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HP aims for multimedia mesh

But no Linux-based hub

HP released a host of TV, laptop PC and digital camera models today at the CES (Consumer Electronics Show), underlining the company's work to ease the sharing of videos, music and photographs between devices and the internet.

The company announced nine high-definition digital TV models with LCD, micro and plasma displays. It also presented four laptops, seven digital cameras, a digital entertainment PC and a new home movie feature on Snapfish, HP's online photo service site.

HP's flagship TV is the 37in Advanced Digital Media LCD TV, which is capable of showing videos or slideshows with music streamed from a PC, according to a news release. With that model, viewers can also see online photos via Snapfish in addition to listening to songs on RealNetworks's Rhapsody online music service. The television can also link to CinemaNow and MovieLink, which are legal online movie download websites.

But absent from HP's lineup was a mention of a formerly hyped product, the Linux-based HP Media Hub, announced last year at CES by former Chief Executive Officer Carly Fiorina. The company decided to scrap its media hub last March following Fiorina's ousting from the company, according to an HP executive quoted in The Wall Street Journal.

Last year, HP said the device would combine the capabilities of HDTV (high-definition television), a digital cable set-top box and a dual-tuner DVR (digital video recorder). The device would also be able to store and manage digital photos, music, TV and video.

HP officials reached in London could not immediately comment.

HP's digital camera line has been further integrated with its Snapfish service. Models have an on-camera button for ordering photos through Snapfish, the company said. Other features include the ability to tweak photos - such as adding borders or adjusting the colour tint - using only the camera without a PC, HP said. HP also introduced a wireless camera docking station.

The Snapfish service will now accommodate digital videos from cameras and phones. Those videos are converted to a format using a Snapfish technology that makes them viewable through most internet browsers, the company said. The service is free for the first month of use, then costs $3 (about £1.75) a month or $25 (£15) annually.

On the desktop, HP released the Pavilion Media Center TV m7300 Series PC that is capable of viewing, pausing and recording TV. It is available with an optional wireless keyboard, mouse and remote control that works up to 10ft away, HP said. It's also Wi-Fi capable.

HP's four new laptops include new versions of the Pavilion dv1000 Series Entertainment Notebook and the Pavilion dv8000 Series Notebook PC. Some versions of the dv8000 will include Microsoft's Windows XP Media Center Edition, HP said.


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