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Len Wallis Audio in Sydney and five selected Harvey Norman stores have been chosen to launch a smart new media hub storage system from Cisco. The device, which is easy to install, comes with its own management software and will connect with multiple devices including an Xbox to a mobile phone.

The decision to only sell via selected retailers was because of a perceived lack of skill sets among mass retailers as the device according to Cisco is not “just another storage device” but a system that needs explaining and demonstrating.

“We will train the retailers,” said Graeme Reardon general manager of products for the Cisco Consumer Business Group. When asked why there was such a big difference between a $250, 500GB Seagate storage offering and the new Cisco system which will cost $699 for a 500GB system he said: “This is a device that does a lot more than the common storage system. We have built the Media Hub to be simple to set up and use for the mainstream consumer, while also being powerful in functionality and capabilities for the more tech-savvy user’ however initially the simplicity and the extensive capability needs to be explained and rationalised and to achieve this we are investing in education and training. After 60-90 days we will evaluate our position with a view to bring on more retailers.”

Launched in Sydney today the device is part of a brand new line up of home products from Cisco which will be launched this year. They include wireless audio and video stream systems as well as new media extenders and wireless routers.
With the new offering users will be able to store and manage across a network music downloads that are compressed and presented with the appropriate album art, this say Cisco eliminates the need to know which device the music is stored on.
For example you could be sitting in your office at work and be able to access your music collection at home. You can run movies to a notebook by accessing the data from a mobile phone.

What stands out about Cisco’s Media Hub is that users aren’t required to install any special software or change their network configuration. With the exception of choosing a unique remote access name, the Media Hub takes care of everything.

 

Reardon said that all the features that are needed to eliminate the complexity of managing digital media collections with multiple computers and devices in the home are included in the new media hub.

“We have built the Media Hub to be simple to set up and use for the mainstream consumer, but is also powerful in functionality and capabilities for the more tech-savvy user,” said Reardon. “The Media Hub is the central location you go to for access to your media, without concern for what the file is stored on your Mac, your child’s PC, or on any DLNA devices.”
The NMH400 Series will feature an LCD screen which will have a 6-in-1 card reader and show available space, along with drive usage by the media type that’s presently in use.

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