Niveus steps up Media Centers with SSD, RAID and white gloves

Ben Drawbaugh
B. Drawbaugh|09.10.09

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Niveus steps up Media Centers with SSD, RAID and white gloves
Niveus Pro Series
Today is officially the first day of CEDIA Expo 2009 and now that Microsoft has announced its Media Center news, it's the partner's turn. Up first is Nevius which is of course releasing new Media Center PCs with Windows 7, so of course the new looser DRM and other features are included. Niveus is stepping up the hardware though too by adding RAID and SSD drives to the Pro Series, and also a new Windows Home Server requirement for its full system restoration capabilities. The other new offering is the aptly named White Glove service, which basically means the services to integrators is getting an upgrade. Prices are promised before the official launch on October 22nd, but based on the existing offering, we'd bet we still won't be able to afford it.

The new system configuration & remote monitoring service, combined with Niveus' 2010 "Fault Tolerant" system architecture will provide integrators with an easy-to-install, reliable and repeatable media server installation

Atlanta, GA – CEDIA EXPO 2009 – September 10-13 – Niveus Media is pleased to announce its new White Glove Service along with the 2010 Niveus system architecture. Beginning with the October 22 launch of Windows 7, Niveus will be offering an innovative new service aimed at assisting integrators with ensuring their media server installations are successful and profitable. The new White Glove service consists of two crucial solutions: White Glove Setup and White Glove Monitoring.

White Glove Setup is intended to eliminate the numerous hours dealers traditionally spend to setup and configure a media server which includes configuration of audio, video, network and more. Upon purchase, integrators will submit system architecture information that provides Niveus with configuration data. Based on the data provided by the integrator, Niveus will pre-configure the products which may include a combination of Niveus Media Servers, Niveus Cargo Storage Servers and Niveus ZONE media players. This factory configuration will address setup in a variety of areas including audio, video and networking and will ensure that the products communicate with each other properly 'out of the box'.

White Glove Monitoring proactively monitors and manages these systems after they are installed in the client's home. Both Niveus Support and the integrator will have access to an advanced dashboard of diagnostics that provide health monitoring and also provide tools for issue resolution. The system is completely unobtrusive to the client, so far to the extent that in most cases, monitoring and resolution can occur in the background without interrupting media playback.

Niveus Media has partnered with LogMeIn to provide the backbone technology and tools that enable the White Glove Monitoring service. "Niveus chose LogMeIn because it offered the right balance between an advanced feature set and ease of use," said Tim Cutting, CEO of Niveus Media. "We wanted a tool set that could be managed by both Niveus & our respective Niveus Authorized Dealers. At the end of the day, Niveus customers are paying for peace of mind, and the comfort that comes with knowing both Niveus and their integrator are there to proactively address potential issues before they become problems."

New & Updated Features for 2010

In addition to the introduction of the White Glove Service, Niveus is making a number of changes to the Niveus Media Server architecture to further ensure fault tolerance. By incorporating Solid State Hard drives and adding Hard Drive Mirroring (RAID 1) across the Pro Series server line, Niveus will increase the reliability of its servers and minimize customer downtime due to hard drive failure. In addition, the recommended architecture now requires a Windows Home Server product such as the Niveus Cargo Storage Server to ensure the centralization of storage in the home network and data protection provided by the Home Server System Image Backup feature.

For 2010, Niveus also plans to introduce a number of new features and updates to its Niveus Media Server line. Beginning with the launch of its Windows 7-based products, Niveus will support the sharing of HD digital cable (CableCARD) recordings across a home network. This will allow multiple Pro Series servers and ZONE media players to share recordings amongst each other, regardless of origin. The new functionality is enabled via a free firmware update to the digital cable tuner when used in combination with a Windows 7-based Niveus Media Server.

To power the ultimate multi-server environment, Niveus will make updates to a number of its proprietary software plug-ins to coincide with the launch of Windows 7. The Advanced Entertainment Pack, which was launched last year and provides support for up to 8 simultaneous TV tuners and up to 10 media center extenders, will receive an update allowing support of Windows 7-based Niveus Media Servers. Niveus Movie Library 2.0 will feature a number of updates to the proprietary Niveus movie cataloging application, such as box set support, custom collections, and high resolution background art. Niveus will also provide updates to Niveus Weather, Niveus Studio, and Niveus Control Server.

2010 Niveus Media Servers and the new White Glove Service will be available beginning October 22, 2009. Pricing and additional details on the White Glove Service & Niveus Media Servers will be available prior to the Windows 7 launch.
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