October 06, 2008 by Dan Fulmer
Q. I own more than 6,000 LD/DVD/HD-DVD/BD, and would like a media server capable of handling even more. Is there anything out there (other than Kaleidescape’s $30k option) to handle this volume? - Michael, NYC
A. While pricey, Kaleidescape is one of the best and most reliable systems available. They do offer other systems that can start as low as $15,000, but you have 6,000 movies which will take a considerable amount of space. I am one for having reliability with movies/music and other general media content, so getting a system with some type of automatic and built-in backup is key. A RAID system will do the trick, but adds cost to any system. Obviously, there are several software/PC based systems available, but they lack the reliability and usability of some of the better systems. Sony has discontinued its 777 400 disc DVD changer, so the only storage options that remain are hard-drive based. With copyright issues and legal problems plaguing this area, this has become a major barrier for other manufacturers to get in the media server market without being susceptible to lawsuits.
One possible option is Crestron’s (not yet released) ADMS Digital Media Server (photo below). This unique product doesn’t import to a hard-drive per se, but can access the Internet and find just about any movie. It even has Amazon Unbox and HD Media Store from VideoGiants hosted natively. With respect to your existing collection, the ADMS can add to its collection any music or movies stored on any hard-drive, PC, or other media storage device on your home network. It will load all meta-data making it easy to manage a huge collection. It can be mated up with the new Blu-ray 200 Disc DVD changer. THe ADMS comes in 2 versions; one with a standard DVD player and 500GB RAID storage, and the other comes with a Blu-ray disc drive and 1TB RAID storage. The best part of this system, it starts around $6,000 and works great.
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