Aside from serving as a repository for files and backups, the HP Media Vault can also stream media files to other PCs in your household or to any UPnP-compliant digital media adapter. For example, you could stream music to a stereo and videos and movies to your TV simultaneously. As mentioned above, only certain file types can be streamed. The CinemaNow folder comes preloaded with a full-length version of The Bourne Identity, and Media Vault customers receive a username and password to access CinemaNow to download two additional free movies. The Media Vault isn't tied to CinemaNow for movies either. You can purchase downloadable movies from any site that offers them, then store them here, as well.
Even with all of these features, the Media Vault wouldn't be as compelling a product if it were slow. Happily, it's not. In fact, the Media Vault is quite a speed demon at both reading and writing. In the CNET Labs' tests, it averaged 15 minutes, 12 seconds to write a 5GB folder of mixed file types from the PC to the Media Vault. It read the same folder back in 13 minutes, 25 seconds. None of the other NAS units we've tested beat the Media Vault's read or write times.
HP backs the Media Vault with a standard one-year warranty. Toll-free tech support is available 24/7, as is online chat with a technician. You can also e-mail queries to tech support. HP's site provides FAQs/knowledgebase, software download, and user guides.
(Shorter bars indicate faster performance)
|5GB read test||5GB write test|
Note: **Tested in RAID 5 mode