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Quick Look: HP's MediaSmart EX495 Home Server

Additions To The EX48* And EX49*

Given the performance improvements between the EX48* and EX49* models, along with the software enhancements, we hope this adds credence to our earlier recommendation that would-be buyers jump into the latest generation.

FamilyItemExplanation
EX48*HP Video ConverterConverts video from MSS into formats suitable for mobile or home playback (supports all formats mentioned on preceding page)
Remote video streamingAdds Internet access to streaming media on the MSS server, including music and video
Photo and Music GUIAdds graphical thumbnails for albums, sort by artist, plus folder and playlist browsing capabilities. Prior issues with music playback failing after a few minutes now fixed.
Photo ViewerSimpler password protection and access controls on a per-album basis.
HP Photo PublisherPublish photos from server to sites including Picasa, Snapfish, flickr, and Facebook.
Single Sign-onRemote users need only log in once to the HP MSS, and the credentials remain available for the entire remote session.
Macintosh supportMajor addition to MSS software enables backup, streaming media, iTunes, and shared storage (including photo, video, and music shares via SMB).
EX49*Console RedesignEasier to use, individual features get their own left-hand tabs. Configuration pop-up dialogs now integrated with console elements rather than forcing transition to the Server Console Settings tab.
System Status tabQuick easy access to all health and status information in a single view.
Media sharing mgmtQuicker, easier access to and control over shares, for both remote and local users
HP Media CollectorRuns on clients to scan individual computers for media files (music, images, and video) to copy them to the server, with modest controls over operation and behavior.
HP Video Converter upgradeAdds support for profile-driven video conversion by selecting target device and or using manual settings. Output targets include iPod/Zune, PSP, iPhone, and HD720.
TwonkySignificant improvements to this media streaming app (3rd party, bundled by HP) include better remote access, browsing, and iStream support.
Macintosh supportBetter integration  of MSS features in MacOS via menubar item and quick access to feature shortcuts. Support for complete Mac hard disk recovery, including drive image restores and UFD boot drive creation. Media Collector now also supports MacOS.
MSS ConsoleSoftware feature in MSS console links to HP.com that lists available third-party add-ins to download.