It is run by a group of enthusiastic Kaleidescape owners and dealers purely as a service to this community.
... but we strongly encourage you to register for a full account. There is no cost to register for a full account.
So, to the original question, would you recommend the HDS? Which benefits, if any, does it have above a purely self built machine?
You're right, self-built isn't rocket science, however it can often be painful, time consuming and lacking in reliable automation.
I've been running self built ripping systems for years and currently have a NAS and Plex set up, in addition to a smallish K system.
So my question is, does HDS make any of this easier? Perhaps not to the "Insert disc and forget" level of Kaleidescape, but enough to make it worth my while investing in it above my own set up?
Genuinely interested because whilst I love my Kaleidescape system, I'm not sure I can justify the cost of scaling it up to the size I'd like, but I'd be interested in a perhaps less convenient alternative which still does at least some of the heavy lifting for me.
From what I can see on the HDS site, I'm not sure it offers anything beyond what I have, for instance no automation to manage the ripping process, which is still left to the user. Am I wrong?
That all makes sense. I'm quite clear on what K's USP is over HDS/self-built which is why I don't compare them and choose to have *both* in my set up. I tend to import all the stuff I prize most to Kaleidescape and save on storage with the rest to my Plex set up.
With that out of the way, I was more interested in your views as both a HDS owner and a self-building bit-head on what advantages HDS has over self-built? After all self-built is 'not rocket science'. Why pay the premium for HDS if building it yourself is easy?
...They automated the process "rippers" have done for years. They found a niche, sign some agreements, violated them and now their new systems can't rip....
Wrong. You are just wrong. This is an over-simplification of an incorrect understanding of the legal battle K fought. There is a great deall of commentary over on AVSforum about this so I won't rehash it here. But to say that K "signed some agreements, violated them" is simply incorrect.
Also- what do you mean "HDS has no such requirement"? While technically true, ripping disks is not legal with the tools HDS supplies. Additionally- you are saying the HDS community shares images of DVD and Blur-ray rips??
"...the "community" manages a well maintained library of meta data and images for any movie available on DVD or Blu-Ray..."
That is piracy. That is illegal.
Call it what you want, the courts found that K violated the agreement they signed. I don't care what HDS does, they haven't been found to be in violation yet. And I am free to oversimplify my opinion as much as I feel. Your agreement IS NOT required.
Im also not here to police the "community". I guess that is.....your job!