Hewlett Packard Digital Media Receiver

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by Robt_Moore, Dec 3, 2003.

  1. Robt_Moore

    Robt_Moore Stunt Coordinator

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    I have been ripping all my CDs to my hard drive, and was trying to find the right way to be able to play them on my HT system. I really wanted an AudioTron, but they were too expensive for my budget. I played around with an old Pentium 400 as a kind of HTPC, but finding and using a remote control was a pain.

    I bought my Denon 1804 from ecost.com and they send me tip sheets everyday with the latest stuff they have. One day there was a Digital Media Receiver by hp for sale—only $69 shipped, so I ordered one, and here are my impressions and experiences with it, if anyone is interested.

    1.Features: plays MP3 and WMA audio files; displays .jpg and .gif files also
    2.Input: one RJ45 10BaseT jack (wireless version available also) connect to your LAN (mine goes to a Linksys hub)
    3.Outputs: 1-S-video, 1-composite video, 1 set RCA stereo (L&R) analog output. There are NO digital outputs.
    4.Front panel is silver and black, with an hp logo in the middle, and a power button on the left. There are no controls on the unit itself.

    Everything is run by the remote control, and you use the TV for your OSD of the hp Media Receiver. You install software on your computer that then is the “Server” for this Media Receiver. Your computer must be on, and the server software running for this product to work. You can install the server software on any number of computers that are on your network, but the Media Receiver can only read from a total of 5 directories (plus all of their subdirectories).

    The setup was fast and easy. I let the Media Receiver auto detect the network, specified my music folders, and was playing music in a few minutes. You can also show the pictures in “My Pictures” folder. If you are creative, you can create a slide show of those pictures with music.

    You have to have your ID3 tags on your music absolutely correct to make accessing them on the Media Server easy. It will organize ALL your music by either Artist, Album, Genre, or Track. You cannot create playlists with this item, but you can make playlists with Winamp or Musicmatch, save them as an M3U file, and put them in one of your music folders. The playlists will then show up on the Media Receiver. The remote has controls like a CD player, and you can use it to search your music; there is an OSD keyboard to help you find what you are looking for. For example, if you are searching by Artist, and find Neil Young, you can hit the play button on the remote and all Neil Young songs will play. If you search by Album, it will play the entire album in track order.

    The Media Receiver is not exactly what I wanted, but it will keep me happy for a while until I build a real HTPC. I do wish it had a digital output, and was 17 inches wide (instead of about 12), plus played everything Windows Media Player does (like video files and Internet Radio) But for less than $70 bucks, it has quieted down a spending urge for a while.

    If anyone has any questions about this, I am more than happy to answer them.

    Bob.
     
  2. Robt_Moore

    Robt_Moore Stunt Coordinator

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    Oh, here's what it looks like in action. I guess I need a better digital camera.

    Bob.
    [​IMG]
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