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  #1  
Old Apr 9th, 2015
BenNat BenNat is offline
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Post HDS Media Servers

Has anyone tried the HDS (4K/3D 40tb SSD KODI/Plex i7 Haswell Media Server NAS/HTPC w/ Windows 8.1- $4799) systems that are commonly advertised on eBay, especially when searching for K systems? Thoughts/reviews?
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  #2  
Old Apr 19th, 2015
HiFiGuy1 HiFiGuy1 is offline
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Ben,
I realize it isn't 40TB, but an actual, legitimate Kaleidescape Alto is only $2495. They'll have a 4K version soon enough, too. I would guess at that time, they may also be employing larger 6-8TB drives, as well. That system you mention is basically $5K. That's two Altos, with their combined space and superior interface, plus the obvious benefit of two zones for display.

SSD, in my opinion, is wasted on media servers. The boot drive, maybe, but for storage it's unnecessary. A typical SATA 3 drive can do 6Gbps, and the Blu-ray spec only calls for 54 Mbps, if I remember correctly. So a SATA 3 drive can already transfer data over 100x faster than is required by Blu-ray now, and honestly, we're not going to see a format in our lifetimes that taxes the current SATA 3 rate. Even if 4K required 200Mbps, a SATA 3 drive could support 30 simultaneous streams right now, not allowing for overhead, and probably 20-25 even with overhead. And that's one drive, not allowing for potential advantages for RAID.

If the goal is to find a K system equivalent, if there is such a thing, at a bargain price, I am just saying this may not meet the bargain part, now that K hardware can be had relatively cheaply.
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  #3  
Old Apr 19th, 2015
cinelife cinelife is offline
 
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I think it's fair to say that the owner's I know, and myself, purchased our K systems based on the user experience K provides, and in that sense, there really isn't anything to compare against (IMO).




Jim
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  #4  
Old May 9th, 2015
iansilv iansilv is offline
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What Jim said. These systems make movie watching so much more enjoyable because they simply work. Any of these knockoff systems that claim to copy bluray or dvd are using a version of anydvd. There will always be annoyances and incompatibilities, and they will crop up with new disks. My K system just works- and it works for my wife and kids too. Every time. Immediately. Without fail.
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  #5  
Old Sep 1st, 2015
andrej770 andrej770 is offline
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The objectivity in the comments is to be commended. lol First, K's systems are nothing but specialized PC's themselves with a customized RAID controller. Yes, I dropped the same $25-35K on my K system, but its foolish to think that in todays world, where technology advances daily, that K's HW can't be matched by newer technology. No, it doesn't look like a K, no it doesn't have K's interface, what else is it missing? K's experience, hmmm. OK! :-) AND? My point is this, though its not a K, it IS a FULL PC, it IS user-upgradeable, you CAN place your own MP3 collection on the server to be served throughout the home, you don't require specialized players to play the video (put it in a rack with a Crestron setup and away you go), you CAN stick the latest 8TB drives in it NOW :-) - no waiting for HD certification years after a product comes out to justify the higher price, and lastly, its not trying to be a K, so its not a copycat nor a knockoff AND I can upgrade the OS with my community and add my own features. And who wants a function-limited Alto? Not me!

No matter how you slice it, K will get caught up to eventually. K's a PC with a webserver and a custom UI. If we are objective we will see this. K is the Apple of movie servers while HDS and the rest are the Windows. Now, which is most popular and used the most in the world. Nuff said! :-) Lastly, if any HW is setup correctly, and the person that sets it up knows what they are doing, it will "just work". Just working is not limited to K. Their price allows us to demand that it "just work", just like I expect my BMW B7 Alpina to "just work"! Just my OBJECTIVE opinion.

Andre'
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  #6  
Old Sep 1st, 2015
cinelife cinelife is offline
 
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Objectivity?? This is the K owner's forum!

Seriously, the OP asked if anyone had experience with that product. Given that those that posted made no mention of such experience, an objective opinion could not be rendered. Instead, they posted their general "thoughts," as requested by the OP.

In my case, I mentioned the user interface as my primary reason for owning K, and it's this part of K that I find creates a unique experience, and justifies my ownership. We all understand that hardware is just hardware, the parts of which are not difficult locate, nor to put together. Not even K claims any uniqueness to the hardware, it's their numerous software patents that create the IP behind the company's value. Their products are priced based on the operational needs of the company, needs that include supporting 60+ employees, more than half of which are engineers. If you like what their products do, and can afford to buy in, then buy in, and if you think the cost is too high, then look for an alternative. Those of us that have historically worked with some of the alternatives, and prefer to own a K system, have already displayed our "objectivity."




Jim
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  #7  
Old Sep 1st, 2015
andrej770 andrej770 is offline
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Jim, Don't be offended. I'm entitled to my opinion. There is no requirement that you agree. Additionally, if you don't have a HDS system, you can't be objective. I just so happen to have both. Silo-mindedness is the rave, I get it, but I just don't subscribe to it. And I guess asking a question about non-K equipment in the Alternatives to Kaleidescape sub-forum should always elicit non-objective "thoughts". That sure is assuring. :-)

Last edited by andrej770; Sep 1st, 2015 at 06:56 AM.
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  #8  
Old Sep 1st, 2015
cinelife cinelife is offline
 
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Not offended at all my friend.

You are also correct about the purpose of this thread. Where we differ (as reasonable minds can do), is the need to measure up to your definition of being "objective." Those members posted their opinions, they didn't state nor imply that their comments were meant to be objective. Without stated past experience, or current ownership with a K alternative, it is understood that their comments are not objective from a comparison standpoint, and I did not gather from their posts that they intended them to be objective. So...I just found it odd that you would attack their lack of objectivity, as opposed to just posting your own, more qualified and completely objective viewpoint as a multiple system owner. Nothing more is, or was intended, and I'm certainly NOT dismissing your comments, which I think are valid and worthy of discussion in this thread.

Please don't be offended.



Jim
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  #9  
Old Sep 1st, 2015
mpierson mpierson is offline
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So, to the original question, would you recommend the HDS? Which benefits, if any, does it have above a purely self built machine?
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  #10  
Old Sep 1st, 2015
cinelife cinelife is offline
 
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My personal experience involved evaluating two aspects of these Media Servers, the first was the interface, and in short I found the Windows based systems to be lacking when compared to K's interface. By lacking I mean, I found it functional, but slower, with less control over the content. But it did work. The second aspect was loading my content, and in this regard it's best to go to the HDS site and read what is required/recommended for ripping content to the Media Server. You will find the usual caveats about why not all BR are created equal, and why you may not get all of the content to rip correctly, or with full rez, etc. etc.. I just didn't have the time to play at that level. I wanted a simple solution, and that's what I found with K.

On a separate note, at a minimum, 25% of our clients are people that have gone the "I can do it myself" route and ended up owning K. They may be out there, but I have not met anyone that left K for some other solution. Admittedly, there are the folks that just love to play with tech, and get some orgasmic satisfaction out of ripping a disc, and I suppose for them K would just be too simple, and not enough fun. I get that.

There is of course the monetary side as well, but that doesn't speak to the technology, only the ability to buy it.



Jim
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