Hewlett-Packard's line ofincludes the built-in ability to stream digital media from your home network and the Internet straight to their screens. But for the vast majority of us who don't own an HP TV, the company will soon have a second option: the MediaSmart Connect. The little black box connects to your home network (via its built-in 802.11n Wi-Fi or wired Ethernet) and streams a wide variety of digital audio, photo, and video files--including content from compatible Internet services (including Live365, Vongo, CinemaNow, and MovieLink).
The MediaSmart Connect should be able to pull digital files from any UPnP and DLNA compliant storage devices on your home network--beyond standard Windows PCs, that includes network attached storage devices such as HP's own
The MediaSmart Connect will be available later this summer for $349, and is now available for preorder. (If it looks familiar, it's because HP has been teasing us with it since January's trade-in program where 100 people can exchange their old digital media adapter for the MediaSmart Connect. The company is also teaming with Microsoft to offer a series of four online "webinars" to demonstrate the product's features over the next few weeks. Feel free to check them out, but don't be surprised if you're just getting an infomercial for the product in question..) It'll include a learning remote that can control up to four other devices, an HDMI cable, and a $20 CinemaNow coupon. To drum up publicity for the product's launch, HP is offering a
We'll be doing a detailed hands-on review of the MediaSmart Connect once we get a final production sample in July. (Also on deck: the similar