CEDIA 2018: Kaleidescape’s Strato S Player Offers a Cutting-Edge Experience

CEDIA 2018: Kaleidescape’s Strato S Player Offers a Cutting-Edge Experience

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(September 7, 2018) There’s little secret that the physical disc market is crumbling before our very eyes – at least in wealthier countries – which means streaming and digital downloads are destined to become the primary way we all acquire media. While that reality strikes fear in the hearts of disc-clutching home theater enthusiasts, it may not be that bleak of a future when considering a service such as Kaleidescape.

Kaleidescape has been in the video business for quite some time, initially entering when DVDs ruled the landscape, eventually progressing to its current business state: the single best digital download force in the industry. Recently, the company revealed a brand-new movie player called the Strato S, a design that represents its most compact player with internal storage released to date.

What separates Kaleidescape from standard streaming and download services is that it offers the same audio and video quality (bit-for-bit) you’ll find on a Blu-ray or 4K UHD Blu-ray disc. That includes audio codecs such as Dolby Atmos (which is delivered using TrueHD, not Dolby’s Digital +). And as I saw during a demonstration today, that disc comparison extends to featured Extras and surpasses by offering Kaleidescape’s proprietary “Scenes” option that bookmarks memorable movie moments hand-picked by Kaleidescape’s staff. Throw-in the company’s proprietary kOS 10.3 system software, a killer graphical user interface, app control, and the potential for access to films weeks before they’re released in stores, and you have one impressive system.

Of course, the Kaleidescape experience comes with the weight of a hefty price tag. The 6-terabyte version of the Strato S costs $4,495, while a 12-terabyte version will set you back $2,500 more. In terms of storage size, the smaller version holds roughly 180 films representingt a typical mix of Blu-ray and 4K Blu-ray discs, while the larger 12-terabyte version can hold the same amount in pure 4K.

Kaleidescape offers owners access to over 10,000 titles from 30 different studios. And download times aren’t painfully long, reportedly averaging about 1 hour for a true 4K film over Wi-Fi with speeds of 15-25 Gbps. Pricing for films is higher than disc based media (the examples I saw on the CEDIA show floor ranged from $20-$35), but the service does offer title-specific promotions from time to time. And once you own a film, you can delete it from your hard drive and download it again at a later date, making onsite storage less of an issue.

Kaleidescape has a rather strong dealer-centric sales model, so you can forget about direct-to-consumer sales for now. That being said, there’s a good chance most dealers would happily sell to a non-custom install buyer. Just choose your approach wisely.

AV NIRVANA might have a Kaleidescape review in its future. This tech is too cool to ignore!
 
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Matthew J Poes

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I'd love to see a review of this!

The few times I've seen one of these in action I've been hugely impressed. It's so good that I have honestly debated how I might pay for one. Unfortunately, it's too rich for my blood and I can't justify spending that kind of money. I think the cost of videos to download is reasonable given the quality and the interface and hardware is amazing. I wish they would offer their software so that it could be built into other devices or computers. I would happily pay them $500 for the software if it gave me access to their service. I know that isn't their market, but I have to wonder if that would allow enough growth to secure their future indefinitely.
 

JStewart

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I'm with Matt. I've seen it too and I'd consider it only at a much lower price and if purchases were linked to another account such as ultraviolet just in case they didn't survive.
 

tripplej

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Thanks for the update. I also agree with the above statements.
 

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I'm with Matt. I've seen it too and I'd consider it only at a much lower price and if purchases were linked to another account such as ultraviolet just in case they didn't survive.

I need to check, but I believe that any purchase made through Kaleidescape gives you an ultraviolet token.
 

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I'd love to see a review of this!

The few times I've seen one of these in action I've been hugely impressed. It's so good that I have honestly debated how I might pay for one. Unfortunately, it's too rich for my blood and I can't justify spending that kind of money. I think the cost of videos to download is reasonable given the quality and the interface and hardware is amazing. I wish they would offer their software so that it could be built into other devices or computers. I would happily pay them $500 for the software if it gave me access to their service. I know that isn't their market, but I have to wonder if that would allow enough growth to secure their future indefinitely.


They definitely are adverse to jumping into any kind of direct-to-consumer market at the moment. The insulation of having a dealer handle problems/issues/returns/repairs is a big cost saving factor for them.
 

MAttHEATLifer

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Currently you can purchase there products directly from Best Buy no need to go to a dealer, also all purchases that support Ultraviolet port out and in of the Kaleidescape Movie Store... they are close to adding Movies Anywhere suport as stated by representatives at CEDIA...
They will never just listened there software as the only way could get agreements with studio for 4K UHD HDR Movies was with are of the security measures they provide in the Strato S Players and Terra Servers so if they liscmed out there software other deivices would not have the nesasary sercuirty...
 

Todd Anderson

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Emotiva XPA Gen3 2.8 multichannel amp
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Denon X8500H
Computer Audio
AudioEngine A2+
DAC
THX ONYX
Universal / Blu-ray / CD Player
Kaleidescape TERRA, OPPO UDP-203, Panasonic UB9000
Front Speakers
GoldenEar Technology Triton One.R
Center Channel Speaker
GoldenEar Technology SuperCenter Reference
Surround Speakers
SVS Ultra Surround
Surround Back Speakers
SVS Ultra Bookshelf
Front Height Speakers
SVS Prime Elevation x4 (Top Front, Top Mid-Front)
Rear Height Speakers
SVS Prime Elevation x4 (Top Middle, Top Rear)
Subwoofers
dual SVS SB16s + dual PSA XS30s
Other Speakers or Equipment
Behringer 1124p; Aura Bass Shaker Pros; SuperSub X
Video Display Device
JVC NX7
Screen
Seymour Screen Excellence, Enlightor NEO AT Screen
Streaming Equipment
iFi Audio Zen Blue
Streaming Subscriptions
Qobuz, TIDAL, Spotify, ROON
Other Equipment
LG Electronics 65-inch B6 OLED, Sony 65-inch X900F, ZeroSurge 8R15W x 2, ZeroSurge 2R15W x 2
I believe its only in store through Magnolia for a couple of pieces of gear... I'm under the impression that Strato S is dealer-centric. I can check with a rep, tho.
 

MAttHEATLifer

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You can buy...

Strato 10TB
Strato C
Terra 40 TB

That’s what’s on there website...
 
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