 ASP,WMV, WMV-HD, DVR-MS, and H.264. It's also DivX Certified.

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13 user comments

117.6.2008 22:25

cool, my old computer does the same thing!

217.6.2008 22:27

thats what my ps3 is for, and sometimes i play games on it.

317.6.2008 23:10

Quote:
tThe most interesting feature of the MediaSmart Connect is its built-in support fo CinemaNow, which offers movies for rental via download.
Ahh, therein is the rub. They eventually want to LOCK you out and force you to download their own crapware/pixellated movies. Someone should tell these incompetent boobs that they're about 10 years too late! We already HAVE every movie we could possibly want, be it Divx, H264, x264, Blu-Ray rip, Xvid, etc. And we do it quite effciently using Torrent, emule, usenet, what have you.

Just finished downloading Return of the King at about 23 gigs..and since 500 gigs now are like 70 bucks...I think I'll buy another one! Then I'll stream it to my HDTV using...GASP..a component cable I bought for 8 bucks!

HaHa! /Nelson

418.6.2008 1:28

Ill maker sure not to buy this...

518.6.2008 2:14

It is the far-flung year of...(musical sting and echo effect)...2011!
I attend a garage sale and right next to the ColecoVision and PC Jr, there it is: the HP box that, with CinemaNow and Netflix's help, brought the Internet down.

Flash forward now, to 2015:
The box is strewn across landfills from sea to sea, toxic chemicals leaching from its capacitors.

Oh, brave new world, that has such crapples in it.

618.6.2008 13:42

Can't you just use a long cable to hook up pc to tv and use a wireless mouse?

718.6.2008 21:13

This is actually a step in the right direction IMHO. These are designed to work with their MediaSmart servers (which I own the 1 TB version and have upgraded to 2 TB). Stream media to any room with one from a central location. If the price point were around $200, this might be worth it.
Yes, a computer and server could do the same thing. But having a computer with HDMI means you have a new computer or have upgraded your graphics card. Connecting your computer through any other connection is not the same. (And a component cable only goes to 1080i).
Yes, a PS3 will do most of this too. Also, the PS3 works perfectly with the MediaSmart server. Know this one personally. The PS3 is $400 though.
As far as the Cinemanow feature, I could care less too. They just want to say that it's compatible as a selling point. Pulling a movie from the server is more useful, as downloading movies becomes easier, and the optcal disc makes its exit.
A full computer system would be better, but if this were much cheaper, then it could be a good alternative.

818.6.2008 22:35

I have my HTPC hooked up through the standard VGA connection and directly connected to my home theater. Looks good enough to me. Another worthless piece of equipment that no tech savy person will ever buy.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 18 Jun 2008 @ 22:40

919.6.2008 12:14

My Popcorn Hour takes care off all that stuff. Plays all HD content I've thrown at it. Just doesn't have wireless integrated :-( But it was only $175, whereas the HP device is $350. I'll stick with the popcorn :-P

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 19 Jun 2008 @ 12:34

1019.6.2008 17:31

Originally posted by sgriesch:
But having a computer with HDMI means you have a new computer or have upgraded your graphics card. Connecting your computer through any other connection is not the same.

what about a dvi to hdmi cable?

1119.6.2008 19:00

Quote:
Originally posted by sgriesch:
But having a computer with HDMI means you have a new computer or have upgraded your graphics card. Connecting your computer through any other connection is not the same.

what about a dvi to hdmi cable?

That only does video. Otherwise, just use a DVI input (if you have one). And yes the DVI is not as new as the HDMI, so the graphics card/computer could be a little older.
Still, the price point needs to be low for this thing to fly. If it is $350 as suggested earlier, it's probably going to sink. Just buy a new computer. It's more useful.

1219.6.2008 19:19

Quote:
Quote:
Originally posted by sgriesch:
But having a computer with HDMI means you have a new computer or have upgraded your graphics card. Connecting your computer through any other connection is not the same.

what about a dvi to hdmi cable?

That only does video. Otherwise, just use a DVI input (if you have one). And yes the DVI is not as new as the HDMI, so the graphics card/computer could be a little older.
Still, the price point needs to be low for this thing to fly. If it is $350 as suggested earlier, it's probably going to sink. Just buy a new computer. It's more useful.
Well, I received a promotion email from newegg for this device and it was $350, or $345. I deleted the email though :-P

1319.6.2008 23:30

Quote:
Quote:

That only does video. Otherwise, just use a DVI input (if you have one). And yes the DVI is not as new as the HDMI, so the graphics card/computer could be a little older.
Still, the price point needs to be low for this thing to fly. If it is $350 as suggested earlier, it's probably going to sink. Just buy a new computer. It's more useful.
Well, I received a promotion email from newegg for this device and it was $350, or $345. I deleted the email though :-P

That's ok. At least it gives all of us a good idea of the cost. If that's really it, then IMHO it is a little pricy for what it does. I do like their MediaSmart Server, though. It works well, and it was easy to install and use.

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