Axonix Finds New Home
September 1, 2004
By Jeff O'Heir
Brian Perkins, custom home manager at Sound Track Technologies, a commercial and
home systems integrator in Salamanca, N.Y., doesn't install products from manufacturers
trying to crack a new market outside of his company's core focus. But he broke that
rule with Axonix, a manufacturer of commercial media storage products that released
its Mozaex movie/music media server home system last year and plans to unleash
an updated version at this month's CEDIA Expo.
It started when a technically savvy client wanted a "future-proof" media storage
and distribution system for his new $4 million home. The client found information
about Axonix's Mozaex on the Web and compared it to more expensive systems. Although
he had "more money than he knows what to do with," Perkins says, the client liked
Mozaex for its price and features, mainly its scalable open-standards architecture.
Perkins then talked to people who had dealt with Axonix in the commercial market
and liked what he heard.
"Axonix has been more than wonderful to work with, really easy," he says. "I can
see us selling quite a few of these because we're a full-service company, and the
majority of people coming in now want us to deliver a full solution. That's where
I see Mozaex as being a big asset to us."
Even though many of his clients are looking to outfit multimillion-dollar homes,
Perkins says MediaMax's selling point is its price. While competitors such as AMX's
Max and Kaleidescape's DVD Server systems start at about $27,000, Perkins says a
comparable Mozaex system comes in at about $14,000, depending on the number of
zones and amount of storage space. Once installed, the full solution, he says, yields
very profitable margins.
MediaMax's MediaServer has an MSRP of $6,995 and includes a half terabyte of storage,
or up to 80 DVDs; the Ethernet MediaDeck, which is needed to play media from each
room, has an MSRP of $500. The optional MediaStore storage unit sells for $5,000
per terabyte. Axonix integrator partners receive 40 percent margins on all products
and can get an additional 10 percent off on the first system they buy.
Improvements to the next-gen Mozaex system include an increased zone load to 16
rooms from four; FireWire compatibility that allows the system to attach to third-party
storage units; and the addition of high-definition component resolution, scalable
to 1080i. The improvements are all part of Axonix's mission to provide cost-effective,
open-standards solutions that will eventually be affordable to the emerging midmarket,
says Doug Kihm, Axonix CTO.
"We wanted to combine the value of a stable appliance with the cost-effectiveness
of open standards," says Kihm, adding that the company began in the mid-90s manufacturing
CD-ROM and DVD servers for the commercial markets. Axonix combined those two technologies
last year to create MediaMax.
"Open standards is the key to bringing down the cost of media-on-demand," Kihm says.
"But there will be different tiers. You'll pay more for higher quality systems,
a wider selection of chassis, or better hands-on support. But it won't be so simple
that the consumer can go to Best Buy, buy a server and extend it to five rooms."