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Kaleidescape 3U Server Price - Page 3

post #61 of 160
Quote:
Originally Posted by AV Science Sales 4 View Post

I was at a customer's house who was using an inexpensive HiMedia server to store his entire Bluray collection with almost instant access to every Bluray and to any frame.

I think the total hardware needed was under a $1000 for the HiMedia server, 3 Terabytes of storage to add at the Himedia, a Bluray burner, and a lap top, lap top price not included. Of course one needed to subscribe to some computer program for about $150 per year that would allow one to rip a bluray illegally and store it for transfer to the storage in the HiMedia.

The program guys are offshore and the only one that could be come aftered here would be the end user but I wonder why considering the end user would be buying every bluray to be ripped and just be using the ststem for storage and private playback. Hard to see the damage to the content owners.


You can definitely build a "K Like" movie server for much less. I spent less than $1k on my movie server that currently has 365 Blu-Rays and 150 DVD's. I love K Scape and think its worth every penny but its just out the budget for me right now. So I've put together a system that will probably come as close as possible to getting a Kscape system for much less. I am in the process of redoing my movie server. This time around I am making the process as simple to use even a 6 year old or wife could rip a movie.

For storage I am building an unRAID server. I found unRAID to be the best solution for my needs for media storage. Cost under $500 + drives!

For a player I'm using PopCorn Hour players which cost $200 or less.

For ripping you don't need a expensive computer. Something as little as $300 will do the job. For me I put an older PC I had into a HTPC case and now have it located in the tv stand. To keep the ripping as simple as possible for anyone to use I'm using Windows Media Center with MyMovies "Copy Disc" feature. This will automatically rip the movie with a few presses of a button and gather up the metadata for you.

For a UI I'm going with YAMJ Eversion Flash UI.

For under $1500 you have a killer movie server thats capable of streaming movies throughout the house.

Of course K would still be the KING of movie servers with its sexy jukebox! If its out the budget this is a great alternative.

Of course building an HTPC is also another way to go.




Kaleidescape UI



Eversion Flash UI



HTPC with MyMovies




Something about Kaleidescape's UI that just looks so cool!
post #62 of 160
Quote:
Originally Posted by Glimmie View Post

I also wonder what prevents a friends disk or even a NetFlix disk from being loaded into one of these servers - licensed or not? Specifically how does Kalidescape prevent that?

Or is it assumed people who can afford a Kalidescape don't steal

In general this seems to be becoming a problem, and not just with Kalidescape. I know many people who are nice, well do to, and for the most part law abiding citizens; However, when it comes to netflix, etc, it seems like there's this un-written exception where they can copy anything they want, because, "I am going to watch it later, and after I am done, then I'll delete it." Problem is IMO, that is not legal in any way, and they are now a part of the reason we have ever increasing amounts of copy protection.

Personally, I rip all my dvd & blu-ray -purchases- to a server, and none of my physical media leaves the house for anyone to use. I just can't have a piece of physical media leave my place and know for sure it does not get copied.

Re: Kalidescape: I'd probably have one if I could afford it, but for now, I settle for MythTV, where all my media, including DVR media, is in one place. It does take a lot of effort to get it wife friendly, but I feel I am finally there. It's such a nice feeling to pick a movie and not sit through trailer after trailer to get to what you want to watch.
post #63 of 160
With the new Kalidescape Ipad app, its even easier to use.

Add Savant, or Crestron or Irule, and the wife will stop nagging you about all that other expensive equipment you are buying.

Of course the reality is you just spent more on them then you wanted to, for your man cave. 35 years of marriage has a way of making that happen.

Jim
post #64 of 160
Quote:
Originally Posted by amt View Post

In general this seems to be becoming a problem, and not just with Kalidescape. I know many people who are nice, well do to, and for the most part law abiding citizens; However, when it comes to netflix, etc, it seems like there's this un-written exception where they can copy anything they want, because, "I am going to watch it later, and after I am done, then I'll delete it." Problem is IMO, that is not legal in any way, and they are now a part of the reason we have ever increasing amounts of copy protection.

Personally, I rip all my dvd & blu-ray -purchases- to a server, and none of my physical media leaves the house for anyone to use. I just can't have a piece of physical media leave my place and know for sure it does not get copied.

Re: Kalidescape: I'd probably have one if I could afford it, but for now, I settle for MythTV, where all my media, including DVR media, is in one place. It does take a lot of effort to get it wife friendly, but I feel I am finally there. It's such a nice feeling to pick a movie and not sit through trailer after trailer to get to what you want to watch.

But doesn't the requirement by the K system to have the disc present in the KVault for playback solve this issue of burning netflix rental discs ?
post #65 of 160
Quote:
Originally Posted by LJG View Post

For bluray the physical disc must be present in the system

I assume that there is a way that K can store the BR discs - otherwise, if I have to put a BR disc in the K system every time I want to view the ripped media, I don't see the point.
post #66 of 160
My understanding is that is correct the disc is stored in the Kvault, so I don't see an issue with Netflix rental discs, you can burn to hard drive but the disc must be physically present in the Kvault for playback....

At least that is my understanding of how the Kscape system works
post #67 of 160
Quote:
Originally Posted by Glimmie View Post

Now it's a lot of work, a lot, and you must be able to struggle with free software apps that are not well supported.

Or you can pay for a couple of apps that do everything that needs to be done and they do it without any great effort.

More over if you are purchasing your content, as you should be, the cost of this software is a drop in the bucket compared to the cost of the hardware and content.
post #68 of 160
Quote:
Originally Posted by J.Mike Ferrara View Post

I assume that there is a way that K can store the BR discs - otherwise, if I have to put a BR disc in the K system every time I want to view the ripped media, I don't see the point.


Yes, this is why the KVAULTS were developed. We first had the MDV (KVAULT-10), a third party import and storage device used as an interim component while K's own KVAULT was completed. The MDV would import your BR to the K Server and then store the discs. It has a capacity of 100 BR discs.

K then released the M700 Vault. It is bigger, built better and looks like the other K components. It also imports, and will import BR, DVD, CD's, home movies, etc. It stores 320 discs. We now also have a DV700, just released, also stores 320 BR discs, without a built-in movie player (for those that don't need another Player).

When a BR disc is imported and left in storage the M700 records the presence of the disc in a particular slot. When you attempt to play a BR, the system does a quick check (less than a second) to insure the disc is still stored in the Vault and then starts the movie playback. It is seamless. There is no noise from the M700 during this process. It does not actually access the disk (the carousel does not turn), it reads the presence electronically. If you remove a disc, the system records its removal and playback is not permitted. All playback and control is directly from the Server, and again, it's seamless and very fast. The MDV described earlier works the same way, but only for BR and only up to 100 discs.

The M700 also doubles as a movie player because of the built-in M-Series Player that comes with the M700. (No player in the MDV.)

My favorite aspect of BR playback on the K system, is the significant reduction of load times for BR movies, and being able to select "Play Movie" and bypassing all the warnings, trailers, etc.. Of course if you want to see those things you select "Play Disc."


Jim
post #69 of 160
Thanks, Jim. Tis a shame that the KVAULT is needed. The Play Movie feature is great, though.
post #70 of 160
Quote:
Originally Posted by J.Mike Ferrara View Post

Thanks, Jim. Tis a shame that the KVAULT is needed. The Play Movie feature is great, though.


Yup, unfortunately, the "disc must be present" requirement is still in place, and this was K's only option at this time.

Other than the cost, it's not really a problem. Frankly, I don't even notice the vault or it's function. It sits quietly in the background. It could also be argued the Vault takes up a lot less space than 320 BR movies sitiing on a shelf.


Jim
post #71 of 160
Quote:
Originally Posted by fcwilt View Post

Or you can pay for a couple of apps that do everything that needs to be done and they do it without any great effort.

More over if you are purchasing your content, as you should be, the cost of this software is a drop in the bucket compared to the cost of the hardware and content.

Some of us, though rare, have DVHS libraries from back when you could record HD from Dish and Directv. I have over 500 movies. Initially Dish had an 8VSB modulator option that would output HD MPEG streams over a digital TV channel. The Panasonic ATSC tuner and DVHS deck could record that. Later a small company sold a mod kit where the MPEG stream was tapped inside the STB and converted to Firewire. And still today some cable boxes have Firewire ports though the cable networks are starting to force those ports off on premium content. MPEG4, impossible to solder to BGA chips, and more secure PC board design has all but killed off satellite HD recording in the clear hacks. (of course internal PVRs with external disks are allowed but with restrictions).

Also note that in the early to mid 2000s, cable networks put out true 1920x1080 HD. Only later did they start with the HD-Lite games.

The writing is on the wall for DVHS. The decks were rare to start with and long since out of production so no parts. And of course we all know how tape deteriorates over time.

So dumping these libraries to a server is an eventual priority for some of us.

As for legality:

Well the Betamax case seems to have addressed that. Or did it? Some claim that decision was based on OTA TV and not cable or satellite channels. Who knows? But the way I see it is that as long as the satellite or cable service was paid for and not hacked, recording of the content for home use should be OK..... I'm quite sure the MPAA would disagree!
post #72 of 160
Glimmie - why not burn the DVHS tapes to BR?
post #73 of 160
Quote:
Originally Posted by J.Mike Ferrara View Post

Glimmie - why not burn the DVHS tapes to BR?

That's actually Plan B. I did a test and it works for playback on a PC but not on a stock BR player. I know I need some different MPEG2 conversion software if I go this route.
post #74 of 160
It seems DVD CCA has their way. Would a DVD vault be compliant or does the judgement mean anything on DVD streaming is off the table?
post #75 of 160
Is Kscape based on linux?
post #76 of 160
Quote:
Originally Posted by yin View Post

Is Kscape based on linux?

I've heard it's Linux, Unix and that K created their own O/S. So who knows... I too would like to know what it runs on.
post #77 of 160
1. K is their own proprietary OS. the CEO has a PhD in computer science from stanford and his specialty is real time operating systems. he also started NetAPP and what has become BLue COat systems. so real time OS and APPLIANCE products are right in their wheelhouse.

2. K has gone to great lengths to state they are not a media server. k is not about the fast access or massive storage. it is about the overall experience. it is the cover art that they scan, the movie descriptions that they write. the bookmarks and control cues that they bookmark, the stopping in one room and picking up in another, the sorting of cover art with a customer algorithm, that shows you similar things so that a two year old (literally!) or as was mentioned, child with downs, can use it. when we would do a demo, the customer would always take the remote over and just drive. k is an Entertainment experience appliance.

It really is.
post #78 of 160
Quote:
Originally Posted by Glimmie View Post

As for legality:

Well the Betamax case seems to have addressed that. Or did it? Some claim that decision was based on OTA TV and not cable or satellite channels. Who knows? But the way I see it is that as long as the satellite or cable service was paid for and not hacked, recording of the content for home use should be OK..... I'm quite sure the MPAA would disagree!

I agree with you. Seems we got lucky with time-shifting broadcasts. However, copying movie rentals (netflix) IMO are completely different, legally.

Funny thing I saw on some of my DirecTV installations docs: they have wiring diagrams for hooking up a DVD-recorder to the output of one of their STBs! So I would guess they do not have a problem with it. As for the content providers, not sure.
post #79 of 160
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dizzman View Post

1. K is their own proprietary OS. the CEO has a PhD in computer science from stanford and his specialty is real time operating systems. he also started NetAPP and what has become BLue COat systems. so real time OS and APPLIANCE products are right in their wheelhouse.

I very much doubt they wrote their own OS, at least from scratch. NetApp uses BSD, and I would expect the same from K, given their notices here: http://www.kaleidescape.com/files/do...de-Notices.pdf

Actually it looks like they list "linux kernel" in there and a ton of open source apps as well, so very doubtful they wrote their own OS.
post #80 of 160
Funny thing is they use a ton of programs that all of the hobby & open-source media players use. Gstreamer, alsa, etc.
post #81 of 160
So dvdcca got their way- will this mean DVD disks must be in a carousel too?

Will this mean K can't copy 8-tracks either?!?
post #82 of 160
Let me preface this by saying that I have never seen a KScape system in person so there might be a ton of benefits that I'm not aware of. I have seen some YouTube videos.

I use XBMC to play all my movies and I just can't see why everyone talks about the "Kaleidescape experience". I understand that setting up an HTPC with XBMC and getting your library all together is out of the league of what some people want or possibly even can do.

But once it is set up I have to imagine it is as good or even better than what KScape can offer. Many people accept that the skins on XBMC have surpassed KScape in terms of visual eye candy. Anything is awesome when you go from a single disc DVD/BD solution to a server. This is the skin I use that illustrates a bunch of the views.

In terms of simplicity, my wife picks up a remote, hits the XBMC button and she is presented with the home screen. From there she can choose Movies, Kids Movies, TV Shows or Music. If she chooses Movies than she will see a list of our movies in alphabetical order. It doesn't rearrange like KScape does based on similarity but I don't even think we'd want to. We know what movie we want to watch when we load it up and even if we didn't, some predetermined algorithm is less likely to show us something we want vs. simple scrolling. Once she gets to the movie she wants, she hits OK and it starts up. I rip to MKV so I'm skipping all intros and get straight to the movie.

I don't need the feature but XBMC also offers picking up a movie in a second room right where you left off.

HTPC and XBMC aren't perfect and certainly aren't for everybody. They do require the setup but that isn't really my point. I'm just wondering if you bypass all of that and are dealing with a fully functional system. Kaleidescape was revolutionary for what it offered but I just wonder if some of the hardcore users were shown what else is available today what their opinions would be.
post #83 of 160
Maybe you should visit one of the several dealers in the area and see what the fuss is about.

Dan
post #84 of 160
Quote:
Originally Posted by DanFrancis View Post

Maybe you should visit one of the several dealers in the area and see what the fuss is about.

Dan

Realistically I'd be wasting their time. I have no interest in purchasing one as I have a fully functioning system without the cost. I'm a DIY guy. Most people who frequent these forums are enthusiasts so I don't really see this as wasting somebody's time yet rather collaborating knowledge.
post #85 of 160
Quote:
Originally Posted by ktrdsl23 View Post

Let me preface this by saying that I have never seen a KScape system in person so there might be a ton of benefits that I'm not aware of. I have seen some YouTube videos.

I use XBMC to play all my movies and I just can't see why everyone talks about the "Kaleidescape experience". I understand that setting up an HTPC with XBMC and getting your library all together is out of the league of what some people want or possibly even can do.

But once it is set up I have to imagine it is as good or even better than what KScape can offer. Many people accept that the skins on XBMC have surpassed KScape in terms of visual eye candy. Anything is awesome when you go from a single disc DVD/BD solution to a server. This is the skin I use that illustrates a bunch of the views.

In terms of simplicity, my wife picks up a remote, hits the XBMC button and she is presented with the home screen. From there she can choose Movies, Kids Movies, TV Shows or Music. If she chooses Movies than she will see a list of our movies in alphabetical order. It doesn't rearrange like KScape does based on similarity but I don't even think we'd want to. We know what movie we want to watch when we load it up and even if we didn't, some predetermined algorithm is less likely to show us something we want vs. simple scrolling. Once she gets to the movie she wants, she hits OK and it starts up. I rip to MKV so I'm skipping all intros and get straight to the movie.

I don't need the feature but XBMC also offers picking up a movie in a second room right where you left off.

HTPC and XBMC aren't perfect and certainly aren't for everybody. They do require the setup but that isn't really my point. I'm just wondering if you bypass all of that and are dealing with a fully functional system. Kaleidescape was revolutionary for what it offered but I just wonder if some of the hardcore users were shown what else is available today what their opinions would be.

Every few months I read a thread like this where someone praises XBMC and I go and download it to see if it has done away with the usability issues see that it has not and I delete it. This time was no exception . This software simply is not designed by someone who understands usability. Yes, skins help to make it pretty but skins don't change the design of the software.

Example: I install the software and it comes up with the four choices of content. I select Music expecting to see my library. What I see is nothing like that. I see a tab saying "Music Files." Files? Why would any user want to know about files? Below that I see what appears to be a dialog box although not similar to anything on any operating system so I am not sure. It has two choices: Music add-ons and Add source. Really? The heck are these things? What add-ons? And what source? My music "files?" If so, why not start with My Music?

As I type this, my laptop is cooking with CPU near max. I have no idea what the heck it is doing in the background. Why not tell me?

I click Add source. I get another dialog telling me "ENTER THE PATHS OR BROWSE FOR THE MEDIA LOCATIONS." Really? All upper case letters? What school of UI did they go to? Below that "" is highlighted. Again, why not My Music as the default? I click Browse. It pops up some odd dialog with a path of "SPECIAL://MUSICPLAYLISTS." I see oddball directories like "Home Folder." What home? What the heck is a SAP stream? Here is the snapshot:


I went and selected weather. It pops up pretty UI with no data whatsoever! I am sure something needs to be configured but it is not telling me what.

This is stuff that engineers write who have never seen the inside of a usability lab and what it takes to write polished software. And skins can't cover up stuff like this.

Contrast this with K where you turn on the device, let it update its firmware and it is ready to go. There is essentially no set up at all. It just turns on and works like an appliance made for this purpose. You can add players, etc. all just works.

Yes, I am no fan of the association animation it does. It makes for cute demos but is the enemy of usability. Outside of that though, the thing does work with high level of polish and discovery. Give a "child remote" to someone and as soon as they try to browse, they only see the movies you want them to view! A 5 year old can now view things safely. They do a few things well. That is what Apple does. Get the design right and leave off non-essential things you can't deliver without polish.

The other thing is that K uses a playback license to decrypt the movie so it always works. Not so with people relying on underground decryption software like Slysoft which can get out of sync with some new movie, forcing you to wait for their next update before you can rip them. AACS is always working to make their job harder so this problem may become more acute in the future.

I wish ripping discs was a license anyone could get to build a good system. That would have allowed companies like Microsoft and Apple to build proper software. But that is not the case. So we are left with the one company, K, which builds it as integrated high-end system and DIY software that is barely meeting the usability bar. If you have the money, there is no question K is the right answer. I can build home servers in my sleep and I am telling you it is so tempting to just spend the money and get the darn thing .
post #86 of 160
Quote:
Originally Posted by amirm View Post

Every few months I read a thread like this where someone praises XBMC and I go and download it to see if it has done away with the usability issues see that it has not and I delete it. This time was no exception . This software simply is not designed by someone who understands usability. Yes, skins help to make it pretty but skins don't change the design of the software.

Example: I install the software and it comes up with the four choices of content. I select Music expecting to see my library. What I see is nothing like that. I see a tab saying "Music Files." Files? Why would any user want to know about files? Below that I see what appears to be a dialog box although not similar to anything on any operating system so I am not sure. It has two choices: Music add-ons and Add source. Really? The heck are these things? What add-ons? And what source? My music "files?" If so, why not start with My Music?

As I type this, my laptop is cooking with CPU near max. I have no idea what the heck it is doing in the background. Why not tell me?

I click Add source. I get another dialog telling me "ENTER THE PATHS OR BROWSE FOR THE MEDIA LOCATIONS." Really? All upper case letters? What school of UI did they go to? Below that "" is highlighted. Again, why not My Music as the default? I click Browse. It pops up some odd dialog with a path of "SPECIAL://MUSICPLAYLISTS." I see oddball directories like "Home Folder." What home? What the heck is a SAP stream? Here is the snapshot:


I went and selected weather. It pops up pretty UI with no data whatsoever! I am sure something needs to be configured but it is not telling me what.

This is stuff that engineers write who have never seen the inside of a usability lab and what it takes to write polished software. And skins can't cover up stuff like this.

Contrast this with K where you turn on the device, let it update its firmware and it is ready to go. There is essentially no set up at all. It just turns on and works like an appliance made for this purpose. You can add players, etc. all just works.

Yes, I am no fan of the association animation it does. It makes for cute demos but is the enemy of usability. Outside of that though, the thing does work with high level of polish and discovery. Give a "child remote" to someone and as soon as they try to browse, they only see the movies you want them to view! A 5 year old can now view things safely. They do a few things well. That is what Apple does. Get the design right and leave off non-essential things you can't deliver without polish.

The other thing is that K uses a playback license to decrypt the movie so it always works. Not so with people relying on underground decryption software like Slysoft which can get out of sync with some new movie, forcing you to wait for their next update before you can rip them. AACS is always working to make their job harder so this problem may become more acute in the future.

I wish ripping discs was a license anyone could get to build a good system. That would have allowed companies like Microsoft and Apple to build proper software. But that is not the case. So we are left with the one company, K, which builds it as integrated high-end system and DIY software that is barely meeting the usability bar. If you have the money, there is no question K is the right answer. I can build home servers in my sleep and I am telling you it is so tempting to just spend the money and get the darn thing .

I understand your point but the main thing is you are complaining about is setup. Like many things in this world, the language looks alien until you understand it. Once you do all of these things are a breeze. It would probably take you a few hours of figuring out the menus along with frequenting XBMC setup sites and you would have your system working as you expect. Making changes from there would be a quick and painless.

What I am looking at is once you get past all of that. I have my library set up and working. Adding a movie to it takes no longer than it would on Kaleidescape. My wife doesn't need to know anything about the menus you are working through.

I imagine a determined individual though looking to save a few ten thousand dollars would be willing to invest the few hours to become familiar with the system.

XBMC's biggest reason for not being "usable" as you call it is because it isn't trying to be. It doesn't care if it replaces KScape or WMC or any other product. It is trying to satisfy the requests of its very large user base who already know how to do the basic setup things you are calling out.

So I guess your points are valid to why many individuals here shouldn't try switching to XBMC, but I wonder if they paid somebody to set up their system for them what they would think of the experience (the media viewing experience).

And BTW, running XBMC barely uses any processing power on my computer and can be run on cheap Ion Nettops so something was getting screwy as you tried to set it up that it maxed out your laptop.
post #87 of 160
Can your wife rip BDs using XBMC? Last I looked into this you had to do your ripping using external desktop programs. Is this fully automated now for all discs?
post #88 of 160
Ktrds123- The difference in usability is easy to explain, in these simple words: Kaleidescape is easy to use, even if you are retarded!

Can you say the same thing about XBMC?
post #89 of 160
Quote:
Originally Posted by amirm View Post

Can your wife rip BDs using XBMC? Last I looked into this you had to do your ripping using external desktop programs. Is this fully automated now for all discs?


Quote:
Originally Posted by iansilv View Post

Ktrds123- The difference in usability is easy to explain, in these simple words: Kaleidescape is easy to use, even if you are retarded!

Can you say the same thing about XBMC?


It seems that people aren't understanding my point. All these complaints continue to be on setup. I will be the first to agree that the setup isn't easy and straightforward, however I would certainly say that my setup of XBMC at home is easy enough that any wife or even a mentally disabled person could easily use it.

Here is what I would need to teach a 5 year old. Press XBMC button on remote -> use left and right arrow keys to the picture of Disney Characters -> Press Enter -> Use left and right arrow keys and look at full screen pictures to get to desired movie (perhaps today the picture of Cinderella) -> Press Enter

I haven't looked into it but I could probably even make a button on my remote that goes straight to the Kids Movies.

My goal with all of this though was never to convince people who love the easiness of KScape setup and loading of discs to do away with it for XBMC. It was trying to understand on a Sat. night when the family sits down to watch a movie and turns on the system, are things really that different.
post #90 of 160
Quote:
Originally Posted by ktrdsl23 View Post

It seems that people aren't understanding my point. All these complaints continue to be on setup.

Set up? If your wife buys a new movie and wants to ingest it into the system that is not a setup issue. It is an ongoing usage model for the system.

Quote:


My goal with all of this though was never to convince people who love the easiness of KScape setup and loading of discs to do away with it for XBMC. It was trying to understand on a Sat. night when the family sits down to watch a movie and turns on the system, are things really that different.

Likewise, I am not saying you can't do what you are saying. I know a number of people who have setup HTPCs with extenders and families are able to use them. But I have heard they always wait for the husband to do the ingest of new discs and consider that a pain (family members that is). So I asked whether this is now an automatic thing or not. No need to think you are under attack . I am a great fan of PCs and heavily advocate their use for music right now. I have just been burned by the complexity of the same for ripped movies .
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