Digital media consumption is growing rapidly thanks to the low cost and easy to use digital cameras and camcorders available today. Many people are now making home movies in digital formats that can easily be shared online and stored on the computer.
The biggest drawback of the move to digital content is that the media has to be backed up and places higher demands on storage systems. Sharing the digital media around a home network can also be difficult for the less tech savvy.
To meet the backup needs for consumers who feast on a glut of digital content, HP has introduced a pair of new home media servers called the HP MediaSmart ex485 and ex487. The two devices share many of the same features and both use an Intel Celeron 2GHz CPU and 2GB of DDR2 RAM.
Other features include HP specific applications that make managing and sharing digital content easier. Bundles software includes HP Media collector to copy and centralize digital files from across the network, media streaming to stream photos and music to network computers, iTunes server to share music libraries, and HP photo view and Photo Publisher services among others.
The home servers also act as a central backup device for networked computers and are compatible with Apple Time Machine and Windows Home Server Backup. Both systems can be upgraded with up to 9TB of storage.
HP's Jason Zajac said in a statement, "A growing number of digital-savvy households have both Windows and Mac computers, with hundreds and sometimes thousands of media files and documents scattered across these devices. The HP MediaSmart Server protects, stores and organizes this content from anywhere on a network so consumers can access and share it any place they are connected."
Both the ex485 and the ex487 are slated for retail availability in February and pre-orders will begin on January 5, 2009. Pricing will be $599 for the 750GB ex485 with the 1.5TB ex487 retailing for $749.
HP also recently introduced its first iPhone App for wireless photo printing.