Earlier today HP released an awesome new add-in for their MediaSmart Home Servers. The MediaSmart Expander for TiVo allows you to copy your favourite recordings to the MediaSmart so running out of storage should never be an issue again. Another feature is the ability to stream those shows from your PC back through your TiVo to your TV.
This means you’ll never need to fork out for that Western Digital 1TB Expander drive, your own storage that you’ve already invested in. The only downside is the transfer is a manual one. So you’ll need to open the Home Server Console Periodically and transfer the show you wish to keep, then delete them from the TiVo. While that may seem annoying, the upside is the storage amount is only limited to the size of your Home Server array, which as you know is easily upgradable.
This Add-in is supported on HP MediaSmart EX490/EX495 and HP DataVault X510 models, earlier models are not compatible. On the TiVo side you’ll need a Series II, Series III, TiVo Premier. Both Australian TiVo models will work. One more caveat is that both the TiVo and MediaSmart must be on the same network. In the standard home setup, this isn’t an issue.
If you in the US, you’ll see a new Add-in available in the Settings screen of the Home Server Console. If your outside of the US, then head over to http://www.hp.com/united-states/consumer/everyday-computing/mediasmartserver/us/en/tivo.html and download the Add-in manually.
Step 1 – Setup
Copy the HPTivoExpanderAddin.msi file into the Software/Add-ins folder on your Home Server.
Step 2 – Install the add-in
Open the Windows Home Server Console, click Settings in the top-right corner.
Step 3 – Activate
Select the MediaSmart Add-in and click install. Once finished installing the Home Server Console will need to restart.
The next time you launch it, you’ll notice the addition of the HP MediaSmart Expander for TiVO© item to the left-hand side menu.
Step 4 – Configure
There’s very minor configuration required before the devices can talk to one another. Simply click on the Configuration button at the top-right and enter your TiVo Media Access Key, available from your account page on http://tivo.com.au
Step 5 – Select
Once configured you’ll see the files stored on your TiVo. To transfer files to your MediaSmart, select each file (holding CTRL+click for multiple), when your ready to go, click the Transfer Selected Files button.
Once the Transfer is in progress, go make yourself a coffee, or 10.. this process is not fast. When complete the files (shows) will display in the third tab Files on Server where they can be deleted if you wish, or simply browse to the folder and delete them like normal files.
Step 6 – Location and Playback
After some investigation I discovered the files are actually transferred to \MEDIASMARTRecorded TVtivo. If you’d like to playback the files, you’ll need the TiVo Desktop software installed on your machine.
Step 7 – Watch on TV
Another option, and probably the more common, is for playback through the TiVo to your TV. To play the files (now located on your MediaSmart, scroll right to the bottom of your Now Playing list and you’ll find a new item called HP MediaSmart Server (MEDIASMART) where MEDIASMART is the name of your server.
That’s it, that’s all there is.. well except for an nice little easter egg.. those guys at HP seem to love them. Discovered by the guys over at mediasmartserver.net, if you double-right click on the TiVo DVRs Found section, you get a 4th tab Team Info.
In other news.. while hunting around HP site today I noticed, the HP EX490 MediaSmart Servers have dropped in price. I paid A$899 for mine only a few months back, they are now A$749.
More info @ HP.com