If you love movies – and we mean eat, sleep, and breathe movies – the only thing that comes close to experiencing a new release in the theater is a home theater movie player. Movie players can be cost-prohibitive for some, and require a larger space, but can create a viewing experience that rivals a trip to the movie theater without the sticky floor and long lines. Consumers looking for the next generation of movie players, as well as the next wave of 4K Ultra HD media, should start popping the popcorn and fine-tuning their sound systems because there are two new contenders on the market ready to serve up the latest and greatest in home theater movie consumption. The CEDIA Expo in late October 2015 featured two major additions to the pro-sumer 4K Ultra HD movie player market: the Prima and the Strato.
Prima Movie Player
The Prima Movie Player is a 1080p Full HD player that delivers fully encrypted first-run movies to consumers’ homes. The hefty setup fee includes a rack-mountable box with 22TB hard drive, capacity to play 7.1-channel PCM soundtracks, 10-bit color (an improvement on Blu-ray’s 8-bit color programming) and a wired fingerprint reader to ensure the owner’s identify. Movies are downloaded directly to the hard drive, allowing instant viewing with no buffering. Prima has a 4K player in development with a cinema-grade resolution of 4096×2160 pixels. If it sounds too good to be true, you may be right: this experience comes with a $35,000 price tag, with an additional $500 fee per each new movie, good for 24 hour viewing.
The other 4K movie player darling of CEDIA Expo was Strato by Canadian company Kaleidescape. The Strato is part of a new Encore line of players, and although it doesn’t give you first-run bragging rights, the movie player boasts impressive features: 6 TB of hard disk space, HDMI 2.0a for HDR compatibility, DCI-P3 color, and the ability to play 4K videos at up to 60 frames per second. The disk space is enough to store up to 100 4K Ultra HD movies and 150 Blu-ray Full HD feature length movies, and can serve up to two movies at the same time to two different rooms. Consumers will love the ease of accessing entertainment; the player will launch with 80 movie titles available for purchase from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, The Orchard, Moving Arts, and more. These titles retail $30 each, and the player itself costs $4,495.
Save your money and get your popcorn ready: 4K cinema-quality entertainment will be here soon.