This summer HP is launching a brand new Extender for Windows Media Center device - the HP MediaSmart Connect. The HP MediaSmart Connect will let you wirelessly stream your Windows Media Center experience including content such as Live TV, Recorded TV Shows, Music, Photos and Videos to any TV in your home using your wireless or wired home network. And I've got some information below on how you can attend online webinars put on by HP and Microsoft giving you a first-hand look at the HP MediaSmart Connect! Read on...
Extenders for Windows Media Center are devices that are designed to "extend" the Windows Media Center experience from a centralized Windows Media Center PC running Windows Vista Home Premium or Windows Vista Ultimate to any room in your home with a TV using a personal home network.
The HP MediaSmart Connect packs quite a punch. You can stream recorded or live HD content from your PC to your TV as well as take advantage of Windows Media Center's Internet TV Beta - which I blogged about here a few months ago. With Internet TV Beta - you can watch movie clips, movie trailers and even music videos such as Weezer's brand new single "Pork and Beans" (a personal favorite!). The HP MediaSmart Connect is also capable of searching all the PCs on your home network and creating a single list for all digital media such as photos, music, and videos and as well as access to great entertainment from services like CinemaNow, Snapfish and Live365. There is much more to the HP MediaSmart Connect but I'll save the rest for a later post!
I'm personally very excited to get my hands on the HP MediaSmart Connect myself because I have a Windows Vista PC that serves as my digital media hub in my living room using Windows Media Center that is connected to my HDTV. However with the HP MediaSmart Connect - I can now "extend" my digital media I have on this centralized Windows Media Center PC to any room in my house such as the master bedroom. I'll be able to stream recorded HD TV shows such as Discovery Channel's When We Left Earth series to my bedroom for late-night-geeking-out to stunning video of NASA's early missions. And the form factor is perfect for sitting right next to my TV (whisper quiet - no fans!) in the bedroom.
To celebrate the launch of the HP MediaSmart Connect - HP and Microsoft are putting on 4 webinars this summer to demonstrate the capabilities of the HP MediaSmart Connect. HP's Director of Marketing for their Connected Entertainment group Brian Burch will be headlining the demos along with industry experts who will share their own experiences during the webinars.
And I of course will be attending the webinars myself as well! Click here to register for the webinar you would like to attend!
I will also be talking about the HP MediaSmart Connect here on the Windows Experience Blog in the coming weeks as well. Stay tuned!
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I'm a huge fan of Media Center. I also consider myself to be an early adopter. I've always admired what the MCE Extender concept represented, but I've despised all of it's past iterations.
I'll admit that this version is 100x closer to what it should be. But, I'm left scratching my head wondering why this HP device includes all the great network connectivity I've been longing for but includes a port for their plug & play HD's?? Doesn't that defeat the purpose of all that network connectivity? Doesn't that feature defeat the main concept of the device by 'Extending' your network/MCE?
If it performs, I think this is would be a great device but I wish there was a cheaper version without the portable HP HD port.