John P. Falcone is an executive editor at CNET, where he coordinates a group of more than 20 editors and writers based in New York and San Francisco as they cover the latest and greatest products in consumer technology. He's been a CNET editor since 2003.
The Molino Media Mogul is a digital home-entertainment "server" with a 300GB capacity. It stores full, uncompressed copies of up to 50 DVDs, 500 CDs, thousands of digital photos, and hours of home camcorder videos, which are available for instantaneous playback through a connected TV, A/V receiver, or home-theater system via an easy-to-use graphical menu system.
Upside: In addition to its massive 300GB storage capacity, the Media Mogul doubles as a CD/DVD player and can even burn photos and music to CD-Rs. It also features a built-in six-in-one flash card reader for interfacing with digital cameras and a front-panel FireWire port for easy compatibility with digital camcorders. Furthermore, the Mogul supports all-digital video (DVI) and audio (coaxial and optical) outputs, in addition to standard A/V connectivity (composite, S-Video, and progressive-scan component). There's also an Ethernet port for interfacing with PC-based digital media.
Downside: While Molino claims the process of importing disc-based media is relatively fast (2 minutes for CD and 15 minutes for DVD), transferring dozens of movies and albums to the unit could be time-consuming. And despite the large hard disk, the Molino lacks any sort of DVR functionality.
Outlook: For $995, the Media Mogul offers an impressively comprehensive solution for digital-media junkies. Compared to a similar system from Kaleidescape that costs more than $25,000, the Mogul is a serious bargain. Molino will also be releasing the Media Mogul TB for $2,995, which stores a whopping 1,000GB (or one terabyte) of data. Look for both products to be available direct from Molino's Web site this summer.
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