HP announces ex487 MediaSmart home server

HP's Mediasmart servers: too pretty to hide in a cupboard
HP's Mediasmart servers: too pretty to hide in a cupboard

What better way to start a new year than with a clean slate? About 1.5TB of clean slate to be precise.

HP has launched a new Mediasmart Home Server available in 750GB and 1.5TB flavours, and compatible with both PCs and Macs.

The flagship ex487 product automatically organizes files across all computers, streams media across a home network and the internet, and publishes photos to common social networking and photo sharing sites.

The Intel® Celeron-powered server has a 2GHz 64-bit chip, 2GB RAM and a host of pre-loaded software.

Media savvy

These include HP Media Collector to schedule automatic duplication of content from networked PCs, streaming software, an iTunes Server and HP Photo Publisher to upload snaps to Facebook, Picasa and HP's own Snapfish service.

The ex487 will automatically back up PCs using Windows Home Server and Macs (running Leopard) using Apple Time Machine. It will even duplicates designated folders to Amazon's S3 online backup service for an additional layer of protection.

"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," said Jason Zajac, HP Vice president.

"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."

The Home Server's smart power management can schedule times for it to sleep or wake-up, saving you a few pennies on electricity, too.

The 1.5TB ex487 will sell for $750 (£520), or you can save a little by buying the 750GB ex485 for $600 (£415), when they become available for pre-order on January 5. The first 200 customers pre-ordering online quoting coupon code AC5674 will get an extra fifty bucks off.

Mark Harris is Senior Research Director at Gartner.