Maximum Media Server
MediaMax from Axonix Corporation, a 21-year-old company specializing in media sharing technologies, is described by the company as a multi-room, multimedia on-demand home entertainment system. Using MediaMax MediaDeck Set-top Players, users in any room can instantly watch any DVD movie stored on the Media Server's hard drive(s). Axonix maintains that the system allows users to "listen to their favorite music or an Internet radio program, watch recorded TV shows, show-off family movies or photo albums, email, and surf the Web." Media is accessed via the included hand-held wireless remote control or with other home remote controllers. The MediaMax system is one of the most expandable systems available with "unlimited" media storage capacity and the ability to provide "simultaneous access to any movie, song or other media, anytime" in up to 30 rooms.
A new software upgrade for the MediaMax supports automatic retrieval, storage, searching, and selectable playback of a DVD movie by its cover art and associated information about the movie. Such movie information includes the genre, actors, story summary, rating, and other "metadata" accessed from a dynamically updated Axonix-managed online database that contains reference information for over 205,000 movies.
The new software release also includes an Advanced Programming Application Interface (API) providing universal compatibility with almost all of the custom wall-mount or touch-screen remote controls currently available - including those from Crestron (using Axonix's free Interface Module), AMX, Universal Remote, Philips, Control 4, NetStream, and HAI.
Loading DVD movies onto the MediaMax is a one-step process that can be done locally on the MediaServer or remotely using a Windows PC running MediaMax's optional Remote MediaLoader software. Once a DVD is inserted, the movie is automatically loaded onto the system's server along with its cover art and metadata. The entire process takes between 10 and 20 minutes.
To comply with existing copyright laws and regulations, MediaMax does not ship with a movie descrambling utility (in much the same way a generic PC lacks such a pre-loaded utility). The MediaMax system is programmed to require the user to confirm ownership of a stored DVD movie within a set period of time (i.e. eight weeks) after originally loading the movie. Confirmation of ownership is accomplished by re-inserting the DVD when prompted. Without confirmation, the movie will not play back.
A one-room MediaMax system capable of storing an average of 40 DVD movies and "hundreds of music CDs, MP3s, photos and other media" has a retail price starting at $8,895. 250GB MediaDrive modules for storing an additional 40 movies are available for $695 each. External MediaStore Firewire add-on storage devices range in capacity from 250GB to 2 TeraBytes and are priced from $1,495 to $8,995. MediaDeck Set-top Players with an included wireless remote control cost $895 each.