HP is jump-starting sales of its MediaSmart Connect, which debuted at CES in January, by promoting pre-orders of the digital media receiver at several online retailers. The MediaSmart Connect is priced by HP at $349, but Amazon.com is offering the device at $325.99. Newegg.com, CircuitCity.com, and BestBuy.com are hewing closer to the official price set by HP. It will start shipping in late July.
The MediaSmart Connect allows you to stream videos, photos, and other files from Windows PCs to televisions. The device, which employs 802.11n wireless networking, also enables you to stream content from entertainment sites like Vongo, MovieLink, Fox Sports, and Live365 radio. If your PC runs Windows Media Center, you can also grab programming from Microsoft’s Internet TV Beta, which includes content from A&E, CNBC, the Food Network, the History Channel, NBC News, and others.
HP is bundling an HDMI cable, a remote control that can control four additional devices, and a certificate good for $20 in purchases at CinemaNow. Taking a cue from Apple, HP encased the MediaCenter Connect in an attractive enclosure; rather than the Apple TV's silver and white, HP dressed its media receiver in its signature glossy black. And that gives it good wife-approval ratings.