Kaleidescape Modular Disc Vault

Last May, I profiled the new M-Class Blu-ray movie server from Kaleidescape, which lets you rip Blu-rays to a server's hard disk and stream their high-def content to any M-Class player connected to your home's Ethernet network. There was only one problem—the physical disc had to be inserted in an M500 player in order to satisfy Blu-ray's copy-protection requirements, which defeats the purpose of a movie server. Today, the company announces a solution to that problem—the Modular Disc Vault.

The MDV holds up to 100 discs, making them physically available to verify that you are their legal owner without having to insert each one separately when you want to watch a movie from the server. Also, the MDV automatically imports the discs' content to the server(s) with bit-for-bit accuracy, greatly simplifying that process. Any number of these devices can be used in a system, but each one must be connected to its own M-Class player.

Since the M-Class system is modular, you can build one as budget permits. The minimum requirements include any Kaleidescape server, one M-Class player (the smaller M300 and larger M500 are shown here), and one MDV. Technically, the MDV is not required—you could use an M500, which includes a single-disc drive—but having to physically insert each disc is not much different than watching it from a Blu-ray player except for Kaleidescape's user interface.

For example, a fully loaded 1U (1-rack-space) server and M300 player go for $12,475 and $2495, respectively, while the Modular Disc Vault costs $1495. Depending on how many 2TB hard-disk cartridges are installed, the 1U server has enough hard-disk capacity for 150 Blu-rays or 900 DVDs, while a larger 3U server, shown here with its front cover open, can accommodate up to 600 Blu-rays or 3600 DVDs for $33,425. Then, as your Blu-ray collection and bank account grow, so can your M-class system by simply connecting more servers, players, and MDVs to your network.