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Crestron’s ADMS-BR May Be Most Full-Featured Server on the Market

Adagio Digital Music System features "WorldSearch" for scouring local and online content including music, video, TV shows and other material

Crestron's Adagio Digital Media System with Blu-ray (ADMS-BR) may just be the most full-featured media server around (or it will be when it ships in June).

At the core of its coolness is a feature called WorldSearch, which enables users to find content from virtually any source on the planet (hence the name) – from a connected Blu-ray disc changer, networked PC or NAS, on-board media, or any number of Internet sites whether fee-based or free.

"For us, media is media," says Crestron VP of technology Fred Bargetzi. "We don't care where it comes from."

Let's say you're interested in Dave Matthews. Just type the artist's name in the search bar, and the ADMS spits out a list of options, indicating the cost of viewing or owning (if applicable), the resolution of the media, where it's hosted, and other parameters that will help users select the best option.

Bargetzi gives one example from his own experience.

His daughter wanted to watch a Harry Potter flick one night, and the Bargetzi family did not have it on disk, cable wasn't showing it, and it was not yet available for download from the online resellers.

The Bargetzis have Vudu, Apple TV, an Xbox 360, Cablevision On Demand and a 200-disc DVD changer.


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"I went through each one separately and it took 15 minutes," Bargetzi says. "I couldn't find it."

"But guess what?" he says. "I found it on YouTube. Someone had the whole version of Harry Potter on there. The quality wasn't good but my daughter loved it."

In that case, the movie was a freebie.

The ADMS makes it easy to buy content as well, whether for purchase or immediate viewing.

Like many other media server vendors, Crestron hosts the HD Media Store from VideoGiants. But Crestron also supports Amazon Unbox, which is unusual in this industry.

Currently, the ADMS does not scan cable content and does not provide PVR capabilities, but such services are in the offing.

"That's why we became an OEM for Microsoft," Bargetzi says.

Don't Forget the Blu-ray

To complement the ADMS, Crestron offers a 200-disc Blu-ray changer (ADC-200BR). Five of them can be linked together with Firewire for a 1,000-disc capacity.

All discs are added to the ADMS's media library complete with metadata and cover art, so locating movies is quick and easy (and legal).

No, you can't rip a disc directly to the ADMS, but if you can get the content to a connected PC, NAS or other storage device, you can move it over to the ADMS … or simply view it from the networked device.

ADMS-BR Packs Controller, 1 TB Storage and More

The ADMS is a complete Crestron controller, so users can access their automation systems, surf the Internet, browse a music library and do anything else a Crestron system can do -- all via the TV GUI (or, of course, any Crestron touchscreen).

It includes 1 TB RAID storage, expandable with the addition of Crestron's CEN-NAS-4TB 4 Terabyte Network Attached Storage Appliance with RAID 5 support.

Furthermore, the ADMS is a three-zone audio server, with 7.1-channel surround and two stereo or S/PDIF outputs.

"You can get three zones of uncompressed audio simultaneously and it's pristine," Bargetzi says.

The ADMS-BR retails for $11,000.

Key Features of ADMS

  • High-definition digital media server
  • WorldSearch content acquisition
  • Native online movie rental and purchasing
  • Built-in Internet Explorer Web browser
  • Onboard Blu-ray Disc drive
  • Optional Blu-ray changers allow 100% legal storage of up to 1000 discs
  • Plays Windows Media, iTunes, MP3, FLAC, WAV, and AAC audio formats
  • Plays MPEG-2, MPEG-4, H.264, WMV, QuickTime, Flash, and AVI video formats
  • Downloads metadata automatically from GD3 database
  • Streams and syncs media files between multiple ADMS systems
  • 3 discrete output zones - home theater video and surround sound plus 2 zones of stereo audio
  • High-quality HDMI, S/PDIF, and component outputs
  • High-definition 1080p video and uncompressed 7.1 surround sound outputs
  • 24-bit 96kHz audiophile sound quality
  • Onscreen user interface with home control capability
  • Full touchpanel media browsing and control from any room
  • Native Crestron control for easy integration
  • Adagio system plug-and-play
  • Gigabit Ethernet connectivity
  • Front panel USB and 1394 ports, and MMC card slot
  • Cool, ultra-quiet audiophile grade operation
  • 1TB internal RAID storage
  • RAID 1 (mirrored) data loss prevention technology
  • Expandable using CEN-NAS-4TB Network Attached Storage
  • Crestron Watchdog hardware system monitor
  • Windows Vista Ultimate OS - locked down for ultimate security
  • 3-space 19" rack-mountable

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Article Topics

News · Product News · Slideshow · Opinion · Home Automation and Control · Media Servers · Home Automation · Media Server · All topics

About the Author

Julie Jacobson, Co-Founder, EH Publishing / Editor-at-large, CE Pro
Julie Jacobson, recipient of the 2014 CEA TechHome Leadership Award, is co-founder of EH Publishing, producer of CE Pro, Electronic House, Commercial Integrator, Security Sales and other leading technology publications. She currently spends most of her time writing for CE Pro in the areas of home automation, security, networked A/V and the business of home systems integration. Julie majored in Economics at the University of Michigan, spent a year abroad at Cambridge University, earned an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin, and has never taken a journalism class in her life. She's a washed-up Ultimate Frisbee player currently residing in Carlsbad, Calif. Follow her on Twitter @juliejacobson. [More by Julie Jacobson]

7 Comments (displayed in order by date/time)

Posted by Greg C  on  01/22  at  12:39 PM

Might not have been the brightest thing to bring up an illegal viewing of a copyrighted film in talking about how great the ADMS-BR is.

Posted by Julie Jacobson  on  01/22  at  01:12 PM

If you come across something on YouTube, should you just take a moral stand and refuse to watch it?

I don’t believe there’s such a thing as an “illegal viewing” (except for some unsavory material).

Posted by jack  on  01/22  at  10:33 PM

This is just a Microsoft VISTA PC with an application overlay.  Nice, but not that complex, all of this content is availe through/on vista for the most part with a variety of third party plug ins. Seems they have reskinned MCE to their own liking.

Posted by Ohmy  on  01/23  at  11:28 AM

$11K for a Microsoft box. Good luck. This will suck the resources of tech support and the rest of us will suffer.

Posted by Julie Jacobson  on  01/23  at  12:27 PM

This is SO FAR from a Microsoft box…

Posted by Jess Hansen  on  04/05  at  02:43 PM

How much did they pay you to write this review.  I have a friend that just built his own server that KILLS this one for about $1000.

Posted by jsmith  on  06/30  at  06:35 PM

Jeez - low IQ anyone?

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