tosh storetv common Toshiba Smartens STOR.E TV For Living Room Goodness

Content consumption media is in a state of flux. From disc players to media players that take USB mass storage devices, the evolution is on at breakneck pace. Hard disk drive vendors such as Toshiba and WD have taken the initiative to combine their external hard drive expertise with media center hardware to eat into the markets of both HTPCs and media players in one go. At this year's IFA event, Toshiba unveiled its second generation of hard drives tailor-made for the living room. The STOR.E TV series of hard drives pack media player hardware making the drive a single-device solution for media consumption. The consumer electronics giant unveiled two models: STOR.E TV 2 and STOR.E TV Pro. Check them out on the next page.

Content consumption media is in a state of flux. From disc players to media players that take USB mass storage devices, the evolution is on at breakneck pace. Hard disk drive vendors such as Toshiba and WD have taken the initiative to combine their external hard drive expertise with media center hardware to eat into the markets of both HTPCs and media players in one go. At this year's IFA event, Toshiba unveiled its second generation of hard drives tailor-made for the living room. The STOR.E TV series of hard drives pack media player hardware making the drive a single-device solution for media consumption. The consumer electronics giant unveiled two models: STOR.E TV 2 and STOR.E TV Pro. 

tosh storetv common Toshiba Smartens STOR.E TV For Living Room Goodness

 

Both models measure 235 x 195 x 50 mm. While the STOR.E TV 2 is strictly a hard drive media player, the STOR.E TV Pro has wired networking capabilities that connects your HDTV to the web, and allows web-browsing. Both come in variants based on the capacity of the hard drives they pack: 500 GB, 1 TB, 1.5 TB and 2 TB. Both drives connect to your TV using HDMI and composite. Apart from the in-built hard drive, the devices provide one USB 2.0 port, with which you can plug in any USB mass storage device (a flash drive or another portable hard drive), and transfer data from it, without taking the drive back to your PC. Add to this, a 3-in-1 media card reader. The drive itself connects to a host PC over USB 2.0. The new STOR.E hard drives allow you to play a wide range of popular video formats, including H263/H264, MPEG4, DivX/XviD, VC1/WMV, VP8; and audio formats including MPEG,OGG, MP3/MP2, WMA, WAV, APE, FLAC, AAC, and PCM.Video is streamed out at 1080p, and the digital audio passed through supports Dolby Digital, DTS 2.0+ formats. 

Things take a turn for the awesome with STOR.E TV Pro. This device provides all features of the STOR.E TV 2, but adds an ethernet port with which it can connect to the web, or a network. Toshiba bundles a compact bluetooth remote that features a QWERTY keyboard and a trackpad. The hard drive allows web-browsing at 1080p resolution. Toshiba however didn't mention in its press release if it supports Adobe Flash, giving it access to a wealth of online videos. "The vast majority of TVs in the home do not provide web access," said Marco Perino, General Manager, Digital Products Division, Toshiba Europe GmbH. "We've been looking for a plug-and-play approach to connect these 'stand-alone' TVs to the web and designed the multimedia console STOR.E TV PRO," he added.

Toshiba expects a market release of these two in the fourth quarter of 2011.