In part 8 of my CEDIA review we’ll take a look at some very interesting new offerings from Kaleidescape. I’ll never forget the first time I was introduced to Kaleidescape. A good friend of mine had left Mark Levinson (which back in the 90’s was our favorite solid state high performance line of electronics) to join Kaleidescape right after they got started. He asked me if I wanted to learn about the product and I agreed to have a look. I walked into the room where they had it set up and another man was on the floor, connecting up boxes, wearing flip flops and an Hawaiian shirt. This turned out to be Michael Malcolm, the founder of Kaleidescape and former founder of Network Appliances. Michael had sold NetApp for a pile of money, retired, and gotten frustrated with his large DVD library. NetApp was into enterprise grade storage and Michael started Kaleidescape to provide a better solution for DVD storage. The company has fought Hollywood and won the battle for customers to be able to store their DVD’s and BluRay discs on a hard drive system. Kaleidescape is also about the entire movie experience though. They buy every movie that comes out, then bookmark it so when you start the movie, it plays instantly from the beginning with no previews or menu to navigate. They also have the best user interface I have ever seen for sorting through a large movie or music collection.
At this year’s CEDIA, they were showing off some very cool things they will be adding in the future. First of all, 2:35 movie theaters for the home are becoming very popular. Up until now, Kaleidescape’s (like all DVD’s and Bluray discs) menu was designed for a 16:9 ratio screen. Their new software is designed now to scale to either 2:35 or 16:9. Since most movies are in 2:35 this will keep one from having to switch to a 16:9 ratio to fully see the menus. Read my blog here to learn more about 2:35: Leon’s CEDIA review part 2
Another very neat new feature they will be adding is favorite scenes. Sometimes it is just fun to watch movie previews as they pick out the most intense or interesting scenes in a movie. Well, Kaleidescape is taking it a step further. They have gone into every movie they have cataloged (which is just about every on every put on DVD or Bluray) and bookmarked the best scenes. Most of these are 1-2 minutes. So now, you can find a movie in your collection and instantly go to some of its best scenes! You can then string favorite scenes from various movies into what they call a script so you can have a demo to blow your friends away!
The last feature they will be adding is something we have been asking for a long time. Soon Kaleidescape system owners will have the ability to purchase and download movies on line! They promise a very complete selection.
Feel free to stop by our Raleigh or Pineville locations to see a Kaleidescape system in action. It’s pretty darn cool!