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What are L5 Media Servers?

Have you ever spent months developing a stable installation system only to have a forced Windows or driver update throw you back into troubleshooting the day before it’s set to open?

We’ve spent the past two years developing a line of media server solutions to solve this and other common problems that make life hard for system designers, developers, and artists in the multimedia/interactive field.

This hardware has been out in the world on our projects and running trouble-free so we felt that it was time to get these tools into the hands of our friends and collaborators.

 

What makes an L5 server different from other Windows computers?

  • Rugged, super reliable hardware is equally well suited to being crammed in a wall for permanent installations or bouncing around in a road case on a world tour. With deployments of over a year and unforgiving 24/7 operation on our projects, we haven’t seen a single failure.

  • All of our servers run our custom build of Windows 10 IoT Enterprise LTSC that has been carefully honed to prevent unwanted OS or driver updates, popups, system alerts, or restarts even if the system is connected to the internet. This Windows build is also ideally suited to kiosk and similar applications since nearly all extraneous Windows functions have been suppressed to increase performance and reliability.

  • Servers come out of the box configured to boot-up when they receive power and to never go to sleep or restart so they’re install-ready without any extra work.

  • Real customer service from actual humans who understand our industry. All of our servers come with a 2-year warranty and a phone number to call us for help. L5 servers are the only computers you can buy that come with customer service from experienced interactive developers and designers.

  • Stabilized industrial supply chain means you can count on being able to get the same hardware down the road. Bid long-term projects with confidence.

  • Save time by having us pre-install common multimedia software for you so that your machines arrive ready to go at no additional cost. We can even preload and test your custom software or hardware peripherals before shipment for quantity orders.

  • Each server includes 2 free years of ConnectWise Control cloud-based screen sharing and remote access software.

  • COMING SOON: Knowing what hardware will meet your performance needs for a given project can be tricky. We are pre-benchmarking our servers for TouchDesigner, Isadora, and Resolume Arena users so that you can feel confident picking the right tool for each job. You’ll be able to download the same TouchMark and IzzyMark benchmarking suites we use to test on your own hardware as well.


The Servers



FAQs

+ What is Windows 10 Enterprise LTSB?

Windows LTSC (long term service channel) is a branch of Windows Enterprise that is not subject to the same forced feature updates that all other Windows 10 branches are subject to. Microsoft still provides security and bug fixes for LTSC but we have added our own modifications to prevent those from installing unless you specifically install them. LTSC replaces the Embedded line of Windows branches from Windows 8.1 and older and is designed for critical applications and embedded deployments such as digital signage and kiosks. LTSC also comes without many standard Windows apps such as Microsoft Edge, Windows Store client, Cortana, Microsoft Mail, Calendar, OneNote, Weather, News, Sports, Money, Photos, Camera, Music, and Clock so that the device will be a clean slate for installing only the software you need for your project.

+ Can I use these as normal computers?

While it would technically be possible to use one of our servers as a daily use computer, we strongly recomend against it. The Windows 10 Enterprise LTSC operating system we use, combined with our custom modifications, means that the OS may be missing certain elements of Windows that you would be used to having on a day to day basis. These machines have been optimized with the sole purpose of being the most stable single-use machines possible for multimedia and show control applications. Additionally, Microsoft does not support the use of Windows 10 Enterprise LTSC branches in non-embedded/industrial applications.

+ Is an Isadora/TouchDesigner/Resolume license included?

No. If you select preinstallation of one or more applications, we will install them for you but they will not be licensed or activated. We would be happy to arrange licensing for you. Please contact us to discuss your project's needs.

+ Can I rent an L5 server?

We do have some configurations in stock and we do our best to accomadate rentals when possible. Please contact us to discuss your project's needs.

+ Does BeSide manufacture L5 servers from scratch?

The L5x8 is 100% designed, assembled, configured, and tested in-house by our team here in Brooklyn. We work with a USA based industrial computer manufacturer to produce the L5x2, L5x2+, and L5x4 hardware. We have worked with this supplier for years to hone the component choices available in the L5 servers. This partner manufactures the hardware to our specifications and ships us the bare units. We complete the installation of certain components in our facility in Brooklyn, install our custom OS image, complete your custom configuration, and perform a 48-hour burn test prior to shipment. All service and support is provided by our team in Brooklyn.

+ Where do you ship?

Orders within the United States can be placed via our webstore. We are also happy to ship to most international destination. Please contact us for a shipping quote.

+ What is the warranty on L5 server?

All L5 servers come standard with a 2-year return-to-depot warranty on failure or manufacturing defect for all parts and labor. 3-year extended warranties and premium service packages with advance replacement units and priority support are available. Please contact us to discuss options.

+ Are quantity discounts available?

Discounts are available on purchases of $10,000USD or more for L5x2, L5x2+, or L5x4 servers in any quantity. Discounts are available for 2 or more L5x8 units. Please contact us for a quote.

+ Can I lock in pricing on an L5 server purchase?

To keep L5 servers as affordable as possible, we frequently recalculate their prices in response to changing component costs. From month to month, you can expect to see price variation of around 5-10% typically. If you are budgeting a project and need to lock in prices, we can issue a formal quote that will guarantee current prices for 30 days from the date of issuance. When you're ready to make your purchase, you'll pay the quoted or current price, whichever is less. Please contact us for a quote.

+ Can I arrange a demo of an L5 server?

We would be happy to help facilitate a demo or otherwise help you evaluate the L5 servers for your needs pre-purchase. Please contact us to discuss your project.

+ How quickly will my L5x2, L5x2+, or L5x4 server arrive?

To help keep them as affordable as possible, L5 servers are built to order in the configuration that you specify. Once you place your order, our manufacturing partner will assemble and test the hardware components and we will finish assembly, imaging, and configuration in our facility. Each unit undergoes 24-hour burn test at the hardware manufacturer and an additional 48-burn test after completion in our facility. Depending on our workload, this process typically takes about 2-3 weeks from the time you place your order until it ships. Ship times will be determined by your selection during checkout. In most cases we can provide expedited production with a 7-business-day order-to-ship lead time for an additional $290/unit charge. We also have some configurations in stock so we may be able to provide immediate shipment in certain circumstances. Please contact us to discuss your needs and we will work with you to get units into your hands as quickly as possible.

+ How quickly will my L5x8 server arrive?

To help keep them as affordable as possible, L5 servers are built to order in the configuration that you specify. Once you place your order the required components will be manufactured, assembled, configured, and tested. Each unit undergoes a 48-burn test after completion in our facility. Depending on our workload, this process typically takes about 4 weeks from the time you place your order until it ships. Ship times will be determined by your selection during checkout. In most cases we can provide expedited production with a 14-business-day order-to-ship lead time for an additional $490/unit charge. We also have some configurations in stock so we may be able to provide immediate shipment in certain circumstances. Please contact us to discuss your needs and we will work with you to get units into your hands as quickly as possible.

+ What is your return/refund policy?

To help keep them as affordable as possible, L5 servers are built to order in the configuration that you specify. Once an order has been put into production, we are unable to cancel your order, accept returns, or provide refunds. Any units that arrive damaged are, of course, covered by our warranty and will be exchanged. Please contact us before ordering if you have any questions or concerns.