A company has developed a networkable DVD-centric home media server that it claims can quickly copy, store, and play back a massive volume of digital media, including DVD movies.

Representatives of Molino Networks say their Molino Media Mogul can "import" up to 50 DVDs to its 300GB hard drive, retaining the format's original quality and keeping all of its interactive features intact. The technique retains all existing encryption on the DVDs and adds more encryption so the DVDs cannot be copied onto other media, they say. Molino announced the product at the Demo technology showcase in Arizona.

Media Mogul will come in two models, both scheduled to ship in the US this summer. The basic product, the Molino Media Mogul, is expected to retail for about $1000 (around £550). The $3000 (£1650) Media Mogul TB offers a terabyte of storage, which company representatives say can contain up to 200 DVDs or 2000 CDs.

Fast, networked service

CEO Tim Sylvester says the Media Mogul can copy a DVD movie to its hard drive in about 15 minutes, while the typical CD takes about 2 minutes. The device stores the material without compression, retaining original audio and video quality, he says.

Sylvester adds that Molino is "extremely sensitive to the rights of copyright holders and we're working with the studios to meet any of their concerns."

The product is intended to be used to put DVDs, CDs, family photos, and other digital media into a single consumer electronics box that fits into a typical home entertainment centre, he says. All of the content is accessible through a television via composite, component, or S-Video connections.

You can also connect the Media Mogul to a home network through Ethernet, or through the use of Ethernet-to-wireless bridges. When on a network, the device lets you import your MP3s and photos from a PC, and create playlists and slide shows. You'll also be able to input media from flash memory cards or through USB and FireWire connections on its front panel.

The Media Mogul line will be entering the relatively new, and somewhat untested, field of DVD-centric media servers that already includes Gateway as well as Hewlett-Packard, and is drawing the attention of other major vendors.