Interesting thread. !!!
I have tried mac mini and mac book pro based music servers using pure music player and Asynchronous USB to SPDIF converters . The sound was great , but still there were glitches every now and then and I had to reboot the Mac or deal with s omething else before enjoying the music . It was not often . Then I went to Bryston BDP-1 for ease of use and I couldnt be happier. That switch was easy because the price at which I got the new BDP-1 was not much more than basic Macbook pro with external HD and cheapest async USB to SPDIF. So I ended up getting BDP-1 and BDA-1 ( DAC) and I am very happy that they are stand alone components and they just work .
I have been contemplating K-scape off and on , but never have been motivated enough to pull the trigger because of the price. I competely understand the value of ease of use. I have built various HTPC based movie players/servers but again , no one else besides me is willing to use that kind of system in my family and eventually I stop using it too. I have control 4 in my house so I can access all the movies on my unraid Server through touch panels and Ipad with cover art and all that, but dont have 1080p playpack in all rooms from the server. I have Oppo 93 in my therater , family room and master bedroom , and Oppo can fetch all the movies from NAS and local Hard drives including blu rays ( of course with no user interface , you just have to browse down the folders and select one to play). Now my concerns are:
1. With K- scape , from what I have read, the audio and video will not be any better than what I laready have from opp 93 in these rooms . I have not seen anyone say that K-scape players will do better job than Oppo
2. Storage wise , i dont see much benefit over what I already have ( I am using UNRAID based storage , which I built using server motherboard, intel xeon processor, 8 GB RAM etc and I can go upto 60TB on it. I run pre clear script on all the disks for 2-3 days before adding them to the array and all drives are SMAART enabled and I will get notification as soon as any problems are detected that may predict future drive failure, so they are as hand selected as reasonably possible )
3. So I will be paying for ease of use only, which is OK as long as I know that i have sound long term investment:
- Now how will 3D support be added in the future , or for that matter 4K content support, lets say if 4K disks / content becomes available in next 2-4 yrs ? Who knows? Will I have to buy new vault, and three new players? Does K-scape have upgrade program where you get reasonable amount of investment back when you upgrade?
- I understand the previos posts about money required for R&D , personnel etc , but that holds true for Oppo as well . K-scape players are just streaming content from the main server . So to change three of them will be another 15K in next few years to come? Will I have to change the main server as well at that time?
I know 4K content is speculation at this time , but who would have thought 4 years ago that we will have 4K projectors in 2011 at a reasonable price. So I dont think 4K content is that far fetched if there are enough 4K TV's and projectors in circulation in next 4-5 years.