Kaleidescape Movie Server System Reviewed

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The back of the Movie Player has a plethora of connections including component, S-Video and composite outputs. I hooked up the Kaleidescape using Tributaries component video cables directly to my Fujitsu 50-inch plasma display, and connected the digital audio coaxial output to my Krell HTS 7.1 processor using a Wireworld Silver Eclipse coaxial cable. The rest of the system included the Monster balanced power unit, a Parsound Halo A51 amp, and a Krell DVD Standard for picture quality comparison purposes.

The Kaleidescape is designed to be controlled by an integrated control system such as a Crestron, or even a Philips Pronto, but for review purposes they sent along a universal remote with the proper codes in it.

Final Take
The Movie Guide Service is very well put together. It is organized by movie or category type (such as actor, genre, etc.), and selecting a program brings up a secondary menu that has the movie synopsis and the cover art. There is also an option for similar titles to the one selected, something that you often see on internet shopping sites but not on your personal home machine. There are also controls for playing the program, and interestingly enough, you can play it either as an entire disc (it goes through the initial menus and acts just like a regular DVD), or by going directly to the beginning of the movie, which is a nice time saver. This is accomplished through Kaleidescape's patent-pending video bookmark technology. There are video bookmarks placed at the beginning and end of the movie (the credits) which can be used as "event cues" with control systems to automate control of lighting and curtain positions to create the feeling of being in a theater while at home. Instant gratification is definitely worth paying extra for. Menu controls are fast and smooth, and there is never a flickering screen or jerkiness in the process. This is obviously a well put together product. In fact, I never had one bug occur in the entire time I had the system, something that I cannot say about other complex technology products I have had in my home.

There is also the favorite scenes feature, which allows you to bookmark scenes that you like in different movies and play them in succession, something that is probably very cool for parties.

Picture quality is, in a word, fantastic. Clean, clear, crisp and very detailed, it is very close to the quality of the Krell DVD Standard, which is the finest DVD player I have had the pleasure of using. The Faroudja chipset is rock solid as usual, providing nary an artifact to mar the picture quality. This product is eminently enjoyable, and provides that instant gratification that we crave. An entire DVD library is at your fingertips while you lay on your sofa or in your bed, with no getting up to look for or switch discs. The cover art makes looking for a movie like browsing your local Blockbuster. It makes the whole process easier than finding a television program to watch.

Importing a movie onto the hard drive is as simple as placing a disc in the DVD reader. It automatically starts the process when you push the tray door closed, and takes approximately 25 minutes for the average movie, during which time the player unit flashes its blue LEDs.

Kaleidescape has pushed the envelope and produced an extremely solid, well thought out and slick product. There is much to impress, and little to complain about besides the hefty pricetag. The very fact that I had no issues with this rather complex device during its visit is testament to the thoughtful engineering that has gone into it.

This is definitely a recommended product for those who can afford it.

Kaleidescape Server
Expandable to 3.3 terabytes of usable storage (based on currently available disks)
Supports 12 user-accessible Disk Cartridges
Each Disk Cartridge has a capacity of 300GB
100BaseT Ethernet port
RS-232 serial port for connecting to
external control systems
17.16"H x 8.72"W x 18.03"D
5 rack units

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.

Kaleidescape Movie Player
Component (YPbPr), S-Video, and composite 480i, 480p
High-definition ready with support for
720p and 1080i
Coax digital, optical digital, stereo analog
Dolby ® Digital, DTS ®, PCM
100BaseT Ethernet port
RS-232 serial port for connecting to
external control systems
IR extension port supporting Xantech control signals
17.16"H x 1.72"W x 14.03"D
1 rack unit

Kaleidescape DVD Reader
Connections: 100BaseT Ethernet port
17.16"W x 1.72"H x 14.00"D
1 rack unit
MSRP: $27,000
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HTR Product Rating for Kaleidescape Movie Server System

Criteria Rating

Performance

5

Value

4

Overall

4.5

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


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