HP likes to hedge its bets. In addition to a couple of Windows Vista--and will go head-to-head with very similar models from and when it becomes available later this year.with built-in Media Center Extenders, the company is now offering a set-top box as well. Like the MediaSmart TVs, the MediaSmart Receiver x280N has the ability to stream a wide variety of video (including MPEG-2, DivX, WMV, WMV-HD, and H.264/MP4 files), audio (MP3, WMA, WMA-Pro, WAV, AAC/m4a), and images (JPEG, BMP, GIF, and PNG photos) from networked PCs to your living room TV via its wired Ethernet or wireless 802.11a/b/g/n connections. Local media playback is also available via plug-in USB drives or HP's own proprietary Pocket Media Drive (also found on many of the company's desktop PCs). The box boasts HDMI and component video output at HD resolutions up to 720p and 1080i. The MediaSmart Receiver x280N will connect easily to PCs running most flavors of
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