Executive: Escient Dropped Vision DVD Servers to Focus on HD

D&M's Escient unit did not drop the movie server on DRM grounds; standard def is just so yesterday

Julie Jacobson · September 1, 2009

Escient has discontinued its line of Vision media servers, but not for digital rights management (DRM) issues, as some have speculated.

“DRM wasn’t our concern,” says Bob Weissburg, president of D&M Holdings NA, which owns the Escient brand.

Other DVD servers from Kaleidescape and RealDVD are facing legal battles against the DVD Copy Control Association (DVD CCA).

No, the reason for dropping Vision is much more mundane: “With the engineering power we have, we wanted to focus on high definition,” Weissburg says.

The Escient Vision line comprised media servers/players, external storage and thin clients to stream movies, music, photos and other content to any TV in the house. The unit did not support HD content.

“To make a product focused on standard def is a little bit of challenge,” Weissburg says. “Clearly, HD is the way everything is going.”

Does that mean D&M will develop a Blu-ray movie server in the future? “We’re entertaining a lot of different concepts,” Weissburg says.

Meanwhile, D&M, which also owns the Denon and Marantz brands, is working on solutions for controlling Sony’s new 400-disc BDP-CX7000ES Blu-ray megachanger. (Read the review at

Weissburg says D&M will show the controllability of that device in a private suite during CEDIA Expo 2009.

“There’s going to be a number of ways to get content,” he says. “Probably discs are going to remain the top quality source you’re going to get.”

The Future of Escient Vision

Dealers, don’t plan to ship your Vision inventory back to Escient.

Although “there won’t be any further development on that model,” says Weissburg, Escient will still implement some updates and enhancements such as the support for the Sony Blu-ray changer.

“There is no recall,” he says. “We’re just transitioning to a new line.”

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  About the Author

Julie Jacobson is founding editor of CE Pro, the leading media brand for the home-technology channel. She has covered the smart-home industry since 1994, long before there was much of an Internet, let alone an Internet of things. Currently she studies, speaks, writes and rabble-rouses in the areas of home automation, security, networked A/V, wellness-related technology, biophilic design, and the business of home technology. Julie majored in Economics at the University of Michigan, spent a year abroad at Cambridge University, and earned an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin. She is a recipient of the annual CTA TechHome Leadership Award, and a CEDIA Fellows honoree. A washed-up Ultimate Frisbee player, Julie currently resides in San Antonio, Texas and sometimes St. Paul, Minn. Follow on Twitter: @juliejacobson Email Julie at

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  Article Topics

News · Digital Rights · Media Server · All Topics
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