Holiday Buyer's Guide 2007, Part 2

HP MediaSmart TV

By Sina Mohammadi

In this brave new age of digital media, most of us store thousands of photos, music files, and videos on our PCs. Accessing them from the comfort and convenience of our living room couches, without the hassle of a pesky mouse-and-keyboard duo, probably seems like a pretty good idea. Simply put, HP's new MediaSmart TV allows that, and more.

The MediaSmart TV incorporates a high-definition 1080p LCD display with built-in Wi-Fi 802.11 a/ b/g/n and Ethernet, so it can connect directly to your home network. This unit lets users access and stream their music, photos, and videos from various PCs on a home network to its LCD display and built-in speakers. Users can navigate easily through their media with the MediaSmart remote control and its simple user interface. Lucky MediaSmart owners can also listen to live radio, create and share photos, and access thousands of videos directly from the Internet using MediaSmart online services.

HP offers its own set of customized media controls for the MediaSmart TV.

The MediaSmart TV's list of supported formats for digital audio, video, and photos is quite extensive and won't disappoint even its most tech-savvy recipient. The TV sports a sizable array of typical A/V inputs, plus three HDMI inputs, thereby delivering flexibile options for current connectivity and future expansion.

HP offers the MediaSmart TV in two models: a 42" unit for $1899, and a 47" model for $2399. This places what is approximately a $400 premium over bare LCD models, and may seem a bit steep for a device with neither onboard storage nor processing abilities. Alas, convenience comes at a cost, and HP's MediaSmart TV is no exception. If the higher price is not a dealbreaker, those in the market for a premium LCD HDTV with media-center-like features, the HP MediaSmart TV is a good choice and comes with our recommendation.

Ed Tittel

Ed Tittel is a long-time IT writer, researcher and consultant, and occasional contributor to Tom’s Hardware. A Windows Insider MVP since 2018, he likes to cover OS-related driver, troubleshooting, and security topics.