HP Debuts Mac-Savvy MediaSmart Servers

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Hewlett-Packard hasn’t been pushing its home servers lately, but the company is looking to get back on the radar with its new HP MediaSmart Server ex485/ex487, which can act as a central repository for a household’s worth of photos, music, and movies and serve as a centralized backup store. And, what’s more, the new versions can be used to back up Macs running Mac OS X Leopard’s integrated Time Machine backup software.

“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 HP’s Worldwide Attach Group’s VP of strategy Jason Zajac, in a statement. “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 MediaSmart servers run Windows Home Server edition, and sport a 2 GHz Intel Celeron processor running in 64-bit mode and 2 GB of RAM standard. The system can back up networked PCs via Windows Home Server backup software and act as a repository for Mac OS X Leopard’s integrated Time Machine backup system—and there’s potentially plenty of space for backups since the servers can accommodate up to 9 TB of storage. The systems can also connect to Amazon S3’s online backup service for offsite backup as additional security.

On the media front, the MediaSmart servers can act as a centralized iTunes repository on a network, push images and music to any Internet-connected PC or Mac…and, of course, push Windows Media-protected content to televisions or PCs. The systems also connect up with HP Photo Publisher (so users can easily upload images to Facebook, Picasa, and Snapfish) and enables easy photo sharing with friends and family.

The HP MediaSmart Server ex485 starts at $599 for 750 GB of storage, while the HP MediaSmart Server ex487 with 1.5 TB of storage starts at $749; pre-orders will open up January 5, 2009, and units should begin shipping in February.

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