Kaleidescape Introduces $3,995 Movie Server

Kaleidescape today introduced the Cinema One movie server, its first product designed for retail distribution. The $3,995 server provides storage and instant access to up to 100 high-definition Blu-ray or 600 DVD-quality movies. Until now, the company made products that were available only through custom installers.

The company’s Movie Guide interface, which covers upwards of 250,000 movie titles, makes it easy to browse hundreds of movies and provides an enhanced experience by letting viewers watch movies without previews, menus, and ads, according to Kaleidescape. As you browse your collection, movies are presented with high-resolution cover art and a short synopsis and the onscreen interface highlights similar films based on genre, director, actors, and more. Kaleidescape experts have also handpicked thousands of memorable scenes in films, concerts and musicals so viewers can jump directly to the best parts of favorite movies.

High-definition movies can be downloaded directly from the Kaleidescape Store with all of the special features, audio tracks and extra content you get on a Blu-ray disc. A second Cinema One server can be added to double the storage capacity and enable viewing of the movie library on a second television.

The server can also be linked to a home-automation system and set up for one-button home theater scenarios where pressing Play, for example, automatcially dims the lights and starts playback. Other highlights include a CinemaScape video-processing mode for viewing 2.35:1 widescreen movies.

The Cinema One server is covered by a three-year limited warranty and available on kaleidescape.com as well as through retailers, including Magnolia Design Centers.

jmdls's picture

Since we're all family now, I thought I'd share my link on my write-up on the Cinema One...


John Sciacca

Billy's picture

This price is still too rarified. For 4K one can build a heck of a HTPC. Of course those who can, already have, so maybe they think this market segment is wide open. I just don't think it will fly. Of course, if they drop the price too low and open up the market for the Walmart crowd, then Hollywood will revolt. The kind of customer they have now probably is not the type to rent at RedBox and rip, but make the server 200 bucks and look out. What we need is high quality downloads that are watermarked to the purchaser like music is now, then we need the cheap bandwidth to do that. That last point is the sore spot, of course. The President needs to make 100Mb speeds available to all for an affordable price. That would cure much of the problems here. Right now ripping movies is like the Wild West, messy, dangerous, profitable, fun, unnerving, confidence building (or deflating). The small number of techies who can successfully do it now are happy with the present system, but the rest of us (those with a conscience) would love an affordable legal way into the game, but this system is not it.

Speakerphile's picture

An important factor you leave out is that while you can store your 100 Blu-Ray discs on the Cinema One, you still need to put the disc in each time you want to play a movie. This, of course, eliminates alot of the convenience of storing them in the first place. While this is not new news to current K-Scape owners, it is worth mentioning to potential new customers. You can purchase the vault(DV700) to store 325 discs, negating the need to find and insert a movie when you want to play it. The DV700 though will run you $5495.00. So while the new Cinema One does reduce the barrier to entry for many people, it is worth noting that the $3995.00 only buys you the interface without any of the convenience. Many people will still consider $9,490.00 to be the REAL barrier to entry. After all,if I have to get up and put the disc in anyway, why not just use IMDB to find the movie?

Billy's picture

I was talking with a buddy last night about this and he just started to laugh hysterically. He went on to inform me that he had "magic software" that cost him nothing that rips "all" DVDs and Blurays. He said only a fool would pay such a price, and the more I think about it, he may be right. Why does this stuff have to be so expensive when the tech is out there? It is almost like they taunt people to be thieves. Cds were supposed to make buying music affordable but instead they bumped the price over vinyl and when MP3s came out, the music industry got burned. Why can't they learn this lesson? Sell a lot at low price, and make up for it in volume while making you a lot of happy customers. I will not steal, my parents brought me up better but I will not say that I am not tempted sometimes. Make affordable servers for us Regular Joes, be the next Henry Ford. I don't recall he ever got so poor by lowering prices that he struggled for his next meal.

Speakerphile's picture

There are programs out there that will rip and catalog your movie collection for little to no cost. That said, they do not hold a candle to K-scape. Your buddy, has likely never used one if that was his response. Having used both there is no comparison. Also, there is more than just a $500 PC built into these boxes with a free software download. They have also spent countless dollars on litigation to even be allowed to sell them in their current form. While the real price for this IS higher than the $3,995.00 they claim, as I explained above, it has come down considerably. You can't expect the company that basically invented this, and has the absolute BEST implementation, to be the price leader. There are other options out there, go pick one. You don't have to be a "thief" to use them. Just don't expect the same experience. I would also encourage anybody that has not used one to try it before they comment on the price.

notabadname's picture

Software can be easily bought that allows a bit-perfect, one-to-one copy of the main title of a Blu-ray, no trailers or adds or menus. And with the ridiculously cheap cost of storage, in the terabytes, and ease of daisy-chaining additional storage as your collection grows, I say it holds more than a candle. And it can be done for thousands less.

Paul Saumur's picture

Speakerphille - while this doesn't help the dilema for blu-rays you already own, any new downloads you make from KScape do not require a disc in the tray. While not perfect, it now brings a Kscape server into my price range. I can supplement my library with my existing HTPC until I can justify buying a vault.

Billy's picture

I have played with a real Kscape in some high end retailors, it is indeed awesome, but the price is still aimed at the tea and crumpet crowd. I feel you missed my point. Ten years back these were ten times higher priced, you are correct, they have dropped considerably but are still in a piece range that only the 1% can own. Their business model negates a high end buyer. What would be the harm of cutting that price by 90% again and going for a volume sales model? $400.00 for this would corner the market and create lots of smiles. The problem with content providers could be solved with my idea of watermarked downloads, but that is not presently practical for the masses so maybe Hollywood could also take my advice and cut their BR/DVD prices 90% as well and go for a volume sales model. Make my new BR disc 2 or 3 bucks and I will never go to the store again without bringing a few home and the lure of trying to burn one I do not own would be pretty low. The movie industry is not thinking this through long term, just going for quick short term profits, something that is so terribly wrong in much of the industries in this nation. Those shiny discs cost almost nothing to make, and when good quality downloads become practical, basically nothing to produce, so why gouge the end user? If you look at the bottom line of most businesses you will find poor models of operation, again, just in for the short term gain.

Speakerphile's picture

You will never see feature BR's at $2-3. While profitable from purely a manufacturing standpoint, this would not be profitable for the studio. And while I do think $3,995 is expensive, it is FAR from limited to the "1%". You speak of their motives being short term and profit focused, but I see your motives as equally self-serving. Taking a drastic price cut such as what you suggest, would fail to sustain the BR market. It would also not be as profitable to K-scape. After all, if it was such a no-brainer, don't you think a competitor would have come in and challenged them by now?

JustinGN's picture

There's been a discussion about this product extensively on the K-Scape Owners Forum (I've been leading the charge, since this thing is aimed squarely at my demographic), and while it's a positive move from Kaleidescape, the product itself is remarkably half-baked.

1) The power supply is yet another 12VDC wall-wart.
2) As others have mentioned, you still need to shell out $6000 for the carousel for BD storage if you don't want to insert the BD every time you watch a film.
3) Perhaps most importantly of all, the included hard disk is 4TB, has no redundancy, and isn't user serviceable.

It's point three that I've been beating on lately. Yes, for $4000, you can build your own solution with a lot more storage and capability. The problem there is, for someone like me who has already done so, this gets tiring after a good long while. I'm tired of ripping my own discs, micro-managing encoding profiles for video and audio, hunting down half-complete metadata, etc. Kaleidescape is the Apple of media servers, letting me manage my media collection with a single button push, while the server does all the work for me.

(Author's Note: Before you claim your script/program can do so on an HTPC in one press, bear in mind most of my media is imported/niche, and said programs don't support them.)

Anyway, for $4k, it's a very attractive proposition, but it lacks the quality execution Kaleidescape is known for. No disk redundancy means I have to re-rip my entire library, one disk at a time, once I receive a replacement or repaired unit from K-Scap when (not if, WHEN) the sole hard disk fails. For $4k, I expect 3D passthrough and 4K scaling, something the Cinema One also lacks. I'm not doubting the fantastic and unsurpassed experience Kaleidescape provides, but they're essentially marketing us a TiVO box sans DVR feature for a $3000 mark up! Unfortunately, it looks like they're still going ahead with this unit, since it's shipping from their new e-store within 10 business days. Maybe they've got some sort of support structure lined up for hard disk failure, but if they do, they sure aren't communicating it to the users.

Damn shame, too. It's the one K-Scape product I want and can afford, but my inner IT guy screams "bad deal! BAD DEAL!"

Guess I'll have to pass for now.

Billy's picture

I still feel that both hardware and BD makers could find a profit with affordable end products. There are two ways to make profits. Charge a fortune to the very few, or charge little to many. The end numbers are the same. I sort of understand that KScape wants to keep quality high, and a mass produced unit might not necessarily provide that, but they want to be a status symbol- kind of like a Ferrari despite that a Mustang will do everything that one would do. Its the chick factor I guess. Men for ages have understood that money is the most reliable aphrodisiac and strive to own products that demonstrate their wealth. I find it troublesome that so many companies feel the need to encourage this when there are better ways. Look at Walmart, low price sells and makes people rotten filthy rich, it may not have a great reputation with your snobby friends but I bet the Walton kids don't have to eat cat food on their toast.

Speakerphile's picture

Your analysis is WAY over-simplified. The factor you fail to address is, this unit likely costs WAY more than $200 for K-Scape to manufacture. It's not like they can just decide to charge $400 for it tomorrow. Also, a Mustang definitely does NOT do everything a Ferrari will do, and I don't think you can pick up a girl by telling her you have a Cinema One at home. It is a free market. If it was that easy to produce a cheap box that does everything this box does, someone would already be doing it. Clearly, it's not. You can't have the best AND expect it to be the least expensive.

Billy's picture

Why does the BD changer/storage cost 6K? Ridiculous. Sony used to sell those things for $700.00. Gouging, or is it capitalistic opportunity? Either way, it does not meet the needs of the average AV enthusiast. Only the super rich who don't work by the hour, need look into this.

Paul Saumur's picture

I figured I’d relay my own HTPC woes, and contrast with my neighbor’s full blown KScape setup for the sake of discussion.

My solution has superior hardware specifications to the $4k KScape system (12TB of mirrored storage and I can stream to 3 locations at once for starters). The one thing I have not been able to duplicate is the reliability of a Kscape setup and the user experience for my technophile wife and two very young kids. While I’m quite proud of my HTPC, and I think it’s super easy to use, I cannot count the number of phone calls I have gotten that start with “There’s something wrong with the stupid media server!”

My closest neighbor (who is in a very different income bracket) has a complete Kscape system and his 2 year old son can operate it flawlessly. My wife loves it but would never let me spend that sort of money on one. According to my neighbor the system has not gone down in 3 years, and it is normally used several hours a day.

While there are issues with the Cinema One, I think the price is still worth it for the user experience and lack of constant involvement on my part. Any new movies can be downloaded from the Kscape store which will eliminate the need to have a disc in the drive. I can be hopeful that KScape will offer some form of storage array in the future.

johnharperjohn's picture

Having a main server would be useful. You can do and control everything on it. You can even customize your own features. http://www.spectra.com/asset-disposition/