Great review. Now I have decided which home server I want, I must have the EX485.
Categories: HP MediaSmart Server
HP has followed up on an already outstanding product with one that exceeds it in almost every way. The MediaSmart Server's boosted processor, beefier RAM module, and larger drives lay a foundation that should be enough to keep owners happy for a long time to come.
When it comes to software, they've added a lot to the existing feature set that's sure to make owning and using the MediaSmart Server even more enjoyable. Many aren't make or break for most, but the addition of better Mac support should make the HP MediaSmart Server a lot more attractive to those in a multi-PC/Multi-Mac home. The Media Collector app is also a sweet addition, though could be a little more flexible.
The only sore spot for me is the loss of Photo Webshare. I think getting tied in to popular photo sharing sites is useful for those who use them, but the appeal of creating my own private photo sharing site for friends and family initially drew me to the MediaSmart Server in the first place. I'll be the first to admit that it had it's flaws, particularly the presentation order of photos and a browser specific (and slightly buggy) ActiveX control for uploading photos to albums. Nevertheless, I would much rather see it improved upon than removed. I'm hoping the Photo Publisher and Viewer is enhanced in the months to come to bring back some of these abilities.
So should the existing MediaSmart owner run out and upgrade? It's hard to say. The new hardware is certainly an improvement, but those who've already upgraded the memory in their current product probably won't be able to discern an enormous difference for the most common tasks. Plus, since many of the improvements are software based, it will be interesting to see if HP brings some of those new features to the current product down the road. Those with PCs and Macs, however, may find the new Mac features too irresitible to pass up.
Those on the fence about whether it's time to pick up an HP MediaSmart Server of their very own should be pushed over the edge with the new hardware and features. There's a lot here to get excited about. For a product that can hide anywhere out of sight, the HP MediaSmart Server is poised to become the most indispensable device in your digital life.
Matt, Appreciate the review, Very Helpful... However, I am like you I don't want just anyone browsing photos... In you article you state:
"The other important item to note about the Photo Viewer is that unlike Photo Webshare, albums are visible and downloadable by anyone. Gone is the ability to create logins for visitors and assign viewing permissions to specific albums, meaning anyone who stumbles on your home server URL can view whatever albums you've created in the Photo Viewer. Also gone is the ability to allow friends and family to upload photos of their own, unless you give them a full user account on your Home Server.
Is this bad? I guess that depends on your situation. Not having to create logins for everyone certainly simplifies the process of getting photos in front of friends and family. However, if you're paranoid about strangers looking at your pics or don't want Grandma Bea checking out photos from your drunken New Year's party, you'd be better off using one of the other photo sharing services. Unfortunately, using the MediaSmart Server as a hub for family and friends to their photos from a same event (say a birthday party or holiday) has also been lost in the mix."
Snapfish,flickr,picasa aren't bad but I don't want that to be my sole option either. I don't want everyone that would like to download and keep the photo to have to pay snapfish for it...Plus I don't want to have to start getting requests for photos to email the hi-res photo to them...that is why I am looking to get this box....
Any idea if there will be a way to secure this in the future? Has anyone heard ? Is it possible an Add-In may address this? I have called HP presales and they told me what I read was wrong and HP would never release a product that acted like what I was describing....I challenged them (two reps were consulting) and then the admitted they haven't had any "training" on the new line....So, they don't have a clue to the purchasing public....
ARGH....should I buy the old line while they are still available....or should I preorder a the new line and hope HP fixes this ?? that is the question!!!
Thanks for any insight!!
Thank you for the great review.
After reading this I really like to buy the EX487 but found out one possible problem for me.
Do you know anything about the differences between the HP MediaSmart Windows Home Server and the Microsoft Windows Home Server version. I found some hints that some features are limited or not available on HPs version but can not find any details on the web. I also sent a mail to HP but without a response until now. Do you have any knowledge about this?
Thank you for any comments..
Greetings from Germany ...
Matt great review. It appears that HP is doing a good job at staying up with current trends in technology. Increasing the ram and processor and making it Mac compatable. Although I must say what drew me to having a home server to begin with is the control over who has access to my blogs, photo's, videos etc. If i just wanted my stuff out there on the internet i would have just posted it on Myspace, Facebook or other. I feel that the access control was a big push for people to purchase the hpmediaserver. The lack of control on the new Hpmediaservers i feel will be a big downfall in its sales. As far as Hardware goes the new models are great for new buyers, save people the hassle of taking the case apart to upgrade the memory and processor themselves. Sorry for the negative but i don't need a Hpmediaserver to add photos to an online site, i can do that with a computer and no Hpmediasmart server. I wonder how much these new Hpmediaservers will go for. I know i bought the one that came with 1 500 gb hd. It was more economical to buy that one for 200 dollars less than the 2 500 gb one. With 1tb harddrives going for 100-130 dollars. I was able to buy the cheaper one and two 1 tb drives for the cost of the 2 500gb drive server. And as far as upgrading the processor and memory on your own the processor only cost 50 dollars, the 2gb memory 30 dollars
I would recommend the old one but its your choice. Especially if you wish to maintain privacy of your files. Then just purchase the recommended 2gb memory upgrade and the recommended processor upgrade, add as many 1tb or 1.5 tb drives as you wish.
HPmediasmart server with one 500gb hd $350
2GB Memory upgrade $ 30
Processor upgrade $ 50
(2) 1tb harddrives $230
Wow, this would be a perfect box for my home. Thanks for the review!
I am thinking about buying EX485 and having it shipped to Singapore as it is not sold here. Is the power supply only 110V or does it support 220V out of the box?
It appears that the only difference between the 485 and 487 is one (1) 750gig HD is that correct? Assuming yes it appears that one can buy a 750 for about $80 US. Can drives be added at any time? Is there redundancy? Mirroring? Can one mix drive sizes? (say 750 and 1gig and 1.5 gig)
When you add drives do they just hot plug and the system formats them and adds them in?
Thanks for any more details.
It is always more economical to buy the one with smaller hard drive included as Hard drives are so inexpensive today. You can buy any size hard drive that is sata and install. 1TB only runs $99. The older model I bought had 1 500GB. I bought it and added a 1TB for $120 and it was still cheaper than the higher model at the time that came with two 500GB drives. It does not do Raid.When You install a drive it will ask you too add it too the pool. In essence as you keep adding drives it creates one large data pool. The other option is too have it duplicate folders you create on it. This will duplicate any say video or photo folders on a different drive which you install. So in this manner if one drive fails you will have a copy of the folders you asked it too duplicate on one of the other drives. All though this may seem like raid it is not in fact raid at all.
Thanks for then comments. Wonder if the HD cache affects performance at all? I assume like speeds (7200 rpm). Mixing brands any issue? (In would doubt it)
On that basis it would appear that the #X485 would be the better choice and then add drives as space is needed.
Any thoughts on a backup for the server? Any external unit connected?
Battledad said: Thanks for then comments. Wonder if the HD cache affects performance at all? I assume like speeds (7200 rpm). Mixing brands any issue? (In would doubt it) On that basis it would appear that the #X485 would be the better choice and then add drives as space is needed. Any thoughts on a backup for the server? Any external unit connected?Most of us upgraded the EX475 to 2G and faster processor with a huge boost in perfomance probabling equalling the EX487. Is there any chance of software upgrade to the new since it is an improvement on the old WHS?
Last week we got our first HP ex485 WHS unit. We had it on back order for a few months and were very pleased to get one of the first units that our distributor received in stock. Over those same waiting months, we also accumulated four (4) Seagate 7200.11, 1.5 TB hard drives (the ones with the corrected firmware), and wanted to see what that new unit would do with a gross of 6.0 TB of drive storage. We were pleased to see that the OEM hard drive in the new ex485 was, in fact, a Seagate 7200.11 drive (750 GB), so we figured the 1.5 TB drives would work. We were correct in that assumption.
Initially we replaced only the original OEM drive with a 1.5 TB drive and restored the entire WHS system with the restore CD-ROM that was provided with the ex485 unit. The restore went flawlessly and completely installed all the HP WHS software, just as it had come from the factory. Once we initialized the ex485 and got it functioning correctly (which was a very easy task), we sequentially added each additional hard drive to the array, until all four drive bays were humming along with 1.5 TB of storage in each slot.
That was a week ago, and the ex485 hasn't skipped a beat since then. The HP tweaks to the original WHS software suite are also quite nice and very useful. I must honestly say that it will be hard to beat this new ex485 with a home built WHS unit (and I've built many of those during the past year). I'm damn impressed with this little shiny black box, and its awesome storage capacity of 6.0 TB. Try one, you'll love it!
Best regards to everyone. Ima DingBat
I just bought 487 MediaSmart Server. I open the Share folder, It has printer folder so I tried to connect a printer in to it. I called the HP tech support, their responed was Media server will not support printer! is the folder there to fool people or the tech support did not get the latest memo?