Video ReQuest Media Server Reviewed

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The Video ReQuest is a versatile product designed to be professionally installed by authorized dealers. It works in conjunction with home automation systems and specialized video switchers through RS-232 connections. It can be connected directly to a single Sony DVP-CX777ES 400 disc changer, but it works best when it is used with an external video switcher between it and the DVD changers. The video switcher enables the Video ReQuest to switch between the menu screens and the DVD movie automatically.

Video ReQuest supports direct control of Zektor, Key Digital and Sima A/V switchers. Video ReQuest includes four RS232 cables and accessories to set up the system with a switcher. In addition to working with popular switchers, Video ReQuest is designed to be part of a complete control system such as Crestron or AMX, or as a basic IR system using a Pronto. The unit uses VRQConnect protocol for serial and Ethernet control by leading integration systems.

Using the supplied RS232 cables, high-end component, and TosLink wiring, I connected the Video ReQuest controller and a single Sony 400 disc changer to a Zektor HDS 4.2 switcher. The Zektor supports four pieces of equipment and has optical and coaxial digital connections and component inputs for the best picture and sound quality. Once the equipment was connected together, I ran outputs to my A/V receiver and HDTV.

Final Take
Setting up the Video ReQuest system would be no easy task for someone not accustomed to installing custom home automation systems. That's why Video ReQuest controllers are a dealer installed product. You won't find these on a store shelf next to the $69 DVD players. Instead, they are available as part of a total package to add convenience and control with home automation. The unit is designed with custom installation in mind. Even so, the on-screen user interface is so simple and intuitive, anyone that can read the screen could pick up the remote control and navigate the software effortlessly.

The Video ReQuest controller appeared to have no negative affect with the video signal coming from the Sony changer. Each movie appeared sharp and clear. The ReQuest remote is convenient because it has full transport control of the DVD changers including play, stop, fast forward, and rewind. I enjoyed searching for movies in different categories without having to crack open a single DVD case.

The only negatives to speak of are loud fans and the initial load time the machine requires to gather information about each disc. After loading up the DVD changer, each disc needed to be played for a few seconds for the system to recognize the disc and gather information about it. Of course this task doesn't happen all the time, just on the initial start-up sequence and occasionally to verify the kids haven't switched discs while you were in another room. My other annoyance is the loud fans used to keep the Video ReQuest cool. However, I didn't have my test model rack mounted. It was sitting on top of other equipment near my screen. The noise complaint is moot because most installations will require the unit to be rack mounted and out of the way.

On the whole, I was satisfied with the performance characteristics of the controller and very pleased with the added convenience it offered. This digital video controller would make a terrific addition to any integrated home theater system.

VIDEO REQUEST
DVD Changer Controller
Crestron & AMX Support
(4) RS232 Inputs
(1) RS232 Control Port
Analog Audio Outputs
Composite Video & S-Video Outputs
Component Output
VGA Monitor Output
(3) USB Ports
Ethernet Port
IR Receiver Mini Jack
(2) IEEE 1394 FireWire ports
PS/2 Keyboard Port
17"D x 14.5"W x 3.5"H
Weight: 15.5 lbs.
One Year Limited Warranty
MSRP: $2,500

Additional Resources
• Read more video server reviews from HomeTheaterReview.com.
• Find an LED HDTV or plasma HDTV to get the most out of the server.
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HTR Product Rating for Video ReQuest Media Server

Criteria Rating

Performance

4

Value

3

Overall

3.5

Disagree with our product rating? Email us and tell us why you think this product should receive a higher rating.


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