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MediaMax HD Stores, Plays Back HD DVD and Blu-ray Discs

Axonix's MediaMax Server with MediaDeck 4 HD lets users load and store libraries of HD movies, and browse the content via cover art.


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MediaDeck 4 HD (top box) loads and plays back HD content from the MediaMax server (bottom box). Users can browse SD, Blu-ray and HD DVD movies via cover art.

The MediaMax HD Entertainment Server from Axonix now can store and play back any kind of DVD -- standard, Blu-ray or HD DVD -- and distribute the content throughout the house.

Axonix says the product is the first media server to play both HD DVD and Blu-ray content with cover art-based navigation. "Other media servers including those based on variations of Linux and Media Center Edition OSs are either unable to play HD movies or they require you to manually browse a textual list of HD movie folders using an unintuitive PC-type interface," according to the company.

And the Media Max isn't just for movies. It stores and plays the full gamut of content, all instantly accessible from any room of the house: HD and SD DVD movies; CD, MP3 and WAV music; photos; and movies and music downloaded via the Axonix NetPlay service. Any media can be played simultaneously in any room.

The MediaMax HD system requires two pieces -- a media server and a media player. Axonix offers a variety of MediaMax Servers starting at $5,795.

The MediaMax media players, connected to the media server via Ethernet, are used to load discs onto the server and watch content in remote rooms. Axonix's media players are called MediaDecks and they are available in several models. The new MediaDeck 4 HD is the one that allows users to load HD discs onto the server and play back the high-def content. (The original MediaDeck 4 enables playback of high-def content, but can only load standard DVDs to the server.)

Specs: MediaDeck 4 HD



Video Outputs - HDMI, DVI-I supports HDTV scaled and source 1080p (1920 x 1080), VGA, S-Video, component video output
Digital Audio Outputs - Optical (toslink) connector, Digital Coax (S/PDIF)
Analog Audio Outputs - Either 8-channel (7.1) audio or 6 channel (5.1) subsystem, 8 channel (7.1) audio with five analog audio outputs
(5 Mini DIN). 6 channel (5.1) with Stereo audio outputs
Optical Drive -Supports HD DVD or Blu-ray, SD DVD, CD Discs
Remote - IR Handheld Remote Controller, Wireless RF Keyboard
Dimensions - (H x W x D) 4.5" x 15.5" X 14"
Weight - 20 lbs.
Wired Connection - 10/100/1000Base TX Ethernet
Power Input - 100-230 VAC 50-60HZ/275W switch selectable

Pricing
MediaDeck 4 - $3,495 (plays back HD content, but can only load SD discs onto server)
MediaDeck 4 HD DVD - $4,995
MediaDeck 4 Blu-ray - $5,995

note: MediaDeck 4 HD DVD supports the playback of movies with full DVD menu support, while the Blu-ray model supports the playback of movies without DVD menus support.

Interface



The MediaMax HD interface allows users to instantly browse their media collection via vivid HD cover art. Users can also browse by genre, actor, director, album, title, favorites or playlists. Music playlists may be created on the fly while playing music. HD photo slide shows can be played along with background music.



The product plays "more media formats than any other media server in the world," the company claims. "While many other media servers are limited to SD DVDs and CD music only, MediaMax supports all of the popular media formats including SD/HD DVD movies (or Blu-ray), downloaded movies, music CDs, downloaded WMA and MP3s, imported or ripped WAV, converted iPod music, Internet radio, JPEG photos as well as other media formats."

The company claims that the Axonix Movie and Music Cover Art Service holds the "world's largest collection of domestic and international movie and music cover art." The MediaMax comes with a lifetime cover art service free of charge.

MediaMax can be controlled via wireless handheld remote or can be integrated with third-party subsystems like Crestron, AMX, Elan and Control4.


Pesky DRM



Here's how Axonix skirts potential copyright-protection claims. From the company's FAQ on digital rights management:

What about copyright laws? Is there information on how to obey copyright laws?

… In general it is the responsibility of the user to obey all copyright and other related laws when using any computer including the MediaMax. It is recommended that you personally research and/or contact a legal expert on the issue concerning copyrights and other applicable laws before loading any media that may be copyrighted and/or protected media onto the MediaMax.
Axonix requires that you read and agree to the following disclaimer before the MediaMax allows the loading of any media on it:

Before loading video, audio, images or other media onto the MediaMax it is necessary that you read and agree to the following disclaimer:

Axonix Corporation respects the copyrights of all media publishers and does not condone or induce the violation of copyrights through illegal copying, distribution or other illegal means. Use of this product ("MediaMax") and any software that is loaded onto the product or hardware that is attached to the product for any illegal purpose is strictly prohibited.


and so on for a few more paragraphs....

The disclaimer concludes with links to articles about fair use.





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Article Topics

News · Product News · CEDIA · Media Servers · Highlights · 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.

3 Comments (displayed in order by date/time)

Posted by JoeDealer  on  08/17  at  06:45 AM

Wait a second! Are these guys shipping these system with a DVD decrypter installed in the system? If so, then they are selling an illegal product. Secondly, there is currently no legal way to copy HD DVD & Blu-ray to a hard drive until the studios implement managed copy.

I have a feeling that it still the consumers/dealers responsibility to install the decryting software so they really do not have a product that is different from everything else that is available out there.

Posted by Julie Jacobson  on  08/17  at  07:58 AM

I believe they are, Joe.

What they tout as especially different is the ability to browse high-def content by cover art. I’m no expert on that, so anyone is welcome to chime in if someone else provides that capability.

Posted by Frank Perricone  on  03/10  at  12:59 AM

Be careful. I have had the BluRay version of this machine for 6 months (since August of 2009), and it has had to go back to the factory TWICE and still doesn’t work right. I have nothing but problems with this machine, and the president of the company tells me that I am crazy, and that my machine works perfectly. It doesn’t!

It seems like it could be a great product, but they just can’t seem to get it to work right. I have had countless “updates” and spent at least 50 hours on the phone with their tech support department and still it works like crap!

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