Kaleidescape has launched the new Cinema One movie server, a (slightly) more affordable and more accessible version of the Kaleidescape high-end home cinema experience.
The Kaleidescape Cinema One (£3,295) is released alongside the UK launch of the Kaleidescape Store, a film and TV show download service that uniquely makes the complete Blu-ray (and DVD) disc experience available to download, including 1080p video, HD audio soundtracks and all the extras found on physical media.
Traditionally sold primarlily through the custom installation industry, the Kaleidescape system is a bespoke film playback and storage service that allows users to copy DVDs and Blu-rays from their collection to a hard disk drive.
The system comes with a bespoke user interface complete with a number of unique features, such as the company's Movie Guide complete with cover art and synopsis, quick playback thanks to the removal of pre-film messages and intelligent search by genre/actor/director and more.
The new Kaleidescape Cinema One has room to store 100 Blu-ray discs and 600 DVDs thanks to a 4TB hard disk and is essentially a standalone high-end Blu-ray player and server in one, complete with the bespoke interface.
The storage isn't expandable, though you can link two Cinema One machines together to get the added bonus of an extra cinema zone and also double your overall capacity.
Films can also be deleted and then subsequently re-accessed at a later date once the system knows you have the disc in your library.
One slight drawback is the fact that the Blu-ray standard doesn't allow you to play your BD copies back without reinserting the disc in the Cinema One. There's no such issue with DVDs or downloads from the Kaleidescape Store.
The Store, which launched in the US first, is now available in the UK. A deal with Warner Bros has brought the first block of content to the service, though Kaleidescape is confident about adding more film studios in the not too distant future. Currently there are around 400 films and 450 TV episodes.
Downloads promise the physical media experience on a disc: 1080p/24fps video and Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio lossless soundtracks, plus bonus features including director’s commentary, alternate endings, deleted scenes and more.
You can also upgrade your copied DVDs to HD versions, access any UltraViolet streaming copies that came with your purchased discs (watchable on phones and tablets through the Flixster app), and buy multiple films and collections with one click.
Prices are broadly comparable to Blu-ray disc prices, while upgrading from your DVD copy to an HD download costs around £5.
You will of course need a Kaleidescape system, though. And at £3,295 the Cinema One is still very much a premium offering, albeit more accessible than the existing multiroom Kaleidescape systems that find their way in to luxury homes and yachts – until now the company's core business.
by Joe Cox