or Connect
AVS › AVS Forum › Display Devices › Ultra Hi-End HT Gear ($20,000+) › Media Servers worthy of high end
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Media Servers worthy of high end - Page 17

post #481 of 519
Quote:
Originally Posted by babgvant View Post

The HDMI Detective don't exist because the HTPC exists. The device has myriad purpose both in this application and in the CE space so I don't think it's valid to characterize this strictly as a PC issue.
Well, you suggested it smile.gif.
Quote:
Either way PCs offer features that other products don't, which is why we use them instead of specialized products for those use cases. While I understand that for you this may not be the right solution, I also think it's important to provide some balance (even if I agree on some points) for readers who may not understand the full context or potential for solutions especially considering that compared to the cost of a "K" system $90 to make a problem go away is nothing.
We must be having trouble communicating. I have the issue because I *am* using the PC as my main entertainment center. It is my DVR, and my BD/HD DVD player. It also plays my music, displays my photos and I stream content using it. So not sure why you say it is not for me. I know this box inside out. I also happen to have access to the competing solution from K and I am saying that the latter zeros out hassle that even I, with all of my knowledge and abilities sometimes just don't want to mess with it. I only shared one problem out of many. Another example is media center crashing on powering down the display an AVR. Recently I also got a blu-screen. This is a completely stock Win 7 Premium using Core i5 with its internal GPU. It doesn't get more vanilla than this. Yet it is not 100% stable. I wish it was. There is a lot of code in there that came from my old team at Microsoft. But it just isn't. So no, $90 doesn't get you to a K. The multi-purpose system just has more stuff that goes wrong with it.

The limitations with K are a set of features as mentioned. Lack of reliability and predictability does not enter the picture. It matters not how well your PC runs. You can never predict if the one someone else configures works as well. And getting them to work requires so much research as this thread shows. Take a trip to the massive thread in HTPC area on just how to build the storage system. There are opinions all over the place. Then go and shop for hard disks and see the horror stories after horror stories with drive failures. One of the guys in our shop has a large storage array he built that he is using with is Dune. The thing just crashed and it is nor recoverable. He is faced with ripping some of his library again.
Quote:
I don't believe the state of affairs is as dire as you suggested so I must have missed that. We have the ability to affect change, we just need to be vocal and patient - the larger our niche becomes the more power it wields WRT to development $.
I am not telling it is dire. I am simply transparent with what you get with either platform. At CEDIA I was talking to the Dune people. They were using the Videbox video server with their player. I asked them why Vidabox would be supporting them since they had their own PC based players. He said that was the reason! That their clients are simply not reliable enough so they are looking at promoting the server with likes of Dune as clients.

And no, it is not a matter of being persistent. No one is allowed to get a license to build a BD server. K is the only company who has done it and deep in litigation over it. As such, don't expect any high-power, polished entity to enter this market. Freeware, tiny companies, etc. are your only bet and the results are what we see. On this point, remember that K is using a playback AACS license. This means that it can decrypt any disc. Not so with these other servers which use some other means for decryption. When that code is changed, then you may be out of the option to rip content until they crack the new mechanism.
post #482 of 519
Quote:
Originally Posted by amirm View Post

On this point, remember that K is using a playback AACS license. This means that it can decrypt any disc. Not so with these other servers which use some other means for decryption. When that code is changed, then you may be out of the option to rip content until they crack the new mechanism.

Is K's license different from licenses other blu-ray players use (like Dune, or Oppo)? I thought their loop-hole was just exploiting existing rules in whatever standard blu-ray license agreement was already there (disc contents can be in a cache as long as the disc is present).

I can sympathize with the perils of PC based clients, but IMO, I seem to have much better luck. Not sure if it's because I use Linux, and I seem to have far more control over what's going on, or if there's a another factor. I have a client/server setup with server handling all ripped media and all DVR duties (this is the Myth "back-end"). I also have two PC based clients (Myth "front-ends"). In the last year they have been rebooted maybe 5 times each. That's more than I'd like, but not that bad, IMO. I would still agree that PC based clients are not the right way, however, all servers will likely be PC based for quite a while (I imagine K's is).

I do think we are entering a potential shift for home brew clients. This shift is away from PCs and towards SoC bases systems. There are more and more open client platforms coming out which cost under $200, have SoC, have graphics designed for video, are silent, small, and use little power. Check out the PandaBoard, or the CuBox. Or just check out the number of devices Plex or XBMC can now run on. I am very much hoping there is growth in these open, cheap, and hopefully reliable SoC systems.
post #483 of 519
Quote:
Originally Posted by amirm View Post

Well, you suggested it smile.gif.

I suggested it because you have an EDID problem. When that happens and you have $90 to spare, you get an HDMI Detective.
Quote:
Originally Posted by amirm View Post

We must be having trouble communicating. I have the issue because I *am* using the PC as my main entertainment center. It is my DVR, and my BD/HD DVD player. It also plays my music, displays my photos and I stream content using it. So not sure why you say it is not for me.

I said "may not be right", this is different than "not for". I understand that you currently use a HTPC, but that doesn't mean it's the right (i.e. ideal or perfect) solution for you, just that it happens to be what's in the stack currently.
Quote:
Originally Posted by amirm View Post

I know this box inside out. I also happen to have access to the competing solution from K and I am saying that the latter zeros out hassle that even I, with all of my knowledge and abilities sometimes just don't want to mess with it. I only shared one problem out of many. Another example is media center crashing on powering down the display an AVR.

WMC is a FSE application, when you take the display away (what happens if you power down the AVR and CEC isn't enabled) the result can be unexpected. Obviously this is less than ideal, but again since it's an EDID problem there is an easy, $90, fix available.
Quote:
Originally Posted by amirm View Post

Recently I also got a blu-screen. This is a completely stock Win 7 Premium using Core i5 with its internal GPU. It doesn't get more vanilla than this. Yet it is not 100% stable. I wish it was. There is a lot of code in there that came from my old team at Microsoft. But it just isn't.

Nothing is 100% stable, but that said your HTPC shouldn't BSOD either. If that happens better components and/or cooling should make it go away - I haven't had a BSOD on a production system in years.
Quote:
Originally Posted by amirm View Post

So no, $90 doesn't get you to a K.

Context is important. I didn't say that you could get a "K" for $90, just that you can fix many EDID problems (specifically the one you mentioned) for that amount.
Quote:
Originally Posted by amirm View Post

The multi-purpose system just has more stuff that goes wrong with it.

Nothing is w/o compromise. In this case flexibility isn't free.
Quote:
Originally Posted by amirm View Post

Take a trip to the massive thread in HTPC area on just how to build the storage system. There are opinions all over the place.

The world is full of opinions, most of them are wrong smile.gif.
Quote:
Originally Posted by amirm View Post

Then go and shop for hard disks and see the horror stories after horror stories with drive failures. One of the guys in our shop has a large storage array he built that he is using with is Dune. The thing just crashed and it is nor recoverable. He is faced with ripping some of his library again.

HD's fail, they will fail in any system irregardless of cost. If you DIY a bad system w/o redundancy it's hardly unexpected that if you run the scenario long enough entropy will bite you.
Quote:
Originally Posted by amirm View Post

I am not telling it is dire.

hmm... the previous statements don't seem to gel w/ this assertion smile.gif
Quote:
Originally Posted by amirm View Post

At CEDIA I was talking to the Dune people. They were using the Videbox video server with their player. I asked them why Vidabox would be supporting them since they had their own PC based players. He said that was the reason! That their clients are simply not reliable enough so they are looking at promoting the server with likes of Dune as clients.

To quote one of my reviews:
Quote:
The biggest struggle I had when evaluating the player and its $449.99 MSRP ($409 street) was not with any of the features it does or does not provide; but how to accurately classify the value in a connected home theater. After spending a few weeks with the player I am convinced that the right answer is to think about the device as a HTPC without the hassle – which for many is priceless.

As anyone who has followed this thread is aware, I like Dune players. They provide much of the flexibility that a HTPC provides while removing much of the pain around stability. That said, they are not w/o compromise. My desire in all of this is to provide a balanced perspective. I would have been just as quick to point out an easy solution had you raised one with a CE player.
Quote:
Originally Posted by amirm View Post

And no, it is not a matter of being persistent. No one is allowed to get a license to build a BD server. K is the only company who has done it and deep in litigation over it. As such, don't expect any high-power, polished entity to enter this market.

I was speaking to a different topic (i.e. HTPC stability) when I stated that, but it probably carries over here as well. At some point in the future we will move beyond BD, it's not hard to imagine in a world with ample bandwidth where a service like VUDU would make much of this discussion irrelevant.
post #484 of 519
Quote:
Originally Posted by amt View Post

Is K's license different from licenses other blu-ray players use (like Dune, or Oppo)? I thought their loop-hole was just exploiting existing rules in whatever standard blu-ray license agreement was already there (disc contents can be in a cache as long as the disc is present).
That's correct and it was the point I was making. The contrast is with other BD *server* solutions which rely on Slysoft, etc. to bypass the copy protection to rip the content. The cat and mouse game between AACS+Rovi and them means at times you will find your video server unable to properly rip a Blu-ray disc.
post #485 of 519
Quote:
Originally Posted by lfletcher View Post

For me the biggest issue with the k system is the Blu-ray carousel. If you have a large collection it’s not a feasible solution to use imo and practically negates having the content stored on the server in the first place.
I know why they did it, I just don’t like it at all.
They don’t do 3D and don’t internally decode the HD audio formats either - both not an issue for some.
Apart from that, they don’t really have any outside of cost.
Personally I'm a big fan of K, but the current niggles prevent me from buying into it.

Just so we are clear on the K vault. This is what I was told. The BR movie is stored on the server and never even looks at the vault once the movie is loaded in the vault. The vault is not searched for the movie. The server knows then the vault loads a BR and when the BR is ejected. The movie plays instantly once selected. And of course once it gets ejected, you cannot play the movie that is on the server until you place it back in the vault. This vault was required to be in compliance with the law.

With that said... very very soon.. like this year soon, BR movies can be downloaded from the Kstore. The vault will not be required for these downloaded BR movies. So if the vault is what is keeping anyone from getting started with K. now is the time.
post #486 of 519
Quote:
Originally Posted by cmcjo View Post

With that said... very very soon.. like this year soon, BR movies can be downloaded from the Kstore. The vault will not be required for these downloaded BR movies.

Got any more info on that (I did a quick search didn't find much more than you posted), mainly I want to be very clear on what they mean by "Blu-ray" can be downloaded. Are we talking 1080p like Vudu HDX, or are we talking full BD bitrate and lossless audio? Or are we talking potential for DCI gamut? 10bit color?
Quote:
So if the vault is what is keeping anyone from getting started with K. now is the time.

Not sure I follow that, wouldn't these make you less likely to need/buy/want a vault?

Of course there's one more (potential) issue. If I buy a BD, it's mine, I can take it with me and play on many devices. If I buy a "Blu-ray download" from K store, do I get a physical copy too? Is it usable on anything else? Can I download it again later if I do something with it, etc...
post #487 of 519
They are talking full BD bitrate and lossless audio. No need for vault with Download store content. Last questions about physical copies and ownership rights have not been answered
post #488 of 519
Quote:
Originally Posted by LJG View Post

Last questions about physical copies and ownership rights have not been answered

yet and a big yet!! I think everyone is going to be very happy with what is coming
post #489 of 519
Scott,

So how's the Dune treating you? It looks like the Echo is not going to be what we (I) were hoping it would be, so I'm sort of back to looking again, so I took a look at the Dune hardware again and the HD Max looks sort of interesting since it could double as my BD player and I wouldn't be end up with another box.
post #490 of 519
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by stanger89 View Post

Scott,

So how's the Dune treating you? It looks like the Echo is not going to be what we (I) were hoping it would be, so I'm sort of back to looking again, so I took a look at the Dune hardware again and the HD Max looks sort of interesting since it could double as my BD player and I wouldn't be end up with another box.
It is working pretty well overall. It's not been flawless, but overall it's been a much better expereince than the HTPC. It has been pretty reliable and it has a much more "player" feel to it than the HTPC had. More like using a standalone player. I still have an Oppo '83 which I use for the rare disc playback but anything I get new goes on the server for later viewing. Of course as fate woudl have it, I went to demo the Dune to a guest the other day and it had lost it's connectivity to the network for some reason. A power cycle cured it, but still, annoying. Thus the comment about not flawless. Right now, for a simple server client, I still recommend it.

Meanwhile, several of us are hoping to get Brian Binnerup (MyMovies Owner) to develop an interface to allow a "push" to the new Oppo which is reported to accept same. IP command set pending. The front end would be MyMovies (HTPC or App), and the playback device would be the Oppo. Brian doesn't seem to be interested, yet becasue the metadata isn't stored on the Oppo. First company to make this work should toast the others if they hav a decent jukebox and app. Hopefully Brian will come around. If you are interested, please go here :http://www.mymovies.dk/forum.aspx?g=posts&m=157878#157878 and speak up.
post #491 of 519
Quote:
Originally Posted by GetGray View Post

Meanwhile, several of us are hoping to get Brian Binnerup (MyMovies Owner) to develop an interface to allow a "push" to the new Oppo which is reported to accept same. IP command set pending. The front end would be MyMovies (HTPC or App), and the playback device would be the Oppo. Brian doesn't seem to be interested, yet becasue the metadata isn't stored on the Oppo. First company to make this work should toast the others if they hav a decent jukebox and app. Hopefully Brian will come around. If you are interested, please go here :http://www.mymovies.dk/forum.aspx?g=posts&m=157878#157878 and speak up.

But don't the new Oppos not support network ISO (or BDMV folder) playback and don't they have Cinavia which would basically make playing (some) ripped BDs impossible? Seems like a cool idea, but seems like building it on the Oppo is not a viable medium term strategy.

I've almost got myself convinced a Kscape is the solution but I just can't get past $1k per disk.
post #492 of 519
Thread Starter 
Interesting points. Don't know how the copy protection will affect it. Anyway, Brian contacted Oppo and Oppo said there is no command set to push to the unit so unless they make one, the idea is dead.

Meanwhile, the Dune is working acceptably for my needs.
post #493 of 519
Scott

Why is it that oppo 93 could stream iso bluray (prior to firmware disabling) source direct and no other network players have been able to enable this feature
post #494 of 519
Thread Starter 
Not sure I understand the question. Other network players can use iso's. The Dune for example. But in any case, I don't know. My expectation is it's the companies staying "legal". Otherwise I don't know why Oppo would have turned off a functioning feature. Although, the Oppo used to only stream from a directly connected device (not over the network), or so I was told.

If the new one will play, via it's own internal menus, a BRD folder structure, there's an argument for forgoing the jukebox altogether. But I still like having the jukebox. A lot. Enough to stay with the Dune for now.
post #495 of 519
Scott
My question was concerning source direct and why oppo can do it yet other network players can't,sorry I was not clearer
post #496 of 519
Thread Starter 
Ah, no problem. In my laymen terms it has to do with the chipsets they use to do the decoding, etc, and how the manufacturer is able to control same. Amirm or one of the other technical gurus could answer better than I.
post #497 of 519
As far as I can tell it's just motivation/interest on the developer's part. SageTV's HD300 had a Sigma 8654 (HD100 was the 8623L and the HD200 was the 8635), looks like the Dune BD Prime 3 used the 8642, and SageTV managed to get native output switching working on those, while Dune hasn't on theirs.
post #498 of 519
Thread Starter 
But even the Sage was upsampling color to 4:4:4 wasn't it?
post #499 of 519
Could be, but at least you're not stuck with the Sigma's deinterlacing.
post #500 of 519
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by stanger89 View Post

Could be, but at least you're not stuck with the Sigma's deinterlacing.
We are in agreement 100%. Less is more here. Just hand it off to the VP and leave it alone already.
post #501 of 519
Quote:
Originally Posted by stanger89 View Post


I've almost got myself convinced a Kscape is the solution but I just can't get past $1k per disk.

I don't follow you regarding the $1K/disk?
post #502 of 519
He most likely means $1K per disk cartridge
post #503 of 519
Yeah, I mean I understand the exceptional level of support they offer and the benefits of their testing, but I can fill (well half fill) my unRAID server for the same cost as 1 K disc, with the same sized discs as that one K disc.
post #504 of 519
Quote:
Originally Posted by stanger89 View Post

Yeah, I mean I understand the exceptional level of support they offer and the benefits of their testing, but I can fill (well half fill) my unRAID server for the same cost as 1 K disc, with the same sized discs as that one K disc.

I own K system and I have said for long time that the hard drives are over priced. But its low volume high margin business model, so I cant blame the company. And they are not as overpriced as you may think at first glance. They use enterprise hard drives and if you check the prices of highest quality enterprise driives , rest assured you wont be able to fill anywhere close to half of unraid ( I have unraid as well). Now thats a different argument , that I dont use enterprise drives in my unraid and I havent had any drive failure in 5 years , maybe I just got lucky..smile.gif
post #505 of 519
From what I can tell (a quick search) enterprise drives are only like $100-150 more than consumer drives, not $800-850 more.

FWIW, the 3TB WD Red drives (designed for NAS use) run about $180-200, a 3TB WD RE enterprise drive runs about $300-330. The only price I can find for the 3TB cartridges is $1695, $1395 + $300 flood surcharge. Seems like K is basically charging $1000 for validation.
post #506 of 519
The flood surcharge has been gone for several months. And you can email couple of few AVS forum members who are K delaers who will give you good price on the system, drives etc. .
Here is an enterprise drive with $599 MSRP

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822148757

There are several of them with MSRP in 400-500's. So yes you will end up paying 2x-3x, whatever the street price of different enterprise drives is . There is no way around it. I wish there was too, but it is what it is. But good enterprise drives are not as cheap as you think. I personally dont use enterprise drives in any of the PC's I make or in my unraid as I have triple redundancy for my data/music files/pics etc. So i can change the drive for $100 if it fails. But with K you dont have a choice. All things said , I love K after shelling out the initial $$
post #507 of 519
Yup, I know it is what it is. Guess my only point, to K or any dealers who have probably already passed the same sentiment up to K is that the drive costs make their system a non starter for me. I mean I'm about at the point where I can see the value in a $2k player or a server, but the drive costs are just a showstopper for me.
post #508 of 519
Quote:
Originally Posted by stanger89 View Post

Yup, I know it is what it is. Guess my only point, to K or any dealers who have probably already passed the same sentiment up to K is that the drive costs make their system a non starter for me. I mean I'm about at the point where I can see the value in a $2k player or a server, but the drive costs are just a showstopper for me.

A similar situation exists with CCTV. Avigilon are a top contender for IP HD security cameras. I had the demo and much like K, the Avigilon hardware and above all software interface is very slick. I could see the value immediately in their system but naturally as I added cameras to the system design and thus increased the storage capacity requirements the system cost crept up. The Avigilon server itself is an enterprise unit and (I'd assume) has enterprise drives, but the difference in cost between say a 5TB server and 10TB model is about an extra £1800. I don't know if there are changes beyond adding extra disks but it seemed quite steep at first glance.

As storage in generally is much cheaper these days, like you, I do struggle to accept the costs on this basis.
post #509 of 519
I use the Dune and have 100% reliability. But then, I don't feed it via network. I have a 4 disc HDD enclosure connected via USB. Rather than run a RAID setup, I just backup all my media one for one on another enclosure. Simple, and 100% reliable. When I have a HDD failure, I'll just make a copy of one of the backup HDDs and stick it in the enclosure. I tried the network route, but almost all networks will have the occasional "burp". When that happens, your movie has a "burp". Some are OK with that and ignore it. Some throw huge dollars and effort to make a "perfect" network. I just plug in a USB drive and get completely reliable playback with no "burps". I want to watch movies and not deal with network issues. When I'm not watching movies the HDDs are completely depowered resulting in far longer HDD life. To transfer movies I've ripped, I just hit one button on the enclosure switching it from USB to esata. The esata connection is to a PC so transfers and backups are quick and easy. Easy, simple, cheap, and reliable. The ONLY limitation is that the HDD aren't available to other media players via network, but that's OK with me. Storage is cheap enough that I'd rather have multiple local storage than network my media. I spent plenty on my home theater, I expect flawless playback. One small stutter while watching a movie is not acceptable to me, and network playback of BD content is going to occasionally have such a stutter. Not for everyone certainly, but if you're not a networking whiz kid you have to ask yourself: Do you want to watch movies, or do you want to screw around with your network?

Yes, I wish the Dune passed the video unmolested. However, playback really is excellent.
post #510 of 519
Regarding Disk cost I hope this helps somebody.

I am a SAN engineer and deal with customers all the time complaining of disk/storage cost compared to off the shelf disks. I would say 80% of the time when they have decided to go with a cheaper solution (comsumer NAS products or arrays) it has ended badly and cost more money in the long run and ended up buying the recommend solution anyway. Yes you can make your own SAN or media array but it is not a turnkey solution and is not supported the same way. This is a tradeoff. I know it sounds like a lot to pay $1k for a disk but in the industry I would say that is actually lower than most of the SATA SAN disks out there. Right now the cost is around $1-2k per TB disk and can reach $3-4k per magnetic disk if added later for the 3-4tb disks. SSD's can be much higher per disk than this reaching $10k per disk, and we are only talking about 250-500gb here!

If the disks were market price then the head units would cost far more, probably double or higher and then they would hit you with increased license costs to offset the revenue.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Ultra Hi-End HT Gear ($20,000+)
AVS › AVS Forum › Display Devices › Ultra Hi-End HT Gear ($20,000+) › Media Servers worthy of high end