The new HELIX MS Media Server aims to equip you properly for your needs in the home automation market.

HELIX MS or the ‘next generation Media Server’ as its makers call it, uses open hardware standards and its software is built on a Windows platform, thus providing convergence and integration via an intuitive and 3D graphic interface.

The hardware shell is scalable enabling the fl exibility to expand hard disc storage, server outputs, access networked media or even upgrade to a complete HELIX Home Automation processor.

The software in HELIX MS is incomparable offering absolute convergence across multiple media platforms, all whilst providing a concise and simple interface to your entire HAL AV system. HELIX MS will also integrate with today’s most popular third party remote controls and is the first proprietary Media Server to incorporate ‘SideShow’ technologies.

According to TotalQ managing director Rob Sanders, “Some time ago we decided to build specialty applications based around our HELIX automation program. The first of these is the HELIX MS.”

Sanders adds, “The HELIX MS, whilst utilising the same chassis as the HELIX, is quite different in its software and its operating system. HELIX MS is built using the latest software development tools and operates on a Vista platform.

“We describe the MS as the ‘Next Generation Media Server’ and with good reason. MS is far superior to the normal proprietary servers available on the market for many reasons.”

Advantages of the HELIX MS

• It has unlimited storage capacity due to the open architecture of the hardware including multiple USB ports, multiple serial ports and dual LAN ports.

• Instant control of any HAL AV system plugged to it. When you connect the MS to a HAL AV system the MS will create a page that shows in all the zones in your house. From that page you can control volume of each zone, change sources and control the server. You can have up to sixty-four zones showing on this interface and once again they are automatically populated to the page without the programmer or user doing anything. The MS will even find which com port the AV system is plugged into.

The MS has a feature called the ‘Control Booth’ which stays to the left of the screen. Sanders explains: “It never leaves the page so you can always get to all the functions you want very easily. What’s more, whatever is playing on each server output is clearly identified in the control booth all of the time.”

Sanders adds, “The HELIX MS has the most superior support of codecs in the market from MP3 to WAV, WMA, AAC, MPEG’s, DIVX, WMV and others. What’s more if we don’t have it we can quite easily add it.”