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HTSA Predicts a Disc-Free Future

HTSA Predicts a Disc-Free Future
Consumer electronics experts say media servers are way of the future

Chester Springs, PA—November 12, 2008—Say goodbye to shelves filled with CDs and DVDs and hard drives clogged with photos, movies, and music. The consumer electronics experts from Home Theater Specialists of America say that the media server, a hardware device outfitted to access, stream, and store various forms of multimedia content, will be the way of the future. Still unknown to most consumers, yet hailed by industry insiders, HTSA says this technology will eliminate the need for the bulky yet fragile, physical disc medium and bring user-friendly organization to cluttered media libraries.

“HTSA members are finding their clients typical reaction to a new media server in their home is, ‘I didn’t realize I needed this but now I can’t live without it,’? reports David Berman, director of training and public relations for HTSA. “Beyond mind-blowing audio, the benefits of a media server are the biggest surprise to new home theater owners. People don’t know how overwhelmed they are by the library of content they’ve collected over their lifetime until the problem disappears. Media server technology is the long-term solution that delivers the organization, accessibility, flexibility, and protection of content that consumers are looking for today.?

Berman adds, “Many experts in the industry feel that media servers are too expensive to be popular with mainstream consumers, but the same thing was said about the personal computer. Today, with prices much lower, 65 percent of American adults own a PC. I project that by 2010, we’ll begin to see similar patterns of adoption for media server technology.?

Media servers require a connection to the Internet, preferably above 2 Mbps for optimal speeds. A true media server not only provides access to the growing amount of high-definition content available on the Web, but also allows the user to upload their personal DVD, CD, mp3, and photo collections.

“Blu-ray will not go away with the media server, at least not right away,? says Berman. “The data storage technology we see with Blu-ray will be translated to the media server format. In addition, Blu-ray players will be important because you still have to get the content onto the media server and this is one of the highest quality ways to do that. Additionally, people will want to trade and share their content and Blu-Ray has the kind of capacity needed to do that.?

Other elements driving adoption of media server technology include: ability to easily distribute different media to multiple displays and speakers around the house, the expandable drive that grows with your content collection, and the weaknesses of the old bulky disc.
Servers recommended by HTSA include those by Kaleidescape (www.kaleidescape.com) and Escient (www.escient.com), two top manufacturers in this space.

The Kaleidescape 3U Server stores up to 1,800 DVDs or 20,000 CDs. Clustering multiple servers can provide over 100 terabytes of storage. Each server can distribute media to as many as 45 video or audio zones simultaneously and the software that powers the product is automatically updated via the Internet. Kaleidescape also makes a 1U Server which provides a third of the storage space.

Escient’s new Vision Series of media servers, introduced at CEDIA 2008, provide an elegant solution for managing and accessing digital content. The VX-600, Escient’s large capacity model, offers 4 terabytes of storage. It features unlimited storage expansion, and can be reliably installed in any networked home.

For more information, please contact Lucy Fortin at Lucy@GregoryFCA.com or 610-642-8253 ext. 154.

Press Ready Photos/ Product Information

About Home Theater Specialists of America
Home Theater Specialists of America (HTSA) is a national association of electronics experts who service the home and business. HTSA’s members are located in 37 states from coast to coast and each location is staffed with experts who design and install high-end audio, video, automation, lighting, and climate systems for a discriminating clientele. HTSA represents a total buying power of more than $500 million and is supported by 62 retailers, nearly 100 store fronts, more than 800 installers and another 800 sales personnel in the field. The impeccable work of HTSA members is affirmed through partnerships with real estate developers and electronics manufacturers who recognize their commitment to quality. Visit www.htsa.com for more information.

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