While all the numbers and predictions detailed in the report are noteworthy, nothing stood out more then the reading that 49 percent of the respondents felt that they needed someone to install, setup, and maintain their media server. What is that about? Do general consumers really believe that running a media server requires special skills that only a professional can provide? It appears, YES. This news is a slap in the face to the “Digital Home” industry. The report confirmed that more education needs to be done to inform consumers about choice and capabilities (yeah, like that pimple-face guy at Best Buy has the proper training to educate you on how to use products you’re interested in), but the truth is manufactures need to design products that are so drop-dead-simple to operate, a 10 year old can setup and use them without having to refer to a manual.
In an ideal world these are the attributes a media server should have:
- A generous amount of storage
- The device should show up immediately as a shared drive on the network without having to install software on networked PCs
- Should be able to connect wirelessly using 802.11a/g or by Ethernet
- Silent (fanless preferably)
- Stackable and expandable (by either connecting USB 2.0 external drives or by adding/swapping larger capacity hard drives)
Filed in: Digital Media Servers