Practically from the beginning, ReQuest built a system that could require users to insert a random disc from their collection at the server’s behest.
“We use it as a fail-safe for content verification,” Cholnoky says.
It irks him that most DVD collectors rip discs to a PC or other server, illegally circumventing copy protections, using $20 software purchased over the Internet. Companies like ReQuest and Kaleidescape, on the other hand, offer extra measures of security to ensure that DVD copies never leave their respective ecosystems.
Cholnoky notes that if the Kaleidescape case ultimately illegalizes the trafficking of DVD-archiving products, “in two seconds we can convert our box to do what every body else does [download third-party software]. Is that what they really want? We believe what we’re doing is within the letter of the law.”
Media Servers Still Have Life
Legalities aside, dedicated media servers are not a dying breed, Cholnoky insists.
Despite an exodus of former competitors, most notably Escient, there is still a market for pricey servers and multiroom players like ReQuest’s – well, pricier than $100 Roku boxes and free Google TV, at least.
Certainly in the custom integration world, consumers demand an elegant solution with high-quality audio, video and control, such as ReQuest and others provide.
Cholnoky understands that the world is going to the cloud, but the need for physical discs and on-site servers and clients are here for a very long time.
“Just because you have things in the cloud, how are you going to watch your movie in the car?” he wonders. “I do believe there are certain things that people want to collect.”
Furthermore, not for many, many years will you get enough bandwidth and reliability from the Internet to deliver audio- and videophile content to the home.
“You’re not going to stream an entire day of .WAV music from any service,” Cholnoky says, joking that your Internet bill would run in the millions. “There is great opportunity in cloud media for on-demand content, but the bandwidth is not there for high-def people who really care about it.”
While Cholnoky believes there is a market for sub-$200 boxes from the likes of Roku, Boxee and Popbox. “I also think there is room for high-end servces in the $5,000 to $8,000 range. We have have that.
“Also, I think there’s a pretty good market for a $2,500 A/V solution and we play to have that by the end of the year.”
ReQuest MediaPlayer Specs
-LAN connection to ReQuest server
-Broadband Internet connection for streaming video & metadata lookup
-HDMI input on your TV
-ReQuest iQ or F.Series server with Serious Play 6.2 or higher
-6’ HDMI cable
-Stand and VESA mounting bracket
-USB IR receiver
-Wireless keyboard with RF USB adaptor
-HDMI to DVI adapter
-110-220v power adopter
-Optional HDMI to Component adaptor available
-NTSC: 480i30, 480p60, 720p60, 1080i30, 1080p60
-PAL: 576i25, 576p50, 720p50, 1080i25.
-HDMI 1.3a output scaled up to 1080p
-Digital audio or mini analog audio out
-2 USB (for IR and wireless keyboard adapters)
-Quiet operation at 26db
-Dimension: 8.74"D × 7"W × 1.06"H
-Weight: 2.2 lbs
-Power: 110-220v power adapter
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Julie Jacobson is co-founder of EH Publishing and currently spends most of her time writing for CE Pro, mostly in the areas of home automation, networked A/V and the business of home systems integration. She majored in Economics at the University of Michigan, earned an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin, and has never taken a journalism class in her life. Julie is a washed-up Ultimate Frisbee player with the scars to prove it. Follow her on Twitter @juliejacobson.