The Masked Installer’s Take on Blu-ray Servers

In his latest blog post, our Masked Installer reveals his inner thoughts on hard drive HiDef video media servers and what it’s like to regularly work with 15 to 20 TB of his customers data.

I’ve been quiet lately but I’ve been in the rack. It’s a bit of a rant this time and it’s largely about HDD audio / video servers…maybe a good time to point out (again) that custom installers spend most of their time on A/V

we make a living sticking in proper “grown-up” media servers.  I.E. lots of disk, lots of redundancy, lots of notification about disk or disk array problems etc.  Right now I’m selling next to no servers at all….and the reason is that everyone wants a “High Definition” server.  All the good kit is keeping its powder dry.

We sell 3 product ranges, KaleidescapeImerge and iDyl

Blu-ray Server

They’re all good.  None of them today deals with HD-DVD or Blu-ray sources and importantly none of them has really addressed the issue of a really big HD library.

I believe there will be a Blu-ray iDyl product and it might even be the first to market.  I believe this in the same way that I believe there will be a working AMX module for the iDyl server.  I believe this but I’m still waiting.  This really could be the best value media server platform in the UK but right now we’ve got a forward sales order book of over 6 months and it’s only got a couple of iDyls in it.

If the iDyl could fix a number of small issues AND integrate well with AMX it would be a real player.  For us, right now it’s not.  It’s NAS aware in a way that none of its competitors are so one day if you tell it you have 18TB of material over there it will play with you.  It’s an annoying situation because I really like the product – have a look at some of the attached screenshots, it’s slick.  And because I like it I’m going to give it an updated review when the AMX module is ready.


The Imerge is rather different. For one thing it’s really quite expensive, as in double the cost ofan iDyl – and getting close to a Kaleidescape in price.  The Kaleidescape is so good that you better be sure of your ground before you ask it outside.  But the Imerge MS5000 does a good job.

The Imerge MS5000 gives you 3 TB of storage, RAID 5 and a sexy web management interface.  From an install point of view it gives you the best AMX module in the business (even though there are some nasty bugs, fix it please).  Having two independent video outputs (terms and conditions apply) makes it a much more usable beast in a typical custom install environment.  So in summary, t’s cool, it’s slick… it probably still gets beaten by Kaleidescapes in face to face challenges.


If you’ve got enough money there’s still only one choice.

The Kaleidescape is beautifully built.   The way it deals with redundancy is cool.  The OSD interface is amazing – better than any other audio / video product on the market.  Running, it has the best user interface of anything I’ve seen in this sector.  It also costs a shed load of money.  It’s expensive but it’s the  one worth spending your money on right now.

But in the future what are we meant to do?  We’re habitually managing 10-15TB of data (and that feels like a lot).  What happens when we need to manage 300TB.  We worry about this stuff all the time.  If you want a professional media server,  you’ve got a large DVD collection and you’ve started buying Blu-ray you should start worrying about this stuff too.   :   :

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1 Comment on "The Masked Installer’s Take on Blu-ray Servers"

  1. I’m afraid there is already a Blu Ray compatible media server solution available on the market that you might find of interest –

    To date this is the only HD/full format media server I’ve found

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