Owners of the Kaleidescape System, a digital movie server for home theater setups, have even more reasons to stay inside this winter. The Kaleidescape Store launched in mid-December offering thousands of titles from Warner Bros., the first official licensing partner for the new digital content service.
The Kaleidescape System makes fail-safe copies of Blu-Ray discs, DVDs, and CDs, and stores them on a variety of hard discs within the system. Discs are inserted into the player and left there, which helps owners store media discs in one location. Users have access to music, movies and television shows from any room in their home, and can play, pause, and bookmark movies, jump to favorite scenes, as well as create play-lists (perfect for cool winter weather movie marathons.) An Ethernet player connects the system to television and entertainment systems across the entire home.
With the launch of the new Kaleidescape Store, the company has added a new layer of convenience to movie watching. Titles available on the store are equivalent to the video and audio quality of a Blu-Ray Disc, and the titles are downloaded directly to the system. Customers link their system account to the Kaleidescape Store website and create a list of current movies to avoid duplication. The store offers the ability to download multiple movies by a customer’s favorite actor or director at one time. The multi-year licensing agreement with Warner Bros.’ digital distribution arm gives customers access to more than 3,000 films and 8,000 television episodes. Kaleidescape Store purchases are also available on mobile devices (for most titles) due to a secondary licensing agreement with UltraViolet.
The high-definition downloads feature audio and video with resolution up to 1080p with Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio lossless soundtracks, and 24 frame-per-second progressive scan video. Extra features, director’s commentary, alternate endings and deleted scenes are all included with downloads.
The convenience may come with a price. Beta users for the Kaleidescape Store have noted incredibly slow download times for movie-length titles. On a 25-30 Mbps connection, which is the typical connection speed for residential customers, downloads take from two to three hours. Other users have noted the quality is somewhat less than what you’d find in a hard-copy disk. Digital downloads are a bit less expensive than in the stores, with new releases starting at $14.99.
Is convenience worth the time it takes to download a movie from the Kaleidescape store? That’s something for you to decide.