Audio/Video

New Kaleidescape Solution to Meld Physical Discs with Strato 4K Movie Player

Kaleidescape returns to CEDIA after near-death experience, integrates best of both worlds – DVD and Blu-ray discs stored on Premiere system and downloaded content for 4K Strato.

New Kaleidescape Solution to Meld Physical Discs with Strato 4K Movie Player
Kaleidescape CEO Cheena Srinivasan provides sneak peek of new solution to be introduced at CEDIA 2017: a fix to meld DVD and Blu-ray discs with 4K movie downloads, into a single user interface.

More about Kaleidescape

Founded in 2001 and headquartered in Sunnyvale, California, Kaleidescape pioneered the development of movie servers that redefined how film enthusiasts experienced their DVD...
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  Kaleidescape Company Info
Julie Jacobson · June 8, 2017

Kaleidescape, the iconic maker of high-performance media servers, is on the comeback trail after nearly closing shop last year. The company will be back at CEDIA this year in a big way, says CEO Cheena Srinivasan in an interview with CE Pro.

At the show, Kaleidescape will demonstrate a new solution that bridges the company’s original Premiere series of movie servers with the newer 4K-capable Encore line, including the 4K-capable Strato movie players.

Kaleidescape began life in 2003 with movie servers that played physical discs imported into the ecosystem. That was the Premiere series. Since the products rarely die, consumers still enjoy their DVD and Blu-ray collections in their full lossless glory, and will do so for years to come.

But that glory doesn’t come in 4K with high dynamic range, and it never will.

Enter the Encore product line, introduced in 2015 in conjunction with Kaleidescape’s new online movie store. The Encore lineup, anchored by the Strato media players, do support 4K with HDR.

Unfortunately, the Stratos don’t play physical discs imported into the Premiere platform – for many reasons including some that are beyond Kaleidescape’s control. It’s a quandary for customers who want to keep their disc collections but also play 4K titles from the store.


RELATEDKaleidescape is Back: Interview with CEO


These users would need to maintain two completely separate ecosystems to play their stored discs on the one hand, and downloaded 4K content on the other … or they could just repurchase all of their DVDs and Blu-rays through the Kaleidescape store, if the titles even existed in the store.

“We put them in a very difficult spot,” says Srinivasan of dealers who had to deliver this news to their existing clients. “Customers don’t want to buy the same content again.”

He concedes that a lack of backward-compatibility was a “cardinal sin” with the new line, but soon there will be a fix.

At CEDIA, expect to see a solution comprising a video switcher and a piece of software that unites the movie collections from both platforms into one user interface. The user need not know where the content resides, nor which player should play it. The system will figure it out and send the content through the appropriate player.

Users will still need to buy Strato players for 4K content, but they can at least enjoy easy access to all of their titles through the same UI.

Srinivasan says the solution “gives you the best of both worlds – full access to Kaleidescape Movie Store content, including 4K Ultra HD movies, and seamless access to all the movies that you have imported on your Premiere system.”

Kaleidescape Still Tops CE Pro 100 Brands

Even though Kaleidescape’s future became tenuous last year, the company seems to have lost little momentum.

Srinivasan says Kaleidescape faced hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of product cancellations when it “closed” in August, 2016. When the company returned one month later, Srinivasan hit the road, assuring dealers the future remained bright for the iconic brand.

Those orders came back, he says. Indeed, Kaleidescape remains the top media-server brand among CE Pro 100 home-technology integrators.

“I am committed to regaining the trust and confidence of the best channel we could ask for,” Srinivasan says.

As for the new Premiere/Encore bridge, the solution will be presented at CEDIA in September, bringing “brand credibility and validation” back to Kaleidescape and its dealers, according to Srinivasan.

Meanwhile, Kaleidescapes new Strato C movie player with no internal storage began shipping earlier this year.



  About the Author

Julie Jacobson, recipient of the 2014 CEA TechHome Leadership Award, is co-founder of EH Publishing, producer of CE Pro, Electronic House, Commercial Integrator, Security Sales and other leading technology publications. She currently spends most of her time writing for CE Pro in the areas of home automation, security, networked A/V and the business of home systems integration. Julie majored in Economics at the University of Michigan, spent a year abroad at Cambridge University, earned an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin, and has never taken a journalism class in her life. She's a washed-up Ultimate Frisbee player currently residing in Carlsbad, Calif. Email Julie at [email protected]

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  Article Topics


Audio/Video · Multiroom Video · Events · CEDIA · News · Products · Kaleidescape · Media Server · All Topics
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Comments

Posted by justin3v06 on June 14, 2017

Price point is key…. always has been with this product.

I’m sure they’re buyers out there for this type of thing but its getting fewer and far between, by the time they perfect this they will have priced themselves out of the market and the day of the hard disc will be dead…
the Power of Amazon and Apple TV’s and other go fast boxes are getting more and more common these days.
If they don’t learn to adjust the price of these jumbo boxes I’m afraid they will be in the same situation they just got out of..

Posted by rparker on June 9, 2017

He made a big deal about this promise in the letter he sent out when Kscape came back to life:

“The “new Kaleidescape” will take on fewer projects, and we will not pre-announce a product or feature until it is completed – especially if completion depends on a third party.”- Cheena Srinivasan

There is even another paragraph in this letter that talks about this. Seems like he is making the same mistakes again…

Posted by rparker on June 9, 2017

He made a big deal about this promise in the letter he sent out when Kscape came back to life:

“The “new Kaleidescape” will take on fewer projects, and we will not pre-announce a product or feature until it is completed – especially if completion depends on a third party.”- Cheena Srinivasan

There is even another paragraph in this letter that talks about this. Seems like he is making the same mistakes again…

Posted by justin3v06 on June 14, 2017

Price point is key…. always has been with this product.

I’m sure they’re buyers out there for this type of thing but its getting fewer and far between, by the time they perfect this they will have priced themselves out of the market and the day of the hard disc will be dead…
the Power of Amazon and Apple TV’s and other go fast boxes are getting more and more common these days.
If they don’t learn to adjust the price of these jumbo boxes I’m afraid they will be in the same situation they just got out of..