homedvd server/storage solutions need advice

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by carolsguy1972, Nov 17, 2007.

  1. carolsguy1972

    carolsguy1972 Auditioning

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    Hello,
    I need some advice on any DVD/media server. Currently I have approximately 1000 discs and with the availability of TV shows and movies being released on DVD I can easily see my collection trippleling in the very near future.

    A few years back I had a 400 DVD changer made by Sony and after about a year of use the power modulator or power regulator fried and after numerous quotes the advice I was given was that it would be cheaper to buy a new one then to replace a faulty part.

    After that experience I decided that a more low-tech solution may be better suited to my needs. I went to eBay and purchased an aluminum DJ case which holds 1000 DVDs general is much like hanging files. I then went to excel and created a number of spreadsheets to index my collection.

    With the emergence of media servers and hard drive DVD servers I made some initial investigations at the Escient and Kaladescape websites. With regard to the Escient systems I found them to be too small and reliant on the same DVD changers which left my collection homeless in the first place.

    Then yesterday I went to the Kaleidescape website and found their production to be absolutely terrific. However with quotes ranging from $25,000-$40,000 for system, however nice it may be at that price point is way beyond me. If anyone knows of any other companies offering hard drive solutions at more affordable price points please let me know.

    Does anyone have any hard drive/server ideas or solutions, which may work for me? My viewing is a large flat screen plasma tv made by Panasonic.

    Would it not be cheaper for me to build a server with a few terabyte hard drives, the question then becomes how do I transfer all of these encrypted DVDs onto the hard drive and where would I find a menu interface program that would work. my budget on the Pro jet is approximately $3000-$5,000.
    Thanks very much for your time and consideration I look forward to your replies
    Shawn
     
  2. Echo42987

    Echo42987 Stunt Coordinator

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    I sell Kaledescape. One of the best products ever. They are currently the only company that has the rights to do what they do legally. To my knowledge.

    -Nick-
     
  3. Joseph DeMartino

    Joseph DeMartino Lead Actor

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    That is, indeed, the rub. I have two 400 disc Sony DVD players (both of which are still working) and I'm running out of space, too. A good interface and a legal method for transfers is the stumbling block to a DIY project for me, as well.

    Kaleidescape isn't the only game in town, but the alternatives are not cheap, either. I've never seen either in action, but from my research I'd look at the Axonix MediaMax system - if price were no object. With HD-DVD and Blu-Ray capabilities and a price $10,000 lower for the base system than Kaleidescape, the MediaMax looks to be the best current high-end media server system. But it still costs around $20,000 for a 4 room, 200 disc system. Like the Kaleidescape it is scalable, but hardly cheap.

    Until these systems start selling in the kind of numbers where real economies of scale kick in and it becomes possible to offer more modular systems that tech-savvy consumers can install themselves, it is hard to imagine a real solution for folks in our position.

    Regards,

    Joe
     
  4. JohnRice

    JohnRice Lead Actor

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    Actually, I am rather certain this is a discussion which is not allowed on HTF. It makes no difference if the application is perceived or actually legal or not. Any form of duplicating or alternately storing DVDs has not been allowed in the past.
     
  5. carolsguy1972

    carolsguy1972 Auditioning

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    thanks very much for your replies eveeyone.
     
  6. Joseph DeMartino

    Joseph DeMartino Lead Actor

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    I disagree. There is no discussion of methods for illegally circumventing CSS. As far as I know all the manufacturers of these commercial systems (which are probably sold by some HTF advertisers) are CSS licensees and operate within the limitations of those licenses. (MediaMax, for instances, advises that due to restrictions it cannot automatically download cover art from its database for HD-DVD and Blu Ray titles, and that it can only make the movie file itself available on the server for Blu Ray discs at this time, not the menus and some extras.)

    Nor is it a matter of these systems being "perceived" to be legal. That Kaleidescape system, at least, has been declared legal by a Judge of the Superior Court in Santa Clara, California. And if Kaleidescape is legal it is hard to see how any of the others are illegal. Again, these are not some home-brew DVD cracking schemes, they are licensed products (which in part accounts for their expense) that allow owners of DVDs to store and distribute them (within a single residence) by alternate means. Both companies make it clear that the user is responsible for respecting copyright laws and must retain the original discs for all material stored on the server(s), and cannot sell or even give them away.

    You can read the decision in the Kaleidescape case (and an addendum from the presiding judge) at the links below (PDF files, Acrobat Reader required):

    Statement of Decision

    Addendum

    Regards,

    Joe

    P.S.

    You've gotta love a judge who references Marvin Gaye in an official court document. [​IMG]
     
  7. Echo42987

    Echo42987 Stunt Coordinator

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    All I can say is....AMEN BROTHER!

    -Nick-
     
  8. JohnRice

    JohnRice Lead Actor

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    Joseph, the issue is not and has never been legal declarations or precedents. It is the HTF rules which are the concern. It had always been against rules to discuss any form of copying, but of course, this is an evolving thing and I really don't know what the HTF standard is at this exact moment.


    Like I say, the rules have nothing to do with whether or not it is illegal. They specifically state discussion of ANY copying is not permitted. I suspect that will have to change in time, but for right now, the rule is quite clear. If it is no longer enforced, it should be changed.
     
  9. Joseph DeMartino

    Joseph DeMartino Lead Actor

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    The rules don't need to be changed, because the rules don't say what you claim. In quoting them you managed to miss the first sentence and therfore the point of the rule:

    13. Home Theater Forum has a strict anti-bootleg policy.

    Everything you quoted and highlighted pertains to the anti-bootlegging policy. Bootlegging in our context is - by definition - the unauthorized copyng and/or distribution of copyrighted content. None of the systems discussed here are used or intended for "bootlegging", so they do not violate the Forum's strict anti-bootlegging policy. And since bootlegging is a violation both civil and criminal law yes, the policy is about whether or not the copying is illegal, even though the word illegal doesn't appear in it.

    If you seriously think the thread is in violation of forums rules you should report it to a moderator, not post to the thread itself.

    On second thought, I'll report it and ask for a ruling. I would have done that in the first place if I'd thought there was any question. (In fact I PM'd Shawn when I posted my first reply to mention that the tools needed for building a do-it-yourself system to do something similar would be agaisnt the rules. That's how confident I was that what he'd already posted was within them.)

    Regards,

    Joe
     
  10. JohnRice

    JohnRice Lead Actor

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    I did not miss it. It is clearly there, I just didn't bold it. There is also an equally valid point that the word "copy" means to transfer from one place or medium to another (aka, to start with one and produce a second), which is a description of what is being done here. That is why I said possibly a change needs or will need to be made to the rules.

    If you took a moment and actually thought about what I am saying, you might realize I am not necessarily disagreeing with you. I am just going by the letter of what is being said, rather than interpreting it. So, it probably is best to see what the explanation is. Traditionally, in descriptions like this, defying any, not just all, of the conditions is a violation.

    Besides Joe, your argument is simply incorrect. If I buy a DVD and make a copy for my own use, I am not bootlegging, but I still can't discuss it here. In fact it is arguable whether I am doing anything wrong at all, but studios claim I am and it has always been my understanding this is exactly why HTF prohibits the entire discussion. A person can use rentals, sell the discs, etc, which opens up a whole can of worms. I respect HTF's desire to avoid the entire problem and I am only trying to do exactly that.

    Besides, show me where it is illegal (in the US anyway) to discuss Religion or Politics, yet that is not permitted here. Same basic thing. It leads to problems HTF doesn't want to deal with.

    So, here's looking forward to an explanation.
     
  11. Joseph DeMartino

    Joseph DeMartino Lead Actor

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    You don't have a license from the DVD Copy Control Association to make that copy. Kaleidescape does. Consquently it isn't bootlegging.

    Besides, you could probably mention that you had copied a disc provided you didn't get into the mechanics of how you did or mention programs or hardware used to accomplish the copying. The clear intent of the policy is to protect the forum by avoiding disucssions of illegal copying which could bring complaints from the DCCA or its members - not systems explicitly licensed by the DCCA itself to make copies and which license has been upheld in the face of a court challenge.

    We'll see what the mods say.

    Regards,

    Joe
     
  12. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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    John, anything is "arguable", but that particular argument, while frequently made on the internet, is unsupportable by anything in copyright law (including the "fair use" rhetoric commonly trotted out to support it).

    This exchange between you and Joseph has been quite helpful, because it has pointed out a nuance in the phrasing of the HTF Rule that needs to be addressed. It was certainly not the intention to exclude discussion of legitimate, licensed applications. Obviously we'll have to look at some sort of revision. But things like that don't happen overnight; so don't be surprised if it takes a while. Meanwhile, thanks to both of you for the thorough parsing of the existing language!

    M.
     
  13. JohnRice

    JohnRice Lead Actor

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    Michael, I've been condemned more often than not for "parsing" language. Also, I play Devil's Advocate a lot, so don't assume I actually agree with every perspective I state.

    Like I originally said, I believe the rules need an updating due to the appearance of "legitimate" servers, and that seems to be the case, despite statements to the contrary. Once I started looking at the situation, that seemed clear to me and my intention for arguing the point. I know I am really not supposed to go into it here, so apologies for that small indiscretion. I suspect IF any more discussion is made, it should be in the feedback section. though I know it should really be left up to HTF admin.

    Thanks for the clarification.
     
  14. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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    I know how you feel. I'm much more likely to be found with you among the "condemned". [​IMG]

    M.
     
  15. Marcus Wood

    Marcus Wood Auditioning

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    Escient recently introduced a new range called 'Vision' which stores DVDs and/or music/photos on mirrored hard drives and has a new HD user interface.

    Like Kaleidescape, they have obtained a licence to copy DVDs to the hard drives legally. You have to copy the entire DVD incuding the menus and encription, and you cannot export the files from the Vision when they have been copied.

    You can also use them with up to four of the Sony 777ES changers (using an adapter) and they have been designed to work with the forthcoming Sony Blu-ray changer. As far as I know, Kaleidescape will not be able to offer any form of Blu-ray storage in the forseeable future.

    I am using an Escient Vision VS, and I can confirm that it works as advertised. The interface is nicer than the older Escients, although not as slick as the Kaleidescapes'.

    One slightly annoying feature is that the hard drives and cooling fan seem to stay on when the unit's in standby mode.

    The VS100 has two 500GB drives so it stores about 100 DVDs or the VS200 has two 1TB drives ($4K and $6k respectively), and you can get an add on model with 4TB for $8k. If you just want to use a single changer you could get the $2k VC-1 model without hard drives that will do that.

    Shawn, did you have the 777ES changer or one of the cheaper models? The 777ES had a pretty good reputation for reliability, although they stopped making them about a year ago.
     

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