"Buyer Beware!!!"1.5 starson by k-kevrom
Pros: It looks like it can do a lot.
Cons: As a media server, after hours and hours and...hours working on my own and with HP tech support it didn't do what it was fundamentally supposed to do.
Summary: I purchased an HP MediaSmart Server almost a year ago. My initial thought is ?Smart? should be taken out of the name because ?Smart? is not a word that comes to mind based on my experience. The HP MediaSmart Server was plenty easy to set up ? maybe that?s where HP gets the confidence to call this ?Smart? ? but that?s when my nightmare began. Since that time I?ve repeatedly been on the phone and online (as if THAT ever worked) and emailing trying to get HP MediaSmart Server to simply to the things it?s supposed to do and do them consistently. MANY ?case numbers? (I can even tell you how tech support creates case numbers?I?m that good now!) and hours and hours of effort, both on my own and with HP MediaSmart Server tech support and I?m STILL where I was roughly 12 months ago. The device looks slick, but STYLE should never trump SUBSTANCE, and on the latter there is little to be found here.
Here are some issues I?ve been struggling with interminably:
- Fundamentally, the HP MediaSmart Server is supposed to find music files on various computers and save new content, automatically, to the server, but that works intermittently at best.
- The HP MediaSmart Server does stream media, but, for example it streams songs in duplicate and triplicate making playback via stereo excruciatingly painful for various reasons.
- The McAfee software that comes preloaded ?causes problems? (HP MediaSmart Server tech support speak) and doesn?t work the way it?s supposed to.
- The HP MediaSmart Server is supposed allow you to access content remote via the internet. That worked for a few months, but no longer does. Searching online it seems based on one site or another that feature is no longer supported by HP.
- I?ve recently encountered another problem that just came out of nowhere ? when the Server Console opens it is all black. One big blacked out screen, so the entire system ? computer, console and server itself, must all be rebooted.
- Won?t back up a second computer in the house. HP MediaSmart Server tech support said that computer?s hard disk was going bad and that I?d have to replace it. I did that, at MY cost, only to be told by another HP MediaSmart Server tech support guy later, ?Dude, you didn?t need to do that?You should insist at a minimum on a longer warranty period to compensate you for the time and cost??
I could go on and on, but you get the point. Several others such as Western Digital make ?media servers.? I?d look elsewhere unless you enjoy and have the time to spend hours on the phone with HP MediaSmart Server tech support people. Generally, none of them have been able to help anyway. Caveat Emptor!