Media Servers

Simplicity and home theater equipment don’t often seem to go together. With the constant influx of new products and upgrades, it’s hard to maintain a user-friendly environment. After all, how can you simplify your surroundings and stay ahead of the technology game at the same time? Media servers can help solve this problem. They bring all of your movies, music, and photos to a central location and then let you access it from all around your home. Media servers also provide the integration you need so you’ll be able to just sit down and enjoy your movies and music. What a concept.

Crestron Adagio Digital Media System ($7,000) (pictured above)
Crestron pulled out all the stops with its fully loaded Adagio Digital Media System. This system combines a multimedia server with an online streaming media player, DVD, or Blu-ray Disc player, and a Web browser. If that wasn’t enough to satisfy your media server dreams, the Adagio also incorporates a high-powered search program called Crestron WorldSearch. WorldSearch not only searches your entire media collection, but the Internet as well. You’ll be able to find exactly what you’re looking for, whether you own it or not. Crestron also gives you room to grow with its system. You can upgrade your Adagio with an optional ADC-200BR 200-Disc Blu-ray Changer ($9,000) for a true high-def experience.

Niveus Media Denali Limited Edition Media Server ($13,499)
Niveus took one giant step forward with its updated Denali Limited Edition. The server brings together a number of outstanding features like Niveus’ trademark Glacier Passive Cooling System. It also offers a full 2 terabytes of storage to hold your movies, music, and photos. Best of all, the Denali makes the most of your HD material. It provides 1080p video output paired with 7.1-channel high-definition audio. It also has the capacity to record and store 250 hours of HDTV programming. Just because you want simplicity doesn’t mean you need to sacrifice quality.

ReQuest IQ.IMC Intelligent Media Client ($2,495)
Don’t assume that a high-tech media server has to be complicated. When you combine the Intelligent Media Client with one of ReQuest’s acclaimed iQ or F-Series servers, you’ll have everything you need to turn your house into a media-friendly getaway. Its straightforward user interface and simple setup make it easy to keep your movies, photos, and music together in one place. You can even stay connected to the outside world with a broadband Internet connection that streams video and live weather and stock updates. And with its built-in slot-loading DVD drive, playing and archiving your favorite films is a cinch.

Kaleidescape KSERVER 5000 3U Server with 1080p Movie Player ($29,005)
You may not want to drop just under $30K on a media server, but the Kaleidescape sets out to be worth every penny. Along with a 1080p Movie Player, it includes seven 1-TB disk cartridges. This allows it to store approximately 750 DVDs, 8,250 CDs, or a mix of the two. The 3U server will also give you peace of mind through its innovative RAID-K disk storage technology. If a drive fails, the 3U automatically restores your data to the Hot Spare Disk Cartridge. This function protects all of your media from being lost and won’t interrupt the material you are currently watching. This server might be a major investment, but it’s certainly one you won’t regret.

Fusion Research Genesis Media Server ($6,995)
Although the Genesis Media Server looks like a bare-bones media server, its capabilities are far more involved. On its own, the 2U commercial-grade server can host four zones of streaming audio and video and store up to 300 DVDs or 3,200 CDs. But Fusion Research also designed the server so that you can expand it with additional Network-attached storage (NAS). With this option, the Genesis will adapt to whatever needs you have. Plus, its compact size lends itself to any home theater environment, big or small.