Print and Multimedia Serving
The next option I explored was the Shared Printers menu. Figure 5 shows that the Media Vault recognized the HP LaserJet that I plugged into the USB port and made available to the other computers on my network. Note that if you have a multifunction printer with fax, scanner, and other options, the additional capabilities won't be available across the network.
Figure 5: Shared Printers
An interesting feature that HP and several other manufacturers are starting to support is media streaming and that's where the "Media" in Media Vault comes into play. Figure 6 shows the Media Vault configuration menu where options are available for enabling or disabling streaming from the various folders. The industry-standard for this type of functionality is the UPnP AV protocol.
Figure 6: Media Streaming Configuration
I have a Netgear EVA700 UPnP multimedia device on my network that is attached to my entertainment center, and my tests showed that the Media Vault worked fine with it. The concept is that you can use the NAS device to store your movies, pictures, and music; and then, stream the content to a player that is hooked up to your entertainment center.
Figure 6 shows the presence of a "CinemaNow" folder. HP evidently has a marketing agreement with CinemaNow that allows HP to pre-load the Media Vault with a full-length digital version of the "The Bourne Identity". After jumping through some DRM-installation "hoops," entering a provided username, a password, and accepting some "scary" legal agreements, I was allowed to view the movie using Microsoft Media Player on my laptop. Although he movie appeared in the menu of my Netgear EVA700, I wasn't able to view it. I only got a black screen.