Asheridge Communications has launched the HM4 HD-ready home entertainment audio and video server at "a very affordable price". Unveiled at CEDIA Expo, the HM4 can stream content to any number of remotely located media players, which are being introduced to go with the server, writes Simon Croft.
Commenting on the significance to CIs, Asheridge sales director Kevin Swanton said: "It provides an easily retrofittable solution that they can offer to end clients that have been dissuaded from installing streamed media in the past due to the high cost of entry. The ability to upgrade to the new HD services when they are launched means that this will become the product that all homes will want."
At launch, the HM4 can store content, including Freeview TV, audio CD, personal DVD, internet and HD, then stream it to as many locations as required from either 1TB or 2TB drives. The system can stream up to four independent Freeview channels
Audio CD content can be auto ripped and archived onto the server, which produces a high-quality lossless copy in FLAC format, as well as an automatic lossy 320Kbps MP3 version. Personal DVD content can also be stored, using third-party software, with full control of playback.
The HM4 home entertainment server benefits from being compatible with an increasing number of TwonkyMedia- and dlna-certified products, including Logitech, PlayStation Portable and Nokia devices.
The stylish local media players have a low-noise fanless cooling system and integral optical drive. They are controlled by a simple IR remote control - supplied with each unit - and provide support for all major industry formats.