Extra Vegetables Delivers Inexpensive Movie Servers for Control4
Extra Vegetables launched My Movies Collection Management at CEDIA Expo 2012, allowing users to copy, manage and play movies via Control4 and an inexpensive NAS.
Integrating movies into a Control4 home automation system just got easier and much more affordable, thanks to My Movies Collection Management from Extra Vegetables. (CE Pro broke the news last month.)
The UK company, which has been sprucing up Control4 for many years, showed at CEDIA Expo 2012 a solution for building an inexpensive movie server that integrates with Control4 and doesn’t require a pricey dedicated server.
Those servers are “beautiful things,” says EV principal Simon Scotland. “But unfortunately they’re far too expensive for most of our customers and often they rely on proprietary equipment rather than using standard off-the-shelf players for copying and backing up your movies, which means it’s not an ideal solution.”
With EV’s new offering, you only need a NAS – and those cost nothing these days – and an inexpensive media player like the $130 PopBox … plus the EV drivers and a couple of other bits of software.
The EV solution builds on My Movies, a free software package that is especially popular with Windows Media Center.
Simply load My Movies onto a PC, pop your DVD or Blu-ray into the slot and the ripping and cataloging happens automatically. Move the content onto a NAS (if you’d like) and it “magically” appears through the Control4 interface.
Control4’s own movie management solution was “designed some time ago for DVD changers,” Scotland explains.
Even so, the UI is decent and it’s a “great basis for choosing movies,” according to Scotland. EV just wanted to update the solution.
In addition to the ease and affordability of the EV solution, it has other features that some dedicated servers don’t give you, says principal Jane Scotland. For example, My Movies lets you integrate home movies into your video library, and it supports virtually all major video formats so users can incorporate their existing collections.
My Movies + Control4: How it Works
Get a computer. Download My Movies (free). Download AnyDVD from Slysoft (about $100 for the DVD/Blu-ray version) to unlock the discs. Load your discs, and MyMovies does the work ripping and tagging. Move the content to a NAS if you’d like.
Install EV’s My Movies driver onto Control4.
Select a media player supported by EV, currently PopBox, Popcorn Hour, Dune HD and Windows Media Center. Install the appropriate driver onto Control4.
Enjoy your movies through any Control4 interface. Done!
Visit Extra Vegetables for details on My Movies Collection Management.
For more CEDIA Expo 2012 news, visit http://www.cepro.com/cedianews.
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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 email@example.com
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