HP responds to MediaSmart Server issues, offers no real solution at all

It's no secret that HP MediaSmart Server owners have been having an awful time getting their device to operate correctly, er, at all since HP loosed its most recent software update on July 21st. In order to make sure owners have a solution implement its best damage control tactics, HP's own Director of Marketing for the Connected Entertainment group has put out a statement informing users that the problems (slow console shown above) are more than a figment of their imagination. Furthermore, the so-called solution is to simply "install each update one at a time, independently," because clearly HP cannot be bothered to fix a problem it helped create. Oh, it gets better. HP is also aware that PacketVideo (bundled with the update) "no longer supports media streaming to Sony's PlayStation 3," so it simply encourages owners to surf on over to a third-party website and hack up the PV database in order to get things back to normal. Jump on past the break for the patently ridiculous letter in its entirety.

[Image courtesy of Within Windows]

As you know HP released a software update for MediaSmart Server on July 21, following Microsoft's release of Windows Home Server Power Pack 1. The HP software update provides support for 64-bit operating systems, plus two optional add-ins that a user may choose to install – McAfee Total Protection Service and PacketVideo PVConnect media server. The 64 bit upgrade prepares the MediaSmart Server for support of Vista 64-bit systems. Users do not need to enable this feature. It is an automatic update.

The PacketVideo Connect add-in provides advanced graphics such as photo thumbnails, in-menu browsing, and album art during remote access, as well as broader support for the more popular video, music and photo formats. The McAfee anti-virus add-in will provide Server side anti-virus protection with free virus definitions for seven months. Both of these are add-ins will be automatically downloaded to the Add-In folder in the software folder on the HP MediaSmart Server. The user can add them if they choose just like any other add-in.

The McAfee Total Protection Service must index all of the files stored on the Server in order to provide the protection against a virus attack. The PacketVideo PVConnect will, upon installation, create a database of all the media files such as photos, music and videos on the Server. When these two services are installed together, the combined 'first run' indexing by McAfee and database creation by PacketVideo, can use the majority of the resources on the Server. This may result in slow response times from the Server until those activities have been completed. If the user has also installed other add-ins or software packages on the Server there may be an additional lag in response time. It has also been reported that the Windows Home Server Console can become unresponsive during this time.

As a result, we recommend that users install each update one at a time, independently. Users should first install Windows Home Server Power Pack 1, then PVConnect followed by McAfee.

Additionally, since the release of the HP MediaSmart Server software update, it has been discovered that PacketVideo no longer supports media streaming to a Sony Playstation 3. This is an issue with PacketVideo, not with the MediaSmart Server. There are directions for opening the PV database and fixing the problem by inserting a space between "PLAYSTATION" and "3" at