From HP:

HP today announced the release of a software update for the HP MediaSmart Server (EX485/EX487 models), providing remote video streaming and video conversion of unprotected content.

The new software enables the HP MediaSmart Server to automatically convert videos (including unprotected DVDs) into two resolutions. The original, high-resolution file will stream to most devices on a home network including PCs, Macs and gaming systems.

The mobile resolution version of the video can be downloaded and played on popular mobile devices including the iPod touch, iPhone and PlayStationPortable (PSP).

The video converter will transcode most popular video formats into both high and mobile quality MPEG-4 (H.264) versions.

“Our enhanced software features will help eliminate the frustration people experience when attempting to stream their videos to connected devices in the home or remotely to their mobile devices,” said Jason Zajac, vice president and general manager, Worldwide Attach Group, HP. 

In addition, owners of an iPod touch and iPhone can download a new HP MediaSmart Server iStream application at no charge from the iTunes App Store, enabling them to stay connected to their digital media stored on the MediaSmart Server. Users can easily access their pictures, listen to their music collection and watch their favorite videos  – all streamed directly to their mobile devices from their HP MediaSmart Server.

Other software enhancements include an improved mobile streaming user experience, a more robust HP Media Collector, an improved Apple Time Machine configuration, and the ability to create public and private albums in the Photo Viewer.

The HP MediaSmart Server, designed for use with both Microsoft Windows-based and Mac computers, automatically organizes files across PCs and streams media across a home network and the Internet.

Based on the Microsoft Windows Home Server platform, the HP MediaSmart Server EX485/EX487 shipped to customers in January. Acting as the heart of the home network, the MediaSmart Server is a central repository for automatically backing up and accessing digital photos, music, videos and documents from multiple computers on a home network.

Pricing and availability

The software update will be available at no charge later this month as an automatic download to the HP MediaSmart Server (EX485/EX487 models).

I've been working with this software for a while now and should have a review up this week. Obviously, this isn't as big a deal as a major software update, but it's nice to see HP evolving the capabilities of its home server outside of Microsoft's comparatively glacial development schedule. These types of update are one of many reasons why the HP WHS boxes are, in my opinion, the obvious choice.