HP Upgrades the Digital Entertainment Experience with Industry’s First Integration of HDTVs and Media Center Extender

PALO ALTO, Calif., April 17, 2008 :-

HP today announced it is the first company to release Microsoft’s Media Center Extender capability to an Internet-connected TV.

With the capability, people using HP MediaSmart TVs not only get access to rich content from the Internet(1) but they also can enjoy their own digital treasures from their home PCs on a big screen high-definition TV (HDTV).

Extender for Windows® Media Center enables MediaSmart TV owners using PCs with Windows Vista™ Home Premium or Ultimate to go beyond simply watching TV to enjoy pictures, music, videos as well as a world of online services and on-demand TV.(2)

The capability will be included on all new HP MediaSmart TVs and provided automatically to owners of second-generation MediaSmart TVs. Extender for Windows Media Center also will be included in HP’s upcoming digital media receiver – the MediaSmart Connect – which is planned to be released later this year and will make any HDTV “MediaSmart.”

HP MediaSmart TVs combine 1,080p clarity and advanced wireless technology to provide a stunning, high-definition(3) LCD TV experience for viewing photos, listening to music or watching video on demand. MediaSmart TVs find digital media whether it is stored on a notebook across the room or a desktop in a home office(4) and brings it together in the MediaSmart TV interface for playback using a TV remote control.

Additionally, using HP’s MediaSmart interface, consumers can rent or purchase thousands of movies from CinemaNow, share and purchase photos from Snapfish, discover new Internet radio stations from Live365, or access personal content from multiple Windows XP or Windows Vista-based PCs or devices such as the HP MediaSmart Server or HP Media Vault.

“Consumers everywhere want new ways to discover, enjoy and share digital entertainment and HP is making this opportunity real,” said Carlos Montalvo, vice president of marketing and services, Connected Entertainment Business, HP. “With the ability to use a premium HDTV to easily access on-demand web and personal media from any PC in the home, there’s never been a more fun time to hang out in the living room with friends and family.”

Since Extender for Windows Media Center is built into HP MediaSmart TVs, there is no need to hook a PC up to the TV: The TV brings the content from Windows Media Center over a wired or wireless network directly to the screen. It also brings a bevy of new content from movie services such as Starz, Vongo and MovieLink and up-to-the-minute sports information from FOX Sports.

Windows Media Center also features the Internet TV Beta, which brings more than 100 hours of video from MSN, including new shows from providers such as: A&E, Bio, CNBC, DIY, Fine Living, Food Network, FOX Sports, Happy Tree Friends, HGTV, History Channel, iFilm, JibJab, MSNBC, National Geographic, NBC News and StupidVideos.

“As the first manufacturer to integrate Extender for Windows Media Center into a TV, HP is leading the way in whole-home digital entertainment powered by Windows Media Center,” said Ron Pessner, general manager, Connected TV division, Microsoft. “Consumers can easily enjoy movies, music, pictures, online services or even live and recorded TV by using a remote control with the Windows Media Center user interface.”

HP MediaSmart TVs offer three HDMI ports, wired and wireless (802.11 A, B, G(5) and dual-band draft N)(6) network connectivity and support for other UPnP- and DLNA-compliant devices.

Making it easy for the whole family to enjoy photos and videos together in front of a big-screen TV, HP MediaSmart TVs support a wide range of video and audio formats, including: JPEG, BMP, GIF, TIFF and PNG; MPEG, XVID, DVR-MS, WMV and AVI; MP3, WMA, WMA Pro and AAC (unprotected).

The firmware upgrade is now available directly on Internet-connected HP MediaSmart TV model numbers SL4278N and SL4778N. Windows Media Center is available on Windows Vista Home Premium and Ultimate-based PCs.


(1) Internet service required and sold separately.

(2) Internet access required. Additional fees may be required for some content.

(3) HD content required for HD performance.

(4) Wired or wireless home network required.

(5) Wireless access point and Internet service required.

(6) The specifications for the 802.11n WLAN are draft specifications and are not final. If the final specifications differ from the draft specifications, it may affect the ability of the device to communicate with other 802.11n WLAN devices.




Lui media streaming PCs

NEC prepped the final launch of its Lui media streaming devices. Essentially more advanced versions of today’s media extender devices, all four models provide a network connection to the music and video of a DLNA- or Windows Media Center-capable PC in a reportedly more elegant way than with traditional extender hubs. The Lui RP (pictured) is considered the standout with a UMPC-like handheld design; users are given enough control with a directional pad and QWERTY keyboard to find and play media from its four-inch LCD. The Lui RN offers the same formula in a 10.6-inch notebook that reaches a very thin size by depending on its media source for storage.

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