The Ultimate Home Theater Machine? An In-Depth Review of Kaleidescape's Strato C + Terra Multi-Room System

Manufacturer & Model
Kaleidescape Strato C Movie Player + Terra Movie Server
MSRP
$18,985
Link
https://www.kaleidescape.com
Highlights
Terra Movie Server offers 24-48TB of storage for up to 1,440+ movies in a typical mix of 4K, HD, and standard definition, can download 4K movies in as little as 12 minutes, enterprise computing performance, can support up to 10 Strato C Players simultaneously.

Strato C Movie Player supports true 4K HDR, compact form factor, upscales HD and SD video to 4K, excellent 4K menu interface, compatible with control systems.
Summary
Kaleidescape's Strato C + Terra movie system is a game-changing platform that makes it easy to find great content while offering access to a massive library of disc-quality (and better) 4K UHD, HD, and SD movies, shows, and concerts. Terra is a beast of a movie server, housing 24TB to 48TB of storage and possessing data capabilities that allow 4K UHD content to download in just 12 minutes. It can support up to 10 Strato C Movie Players simultaneously. Strato C is a generously sized player that can inconspicuously integrate into a room or rack system. With data rates exceeding 100mbps, Strato C can drive a mindblowing 4K experience.

Kaleidescape's instant playback capabilities, not to mention its ability to deliver jaw-dropping audio and video laced with the latest technologies, elevates Strato C + Terra to the top of the heap of 4K playback platform options.
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During a recent home renovation, my contractor invited me to take a ride in his pride and joy, a Dodge Demon, the fastest street-legal car ever produced. As we looked over the Demon's muscular frame and high-fived to celebrate all 840 horses harnessed beneath its hood, I made the mistake of guessing what's in the tank. "91 octane?" I suggested, without realizing the depths of ignorance being exposed. "Are you kidding??" he quipped. "This beast only gets racing fuel."

Of course! I thought as I showed approval. But, between friends, I hadn't a clue that racing fuel was even an option.

Fast forward through months of noise and dust, and our home – including my reference theater – finally found itself stitched back together. That's when the contractor asked for a theater demo. "Welcome to the Entertainment Bunker," I told him as I powered up 7.4.8 channels of immersive glory. While we waited for the projector to spring to life, and I rattled off facts about the unearthly power lying dormant in the room's quad array of subs, he asked what I liked to feed my system. "Netflix?" he wondered aloud. "No way…" I scoffed. "Digital racing fuel, baby. Nothing but the best!"

If you're a hardcore AV enthusiast with a decent theater room, I'm sure you'll understand my sentiment. When it comes to a reference system, the thought of feeding it anything less than the purest, most potent source material available makes me cringe. Yes, Netflix has its time and place, but not in a theater room. For my desires, I want to know I'm tapping the best possible source material for the best possible theatrical experience.

To date, my preferred source has been disc-based, both Blu-ray and 4K UHD Blu-ray, spun by A-list players from the likes of OPPO and Panasonic. This has gotten the job done, giving me access to lossless audio and video with the latest surround sound and immersive codecs. But, as a card-carrying member of Twitter's #SupportPhysicalMedia legion, it pains me to confess that my enthusiastic support for disc-based media has begun to wane.

Setting declining sales and eroding manufacturer support aside, finding discs at local retail stores has become increasingly challenging, making spur-of-the-moment purchases nearly impossible. Of course, Amazon Prime is an obvious go-to source, but searching for films and sifting through buying options can be frustrating, day-of and next-day shipping doesn't always pan out, and money-saving "used" deals can cough up scratched discs. This all goes without mentioning the tremendous amount of waste – energy, plastics, and shipping materials – generated by having a single disc delivered to your home. Toss in the occasional freezing movie and the potential for rot as a collection ages, and discs are becoming less appealing.

There's still much to appreciate about physical media, including its ability to provide affordable access to reference content. Discs also guarantee actual ownership of a film. The same can't be said of movies purchased from the likes of Amazon Video and Apple TV.

This brings us to today's featured manufacturer, Kaleidescape, which offers an advanced digital movie platform that takes the disc experience and spins it on its head. When I first started talking to Brett Bjorkquist (Senior Manager, Dealer Engagement) at Kaleidescape, he proclaimed: "We've built a better engine." Having covered the brand for years and experienced its gear in action, I had little doubt in its ability to deliver reference-grade audio and video. But this notion of a better engine implied something more. "It's an experience," he assured me. So, Bjorkquist pulled together a system consisting of Kaleidescape's 24TB Terra Movie Server and two Strato C Movie Players – the first multi-room Terra review system ever assembled.

The reason?

Kaleidescape wanted me to live with and probe every facet of the ownership experience. The “engine,” they told me, is so much more than a physical player and reference media, promising a system that would kick my entire theater experience into overdrive. So, I agreed to welcome Kaleidescape's premium gear into my home. For the last six weeks, I've lived the life of a Kaleidescape customer, learning everything there is to know about the platform and getting a solid feel for what makes the company tick. What I found was a rather transformative ownership experience and, quite possibly, the ultimate home theater machine.


What's Kaleidescape?
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Kaleidescape entered 2021 celebrating 20 years of operation, born from the passions of Founder and Chair, Michael Malcolm, and some heady Silicon Valley collaborators. The company's first disc-ripping multi-room system seems a bit archaic by today's standards, but it allowed Malcolm and his partners to establish key industry relationships while grinding through the ins and outs of licensing and digital technologies. Having survived publicly scrutinized growing pains, the company never lost sight of harnessing the internet as a delivery system for reference-quality media. And, as they say, the results speak for themselves; its current technology is widely heralded as the gold standard of movie playback systems.

Kaleidescape is a download platform, not a streaming service, which means users need storage and playback capabilities in their homes. Unlike app-based services found on various TVs and devices, it requires proprietary gear that's only manufactured by – you guessed it – Kaleidescape. Its entry-level Strato S 4K Ultra HD Players have storage and decoding capacities squeezed into one box, while the step-up Strato C + Terra systems assign storage and decoding responsibilities to separate units for increased performance.

Strato S gives owners access to 6 terabytes (TB) or 12TB of storage, with the 12TB model holding roughly 200 4K UHD movies or 360 Blu-ray quality films. The larger Terra server is available in both 24TB and 48TB versions, providing storage of 400 to 800 4K films, respectively, and even more when considering a mix of Blu-ray quality media. All four options allow owners to delete and re-download purchased content from the cloud, so media libraries aren't limited by storage capacities.

Data speeds for both Strato S and Terra are impressive, with Strato S executing 4k downloads in as little as 35 to 45 minutes. If that time frame isn’t fast enough, consider Terra's Olympic-grade 4K download speed of 12 minutes – blazing fast! Of course, you won't realize those numbers without Gigabit Internet access. According to my tests, throttling download speeds to 110 Mbps increases 4K download times by a factor of ten. While it's hard to complain about landing a full 4K lossless movie file in 120 minutes, the experience of downloading and playing that same file in 12 minutes will spoil you rotten.

On the content side, Kaleidescape's Movie Store is impressively stocked with more than 12,000 movies, shows, and concerts sourced directly from more than 50 studios and minimally compressed by a proprietary encryption algorithm. You'll find every 4K disc title imaginable (over 1,200 as of July 2021) in addition to over 400 4K titles you won't find on disc, including the likes of Who Framed Roger Rabbit, National Treasure, National Treasure: Book of Secrets, and Hans Zimmer: Live in Prague.

And, yes. Everything you buy, you own.

Kaleidescape's current Strato players can decode and output true 4K HDR video at 60 fps with bit rates reaching 124.5 Mbps. They also support lossless Dolby Atmos and DTS:X immersive audio and associated lossless legacy codecs. This means Kaleidescape customers enjoy the same exact audio quality found on disc, and equal to or better than video quality.

Better than, you ask?

Technically speaking, yes, some films are "better." Because Kaleidescape's movie files aren't limited to the confines of a 66GB physical disc, some are packed with more bits. Take, for example, Avengers Endgame (4K UHD) weighing in at 104GB, or Ford v Ferrari (4K UHD) landing at 82GB. According to Bjorkquist, those are just two of at least 50 films that benefit from larger file sizes and more bandwidth. And while your eyes might not necessarily detect an absolute difference between Ford v Ferrari on 4K disc and Ford v Ferrari in 4K on Kaleidescape, you'll have a hard time convincing me that more isn't ultimately better.


System Unboxing and Walkaround
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Strato C and Terra's packaging doesn't scream for attention with flashy graphics and hi-res photos. Instead, Kaleidescape takes a more utilitarian approach, throwing its weight behind thick, high-quality containers cut with clean lines and sealed with reinforced kraft tape. Handling the boxes confirms thoughtful quality and attention to detail, causing the tactile component of the unboxing experience to thrive.

Cracking the boxes open kindled memories of OPPO's epic reign, as each component was neatly encased in a cloth bag and comfortably nestled in custom foam blocks. All three units shipped with a power supply and Ethernet cable, and both Strato Cs added physical remotes and THX Certified HDMI cables.

Strato C and Terra have the appearance of high-quality equipment, leveraging robust materials and appealing design attributes. With its thick metal casing and nearly 22-pounds of weight, Terra has a vault-like presence that flexes serious physical muscle. Overall fit and finish on my demo unit were perfect, and it felt great in the hands. Sized similar to a standard Blu-ray player (17" W × 3.5" H × 10.0" D), Terra can seamlessly fit in a gear stack or rack system.

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Terra's front faceplate slowly folds down to reveal four drive bays, which, in my case, were filled with enterprise-grade 6TB SATA drives. Kaleidescape says its drives are carefully selected for reliability and performance, working with key data centers to make sure the drives they select are best-in-class. In the unlikely event of a catastrophic failure, storage and operation responsibilities are automatically shifted to the remaining healthy drives, and the show goes on. In fact, Bjorkquist says a failed drive would likely go unnoticed by a customer if the drives weren’t all filled – good thing a recent firmware update allows Terra to detect and automatically report system issues to Kaleidescape's Help Desk.

The simplicity of Terra's rear panel is refreshing, presenting power, Ethernet, USB, and service port connections. It's a clean slate that expedites a fast set-up process.

Strato C is smaller than Terra (7.87" W × 1.52" H × 10" D), allowing it to inconspicuously inhabit a tabletop near a display system, sit on a component in a rack, or mount neatly behind a television (accessory wall plates required). Its logo-clad faceplate doesn't flip down, but it does house a concealed power button along its lower right edge. The backside of Strato C is slightly more complex than Terra’s, presenting Audio/Video and Audio only HDMI outputs, SPDIF and optical audio outputs, and individual Ethernet, USB, and service ports.

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Strato C is the playback arm of the Terra system, tasked with receiving, decoding, and outputting content stored on Terra's drives. It's compatible with other Strato and older Kaleidescape Premiere systems when linked using their Co-star product, and multiple Strato Cs can be deployed in a home. In fact, Terra can deliver 4K content to ten Strato C players simultaneously, giving owners insane levels of access to the purest versions of movies and shows on the planet.

I'd be remiss not to mention the low-profile rubber feet affixed to the bottoms of Terra and Strato C. Their thinness allows the units to fit in tight spaces, but they're also unusually tacky. Not sticky, but tacky. This keeps them locked to a surface, resisting side-to-side and back-and-forth movement. Admittedly, this feature isn't massively exciting, but it's a nice bit of insurance for gear placed on open surfaces in high traffic areas, and, despite its 4.2-pounds of weight, Strato C doesn't move an inch when the front power button is depressed.


What's missing?
Kaleidescape's 4K attack is definitely projector-centric. This isn't to say Kaleidescape movies aren't stunning on 4K TVs – trust me, they are – but the system's HDR10 High Dynamic Range foundation reflects a bias toward theater rooms with a projector. Dolby Vision, HDR 10+, and IMAX Enhanced aren't currently supported on the platform, nor is Auro-3D immersive sound. Kaleidescape says that Dolby Vision and HDR 10+ might be added in the future, but I wouldn't hold my breath for IMAX Enhanced or Auro-3D.

Also, Strato C performs 4K upscaling of HD and DVD quality content, but it doesn't offer dynamic tone mapping to assist older or less-than-capable 4K projectors in displaying HDR content. While not necessary for most of today’s advanced projectors, dynamic tone mapping would make for an appealing add-on feature if available.


Set-Up
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Setting up a Strato C + Terra multi-room system requires moderate technical skills, with the biggest hurdle being access to a proper network. Unlike a Blu-ray player or a device like AppleTV, Terra and Strato C are engineered to operate on a wired network with access to high-speed internet (preferably Gigabit). While Gigabit is a luxury needed to achieve optimal download speeds, Ethernet connectivity is Kaleidescape's default recommendation and, as I discovered, practically essential for everyday use. For reference: my home has Gigabit Internet (averaging 850 Mbps) but lacks an intricate maze of Ethernet cables. Instead, it uses a Google Wi-Fi mesh network.

I deployed Kaleidescape in two rooms, the first being a home theater where Terra and one Strato C were connected directly to a Gigabit Ethernet Network Switch linked to a cable modem and a Google Wi-Fi point acting as a router. The other Strato C was paired with a system in a media room, hardwired to a Google Wi-Fi point. Both Strato Cs were connected to processors using the Audio/Video HDMI output.

Note: I was able to watch uninterrupted, pristine 4K movies in the media room using my home's mesh network. This success, I believe, was the result of a short distance between Wi-Fi points. Later in the review, I moved the media room's Strato C unit to a distant part of the home, and performance issues arose. So, proceed with caution if you're considering running a Kaleidescape system on Wi-Fi; you might have success, or you might crash and burn. My recommendation and as Bjorkquist clearly emphasized when I told him what I wanted to try: follow Kaleidescape's Ethernet-based installation requirements.

Once connected to my home's network, a browser interface assembled each of the three units as a system, display capabilities were auto-confirmed, a few settings were tweaked, and I was ready to roll.

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Strato C's on-screen menu system gives owners access to basic features, like passcodes and parental controls, and advanced features such as test patterns and calibration videos. The browser interface unlocks even deeper settings, including the ability to scale a player's video output to match a screen's aspect ratio. This feature might be trivial for standard HD and 4K TVs, but it's a big deal for enthusiasts running fixed screen 2.35:1 or 2.40:1 projection systems.

Why?

When a projector is zoomed to display 2.35:1 content on a fixed cinemascope screen, menus and in-movie information tend to spill off the screen, making them difficult to see. Kaleidescape's scaling feature ensures that all of this information, along with Kaleidescape's Movie Store and library screens, are displayed within a 2.35:1 frame. As a long-time sufferer of difficult-to-see menus, this particular setting was a welcomed find.


Associated Gear
The home theater system used in this review is a 19-channel 7.4.8 speaker array driven by Emotiva's XPA-5 and Gen3 2.8 multi-channel amplifiers, and managed by a StormAudio ISP.24 MK2 processor. Associated speakers include GoldenEar's Triton One.R towers (L/R) and SuperCenter Reference Center Channel, SVS Ultra Surrounds (L/R Side Surrounds), SVS Ultra Bookshelfs (L/R Rear Surrounds), SVS Prime Elevations (ceiling mounted Top Middle and Top Front; top wall mounted Front Height and Rear Height), dual SVS SB16 Ultra subwoofers, and dual Power Sound Audio XS30 subwoofers. The display system consists of a JVC NX7 4K projector (running JVC's v3.52 Theater Optimizer firmware) and a 105" 2.35:1 Carada Cinewhite screen.

The media room's system is less complex, consisting of a Yamaha AVENTAGE RX-A3050 AVR and 65" Sony X900F LCD 4K TV.


Ye Olde Movie Night
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Life in the Anderson household moves a million miles an hour, with all six living, breathing components constantly playing tug of war with a finite amount of time and energy. Being the AV fanatic of the family, the burden of running the home theater falls squarely on my shoulders, and part of that responsibility is organizing and executing a family movie night. The typical movie night kicks off with a discussion of what to watch and where to watch it. If the majority votes for the family room, we fire up a flat panel and begin the task of searching for a movie on a streaming service or OnDemand. However, if the home theater gets the nod, a whole new cascade of events takes place – don’t forget: digital racing fuel!

Redbox rarely plays a role in the "what to watch in the theater room" decision-making process, largely because getting the family together is a last-minute event and time is of the essence. That shifts content selection to a disc library that consists of 700 titles, painstakingly organized in my second office (aka the basement workshop). On any given week, the spines of 10 to 15 movies are marked with a yellow sticker dot indicating "unwatched," and those become the focus of our attention.

The types of questions tossed around during the movie selection process are predictable: What's it about? Did it get good reviews? Who's in it? Are you sure we haven't watched this? Is it violent? Is it appropriate for kids? How long is it? So on, and so forth. If we're lucky, a film is picked and ready to spin in 10 to 15 minutes. If we're unlucky, the search takes longer, pushing the clock hands forward and increasing the likelihood that our movie night will be cut short and continued sometime in the next day or two.

Once a movie is in hand, its aspect ratio needs to be identified (requiring a search on the net or a scan of the box's excruciatingly tiny fine print), and the spin-up process begins. With the finish line in sight, final steps include navigating a combination of previews, advertisements, and FBI warnings, with a pitstop to confirm the disc's default audio settings.

And, voila, movie night is officially underway. Keep this process in mind as we take a closer look at the Kaleidescape experience.


The Elephant in the Room
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Before diving into specific impressions, it's worth discussing the biggest rub on Kaleidescape’s platform: cost. The cost falls into two distinct categories – cost of entry and ownership – with the former boasting a decent amount of shock value, so strap on a helmet and hold fast. The company's least expensive Strato S player carries an MSRP of $5,995, with pricing exceeding $20,000 for its most potent Strato C + Terra package. The total price for the system used in this review (two Strato C Movie Players and a 24TB Terra) lands at $18,985 MSRP. While that number is hefty compared to a $999 Panasonic DP-UB9000 4K Disc Player, it buys you so much more: physical gear, access to downloadable reference content, and a curated home theater experience backed by the passionate folks at Kaleidescape's HQ.

The upfront cost of Kaleidescape is softened on the backend thanks to zero monthly fees and various promotions and programs that reduce the price of content. One program, called "Disc to Digital," allows customers to re-purchase and upgrade titles they own on disc at reduced rates (typically $4 - $9). Kaleidescape also offers generous pricing to customers upgrading films they already own in their digital library. For example, when Lord of the Rings landed in 4K earlier this year, owners of the HD version only paid $10 to upgrade.

The Movie Store routinely hosts promotional deals on film collections. During my review, Kaleidescape celebrated Marvel Studios by making Marvel's 4K catalog available for $9.99 per film. Similar promotions were run for Father's Day and a collection of summer blockbuster films, presenting lots of opportunities to purchase 4K and HD movies at wallet-friendly prices. And for real savings, customers can rent over 8,000 titles, with the ability to apply a portion of the rental fee toward purchasing rented content – a killer way to preview media before you buy!


Equipment Placement and System Impressions
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Aside from initial set-up and the occasional poke of a power button, Kaleidescape's primary gear doesn't need to be touched. Terra is so hands-off that owners can tuck it away anywhere there’s access to power and Ethernet. That said, I placed my Terra demo unit on top of an enclosed rack system in a room adjacent to the home theater. Good looks aside, it was the source of just enough sound (periodic drive clicks and the low hum of fans) that I wouldn't recommend placing it within earshot of theater seating.

Strato C is a slick, high-functioning device that’s also easy to place. I positioned one on top of a StormAudio ISP.24 MK2 processor in my theater rack, and the other on an entertainment center directly under a flat-panel TV. Strato C’s footprint is negligible (roughly the size of a medium-sized hardback novel), and it's whisper quiet. Like Terra, it has an illuminated front panel logo that can be dimmed or turned off.

Strato C's remote control is a mixed bag of good and bad. Functionally speaking, it has convenient hot buttons – my favorites being two that instantly display all movies or concerts in Terra's library – and performs its duties as intended. The remote's physical properties, however, are middling. It's ergonomically shaped and the button layout is intuitive, but hard plastics and a cheap-looking button backlight miss the mark, especially considering the pedigree of Kaleidescape's components.

Kaleidescape says Strato C’s physical remote is typically used purely for set-up, with most systems eventually integrating with a 3rd Party control system for access to additional lighting control and screen masking metadata. Some customers also choose to use control system functionalities built into iOS and Android-based apps, but Bjorkquist was quick to note that an upgrade to a more premium control design is preferable. Taking that information into account, it’s understandable why the included remote received a little less attention in the design department.

Kaleidescape's proprietary menu system (kOS operating system version 10.10.0-22350) looks gorgeous on 4K displays thanks to crisp text, highly detailed images, and appealing colors. Smooth scrolling, seamless transitions add to the overall refined feel of the interface, which is easily managed using the remote control. Two additional mechanisms of system control, a browser-based UI and a phone app complete a streamlined home theater experience that’s infinitely more convenient than managing a large disc collection.

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Using the on-screen menu or browser UI, owners can manage their entire digital library, sorting content into searchable collections, marking content as “Watch Soon,” and listing content that’s been paused. Comparatively speaking, these are all concepts I’ve used to manage my own disc collection, but Kaleidescape makes them all more effective and impactful. The phone app is slightly less useful, although it does allow for basic library management, including deleting, loading, and purchasing content.

The ability to deploy multiple Strato Cs around a home proved to be a bonafide luxury, as reference-grade media could be viewed in one location, paused, and played in another. It also allowed Terra to simultaneously share different content to multiple displays, which kept the family happy. During the review, the multi-Strato C system definitely increased my interest in watching movies, mainly because I could start a movie while leisurely relaxing on the couch, eventually moving to my theater room with minimal effort involved. Despite having 4K disc players linked to flat panels around my home, I’ve never slogged through the effort of moving a disc from one location to another. In fact, when I hit the couch in our media and family rooms, I rarely, if ever, reach for disc content.


Movie Store
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Kaleidescape’s content team delivers a curated movie discovery experience that's second to none, combining the best cross-referencing aspects of sites like IMDB.com along with pertinent information and reliable ratings, fast-tracking the movie selection process. The Movie Store's on-screen interface features a tiled cover art mode that intelligently rearranges itself to display suggestions during the search process. While fun to experience, I ultimately gravitated to search and discovery using the phone app and browser interfaces. Both options allow for personalized search results using a combination of filters, with up to 24 filters available through the browser. Say, for example, you're looking to purchase a title on sale. Simply activate the "Special Pricing" filter. If you decide you only want to see sale pricing on 4K content with Dolby Atmos immersive sound, you can drill deeper by applying filters to achieve that too.

Kaleidescape's content team also maintains more than 90 searchable collections, grouping everything from Academy Award Winners and Golden Globe Nominees to Biopics and Inspirational Films, all of which can be filtered and sorted.

Once you select content that looks interesting, Kaleidescape displays detailed information about the release, including Common Sense Media and Rotten Tomatoes Ratings, cast and production names, available formats, aspect ratio, and more. You can even watch a trailer.

The ultimate endgame is a vastly streamlined discovery and purchase process that can be performed from the comfort of your theater room, on the computer while enjoying a bite to eat, or from your car while you sit at a traffic light. It buries every interface and search method I've ever used to find reference media, and, with Terra, it delivers true 4K HDR media in a matter of minutes. During the review, I ran several 4K download tests, and Terra consistently achieved 12 minute download times – impressive!

To sweeten the pot, some (not all) of Kaleidescape's new titles can be watched weeks before they're officially launched on disc. While that's not always the case, it's a nice perk of ownership. Also, some movies can be pre-ordered, which instantly downloads 99% of a film to your system. The last remaining morsel is sent at midnight on launch day, giving you day one, hour one, second one access.


Playback
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While the build-up to pressing play on a Kaleidescape is a wonderful experience, playback is where it truly solidifies itself as a statement platform, launching viewers to the ultimate heights of home theater nirvana. Thanks to a stocked Terra demo unit with 125 pre-loaded movies and concerts, I was able to take Strato C + Terra for the ride of a lifetime, enjoying hours upon hours of reference content.

Kaleidescape's video and audio qualities are top-shelf, laced with all of the bits necessary to ignite a home theater into a fiery inferno of sensory overload. As part of a rental trial, I called upon The Dark Knight in 4K UHD, which dripped with inky blacks and roared with thunderous bass. That experience led me to another Christopher Nolan masterpiece, Interstellar, for even deeper bass and mind-blowing visuals. Much to my delight, both films were shown in a strict 2.39:1 aspect ratio from start to finish, which differs from the flip-flop IMAX to 2.39:1 presentations found on their respective 4K UHD discs – a major bonus for fixed cinemascope screen owners!

As I selflessly trudged my way through the latest 4K UHD Atmos demo films, like Deepwater Horizon and Baby Driver, and stopped to enjoy classics like Ferris Bueller's Day Off in HD, Kaleidescape was simply magnificent. In every case, audio and video qualities weren't a single scintilla short of those found on disc. There was zero buffering, pixelation, hiccups, or freezing, and playback commands were executed instantaneously. To top it off, the speed at which movies could be selected and played was notable – no FBI warnings to screen, no previews or advertisements to skip, just drop dead, gorgeous content.

Concerts also made for fun viewing, particularly with the impacts of COVID on our ability to enjoy live entertainment. Billy Joel Live At Shea Stadium: The Concert (16:9, HD quality), Norah Jones: Live at Ronnie Scott's (2.35:1, HD), and the sensational Atmos fueled Hans Zimmer: Live in Prague (16:9, 4K UHD) were three favorites. Each one enhanced the concert experience with stunning close-ups of musicians in action, not to mention jaw-dropping sound.

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All of Kaleidescape's content has staff-selected "Kaleidescape Scenes," which act as bookmarks for key moments in a movie or concert. Owners can bookmark their own favorite scenes, too, or take things a step further by creating a demo reel (called a Script) using scenes from content they own. As a long-time theater fanatic, I'm all too familiar with the dreadfully slow process of playing favorite scenes from a stack of discs. Scripts eliminates that painful process, replacing it with the ultimate in instantaneous demo experience.

Strato C + Terra can integrate with control systems, using media cues to dim the lights, lower the shades, and adjust masking systems and projector lens settings. I was lucky enough to experience several of these features in action at a local Gramophone store, and they were impressive. Just another example of Kaleidescape’s ability to streamline and transform your at-home movie experience.


Final Thoughts
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When you dump racing fuel in a Dodge Demon, its effective horsepower is bumped from 808 to 840, giving the car enough power to pull a face-altering, blood vessel popping 1.8 Gs. Likewise, when you inject your home theater with Kaleidescape’s version of digital racing fuel, the quality of your home theater experience is jettisoned from the stratosphere to the outer reaches of space. It truly is a transformative experience.

After living with Strato C + Terra for a few weeks, I concluded this review could be written in two words: Buy It. Its ability to streamline content discovery and expedite a reference-grade home theater experience is revolutionary, especially considering Strato C + Terra's ability to spread that experience around a home. The price to entry is steep, but once that obstacle is cleared, the ownership experience completely re-writes the family movie night script. Sorry discs, but Kaleidescape really is that much better.

For the home theater connoisseur, Kaleidescape is a bonafide game-changer and a significantly better experiential engine. A-plus Gear.


Terra Movie Server Specifications
Dimensions

• 17.0in × 3.5in × 10.0in (W × H × D) (43.2cm × 8.9cm × 25.4cm)

Weight
• 15.4lb (7.0kg) with no hard drives installed
• 21.6lbs (9.8kg) with four hard drives installed

Power
• Max consumption: 45W
• Typical: 40W
• External power adapter: 100-240V,
50-60Hz universal input 12V @ 7A, 84W with detachable line cord

Network
• 100Base-TX/1000Base-T Ethernet (RJ45 connector)

Other Connection
• USB 3.0 (reserved)

Environment
• Operating temperature: 41 to 95°F (5 to 35°C)

  • Storage temperature: -4 to 140°F (-20 to 60°C)
  • Relative humidity: 20 to 80% (operation) 5 to 90% (storage)
  • Maximum operating altitude: 10,000ft (3,048m)
  • Heat output: 154 BTU/hr (45W) max
  • Airflow: 20 CFM (34 m3/hr) max
Ventilation
• Minimum 1in (2.5cm) space at the front • Minimum 2in (5cm) space at the rear

Rack Mount (sold separately)
• Rack shelf available for mounting in a 19in rack, 2RU space

Ceritifications
• CSA 62368-1 • CSA 60950-1 • IEC 62368-1 • IEC 60950-1 • FCC CLASS B • CE
• RoHS Compliant

Storage
• Available with four 6TB or 12TB hard drives (24TB or 48TB total)
• 24TB configuration stores up to 360 4K Ultra HD movies, 650 Blu-ray quality movies, or 3,600 DVD quality movies
• 48TB configuration stores up to 720 4K Ultra HD movies, 1,300 Blu-ray quality movies, or 7,200 DVD quality movies

Movie Server
• Maximum download rate: 800 Mbps • Serves 4K Ultra HD movies
simultaneously to up to 8 viewing zones • Serves Blu-ray movies simultaneously to
up to 15 viewing zones
• Serves DVD quality movies
simultaneously to up to 40 viewing zones

Limited Warranty
• 3 years (extendable)



Strato C Media Player Specifications

Dimensions
• 7.87in × 1.52in × 10.0in (W × H × D) (20.0cm × 3.9cm × 25.4cm)

Weight
• 4.2lb (1.91kg)

Power
• Max consumption: 20W
• Typical: 17W
• High power standby: 12W
• Low power standby: 0.50W
• External power adapter: 100-240VAC to
12VDC @ 5A, 60W with detachable line cord

Network
• 100Base-TX/1000Base-T Ethernet (RJ45 connector)
OTHER CONNECTION
• USB 3.0 (reserved)

Control
• Ethernet control from Crestron, AMX, Control4, Savant, the Kaleidescape App for iPad, and other apps & control systems

  • Kaleidescape Remote included
  • Front-panel IR receiver window
  • IR input (1/8in mini plug)
    ENVIRONMENT
    • Operating temperature: 41 to 95°F (5 to 35°C)
  • Storage temperature: -4 to 140°F (-20 to 60°C)
  • Relative humidity: 20 to 80% (operation) 5 to 90% (storage)
  • Maximum operating altitude: 10,000ft (3,048m)
  • Heat output: 69 BTU/hr (20W) max
  • Airflow: 3.5 CFM (6 m3/hr) max
Ventilation
• Minimum 1in (2.5cm) space at the front • Minimum 2in (5cm) space at the rear

Rack Mount (sold separately)
• Rack shelf with faceplates is available for mounting 1 or 2 (centered or side- by-side) Strato C players in a 19in rack, 1U space

Certifications
• CSA 62368-1 • CSA 60950-1 • IEC 62368-1 • IEC 60950-1 • FCC CLASS B • CE
• RoHS Compliant

Video Output
• HDMI 2.0a (labelled “VIDEO”) • HDCP 2.2 copy protection

Video Display Formats
• Resolutions: 2160p60/50/30/25/24, 1080p60/50/24, 1080i60/50, 720p60/50, 576i, 576p, 480i, 480p

  • Chroma: 4:4:4 8-bit up to 2160p60, 4:4:4 10/12-bit up to 2160p30, 4:2:2 12-bit up to 2160p60, 4:2:0 8/10/12-bit at 2160p50/60 only
  • Color spaces: BT.2020, BT.709, BT.601
  • Aspect ratios: 1.78:1 and 2.35:1
    (CinemaScape), automatic or user
    interface selectable
  • HDR: HDMI 2.0a with support for
    SMPTE ST 2084 EOTF, SMPTE ST 2086 metadata
Audio Outputs
• HDMI 2.0a (combined with video on the VIDEO connector)
• HDMI 1.4 (audio-only on the DIGITAL AUDIO connector)
• Digital (coaxial RCA and TOs-link connectors)

Audio Formats
• Dolby Atmos • Dolby TrueHD • Dolby Digital • DTS:X
• DTS-HD Master Audio • DTS Digital Surround • PCM
• MPEG audio

Storage
• No internal storage. Strato C accesses content stored on a Terra or Strato (with internal storage) when connected via network

Media
• Kaleidescape movie store downloads, including high-bit-rate 4K Ultra HD movies in 10-bit color, with and without high dynamic range (HDR), and movies that precisely match the quality available on Blu-ray Disc and DVD
• DVD, DVD-R, DVD-RW, DVD+R, DVD+RW (from Kaleidescape Disc Server)

Limited Warranty
• 3 years (extendable)

 
Last edited:

Sonnie

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Excellent review Todd. I know you have enjoyed it in your system. I tried it and wanted to like their system, but the caveat for me was the absorbent entry price plus paying full price for movies. And one of the benefits of early access rentals meant spending almost as much as the movie, which you still had to purchase at full price if later you wanted to have it in your library. I suppose for those where money is not much of an issue, it will work for them, as it is certainly convenient, but that is about the only benefit I can truly see in all of it.
 

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Outstanding and thorough review as always, Todd. There's a whole lot more to be learned from your review than their website.

Much as I know I would really enjoy and make use of it, for the convenience of streaming pristine movies you pay the equivalent of a $1k Blu-Ray player and 600 4k discs at $30 a pop and then you start buying movies. Nope. No can do.

Out of sheer curiosity do have the pricing on the Strato S?
 

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Outstanding and thorough review as always, Todd. There's a whole lot more to be learned from your review than their website.

Much as I know I would really enjoy and make use of it, for the convenience of streaming pristine movies you pay the equivalent of a $1k Blu-Ray player and 600 4k discs at $30 a pop and then you start buying movies. Nope. No can do.

Out of sheer curiosity do have the pricing on the Strato S?
Thanks @JStewart, appreciate it!

The initial cost is high, no way to cut that corner. The buy-in gets you the gear, but it also is giving you lifetime access to their curated movie store and their engineering team, which takes staff that works every day... I wasn't privy to financials, but my impression is that the backend part (the content/experience side) accounts for some of the initial cost. that's what you're not getting when you buy a Blu-ray player. Ultimately, tho, everything boils down to what you're willing to pay for, right?

Oh.. Strato S... I think that starts around $5,995 MSRP. I'm not sure if that price varies from dealer to dealer... I'm guessing not (especially in this red-hot market).
 

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Excellent review Todd. I know you have enjoyed it in your system. I tried it and wanted to like their system, but the caveat for me was the absorbent entry price plus paying full price for movies. And one of the benefits of early access rentals meant spending almost as much as the movie, which you still had to purchase at full price if later you wanted to have it in your library. I suppose for those where money is not much of an issue, it will work for them, as it is certainly convenient, but that is about the only benefit I can truly see in all of it.
Thanks Sonnie! The movie costs are all over the map. They had some excellent sales/promotions while I was reviewing, giving access to solid movies at very tempting prices. New releases, you're paying full, for sure.

They do give you a credit for some portion of a rental fee if you want to buy down the road. The movie I rented was inexpensive... in the $5 range, if memory serves, but it was an older title. For new content, you're right, it's more expensive.
 

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Oh.. Strato S... I think that starts around $5,995 MSRP.
Still quite a bit, but much closer. Hard to tell what all the differences are. Ethernet download speed seems to be one and wouldn’t matter to me anyway.

Perhaps kaleidescape might benefit from a well written review on this product, as well?
 

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If we are doing a giveaway of this system, I quit, so I can be eligible. ;)
 

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Todd, here's another question. If one were to buy the Terra server in a 6TB configuration, can additional drives be purchased and added by the user down the road, or is it a locked configuration/dealer only install type situation?
 

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Todd, here's another question. If one were to buy the Terra server in a 6TB configuration, can additional drives be purchased and added by the user down the road, or is it a locked configuration/dealer only install type situation?
The system is only currently sold as 24TB and 48TB versions. The drives can’t be swapped (I asked the same question).
 

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The system is only currently sold as 24TB and 48TB versions. The drives can’t be swapped (I asked the same question).
So if I buy a 24TB version and want 48TB down the road, do I start over? They can't "upgrade" the drives?
 

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So if I buy a 24TB version and want 48TB down the road, do I start over? They can't "upgrade" the drives?
That’s a good question. I’m not 100% positive. If they don’t, theoretically you could sell and upgrade. Don’t forget, everything you buy is stored in the cloud, and it you have Gigabit (or something approaching Gigabit) you can easily swap movies on your drive.

The browser interface allows you to make changes easily… you could swap 20 films while you have a cup of coffee in the morning ;-)
 
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Still quite a bit, but much closer. Hard to tell what all the differences are. Ethernet download speed seems to be one and wouldn’t matter to me anyway.

Perhaps kaleidescape might benefit from a well written review on this product, as well?
Hey JStewart, I'm happy to jump on a call if I can answer any specifics, but here's a quick rundown.

1. The Strato S 6TB/12TB are all in one units. They can download a movie in about 45 minutes as Todd mentions in his article. All of the general Kaleidescape benefits are available whether it's a Strato S 6TB or Terra 48TB.
2. Because the Terra products are a dedicated server, we're able to increase the download speeds by 4X, meaning a 4K movie can typically be downloaded in about 12 minutes. This depends on internet bandwidth of course, and you would need around 800Mbps to get that speed.
3. The Strato products are a single drive, and the Terra products have 4 drives. This means if a Terra drive happens to fail (pretty rare) the system will still stay up, our support team is notified to start a hard drive swap and reach out to the dealer to let them know. Automatically though, the content from the failed drive begins to download into any empty space on the remaining functional drives, so depending on how much space you have left, it could have already shifted the content to the working drives, and you get a call from your dealer to find a convenient time to replace the defective drive before you even know there is an issue. This is a great feature on the Terra, that provides additional assurance that your system is always going to be working whether you or another member of the family wants to watch a movie or concert.
4. The Terra also has the capability of serving up to ten 4K movies simultaneously to different Strato C devices. The Strato can only do this for up to two 4K streams. As Todd mentioned, and as I've found myself, I want to be able to access the movies I've bought in different rooms, so having the ability to serve content to multiple rooms is an added benefit of my Terra/Strato C combo.


Effectively it comes to how you use the product to consumer content. Many people start with a Strato 6TB because it's the least expensive way to get into the ecosystem. From there, they usually love the system, and will often buy more storage, but even with a 6TB, they have the capability of deleting downloaded content to add new movies, but the previous purchases are still linked to their account, and can always be redownloaded for free. For many of us though, having instant access to my entire movie collection (I've bought 825 movies) is why I moved from a Strato S to a Terra system. It means I'm not spending time managing which content is downloaded, and if I want to watch something new, I can have it downloaded within 12 minutes.

Feel free to reach out if I can answer anything else for you.

Brett Bjorkquist
brett.bjorkquist@kaleidescape.com
 
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Todd, here's another question. If one were to buy the Terra server in a 6TB configuration, can additional drives be purchased and added by the user down the road, or is it a locked configuration/dealer only install type situation?
Hey Thrillcat:

So currently our products don't allow you to just add additional drives to an existing system, they are swappable to replace a drive, and we sell larger drives that come with our firmware. For instance, in 2003 when products first launched, a 750GB drive was considered big. Now, if a client who loves their system needs additional storage, they can buy a 10TB drive for their system.

With the newer Terra systems, or even if you start with a Strato S 6TB, you can always add a Terra or another Strato S to increase playback zones and/or storage depending on what you need. We offer offer an upgrade plan, where if you trade in an older Premiere or Strato system, you can get a solid discount on an upgrade. Once someone becomes part of the Kaleidescape owner community, upgrading to larger systems is something we help the community out with, including helping people to catalog their movies for disc-to-digital discounts, and upgrading to larger systems. As an example I have a 40TB ) now a 48TB is offered. That held about 815 4K/HD movies and even after now being full, I was still able to buy movies this week on sale, and they are ready to download if I make some space, and now I just need to decide when to add another Terra to my system, but I love to buy and watch movies, and I've been watching more of my collection since buying Kaleidescape, vs. accessing my 700 discs from my flipbook collection.

You are welcome to reach out if I can answer any questions for you.

Brett Bjorkquist
brett.bjorkquist@kaleidescape.com
 
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Outstanding and thorough review as always, Todd. There's a whole lot more to be learned from your review than their website.

Much as I know I would really enjoy and make use of it, for the convenience of streaming pristine movies you pay the equivalent of a $1k Blu-Ray player and 600 4k discs at $30 a pop and then you start buying movies. Nope. No can do.

Out of sheer curiosity do have the pricing on the Strato S?
New CEO, VP of Marketing, and me heading up dealer and consumer education, so I agree on the website comment, and we are working it. Generally in the past, product was discussed just by the dealer, but many of us like to do our own research, so I think you will continue to see more engaging content and updates to the website. I don't deal with that section specifically, but as you saw my name able a few times, and if you go to FB pages like the Kaleidescape Users Group, you will see many of us happy to answer questions. The owner community is super friendly, as I often see them posting movie sale prices, and answering questions even before I can. I have been asking for various reviewers to take a look at the system, and try to impart as much info as I can so much likes Todd's review which was incredibly in-depth, I want to help create deep and relevant content for those passionate about the industry like myself. I won't link to other reviews from here out of respect, but I'm happy to hook you up with additional reviews, and frankly I can answer pretty much anything you might want to know.

I have a link to a recent consumer focused panel discussion I hosted last month with a few owners, but can't post it here yet. They all have/had various systems from disc players, Plex, Zappiti, and Kaleidescape, so I tried to pick a group that obviously love their Kaleidescape systems, but are objective and have experience with other platforms currently being used. Even for myself, I have pretty much every streamer, Oppo, XBOX One, tried Plex with a Shield Pro, and this was all before I joined Kaleidescape because I believed in what the company has been doing, and especially with the more consumer friendly direction the company has taken to try to make Kaleidescape an even better value for consumers with lower d-2-d pricing and movie sales pretty much every week.

Appreciate the comments and engagement JStewart.

Brett
brett.bjorkquist@kaleidescape.com
 

JStewart

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@Brett Bjorkquist , thanks for the informative posts. Much appreciated.

I’ve looked for a way to rationalize the expense ownership for many years. First ran across Kaleidescape around a decade ago at a buddy’s theater. He was a dealer at the time. May still be.

It’s the right solution for me because setting up, maintaining, and ripping for a HTPC is not time I wish to spend. I’d like the quality and convenience combo.

Many people start with a Strato 6TB because it's the least expensive way to get into the ecosystem. From there, they usually love the system, and will often buy more storage, but even with a 6TB, they have the capability of deleting downloaded content to add new movies, but the previous purchases are still linked to their account, and can always be redownloaded for free. For many of us though, having instant access to my entire movie collection (I've bought 825 movies) is why I moved from a Strato S to a Terra system. It means I'm not spending time managing which content is downloaded,
This is exactly how I would see it going.

I have a link to a recent consumer focused panel discussion I hosted last month with a few owners, but can't post it here yet.
@Todd Anderson can get you hooked up. He knows a guy. ;)
 

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StormAudio ISP.24 MK2
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Emotiva XPA-5
Additional Amp
Emotiva XPA Gen3 2.8 multichannel amp
Other Amp
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
Carada Cine-White 0 gain
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
Ha! @Brett Bjorkquist needs 5 posts (I think?) to post a link.

@JStewart, your comment about time really resonates with my experience. The platform is a time saver - just in the content discovery process, you’re given every morsel of information you could possibly need to make a movie choice, right down to the running time (which is a common question in my house - without fail, that’s a question that always gets asked.

The other aspect I liked… you don’t have to buy a movie just to have on hand “in case” you might watch it. Like I mentioned in the article, I have a heap of unwatched discs, largely because I snag movies that I think I might like to watch, and I buy to have on hand. With Kaliedescape, you can mark those kinds of movies on your wishlist and if they scratch an itch down the road, you buy and download when you’re ready. Even on the Strato S, assuming you have a good internet plan, you can download while you make dinner… and you’re not sacrificing quality.
 

thrillcat

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jul 26, 2017
Messages
750
Location
Seattle, WA
My AV System  
Preamp, Processor or Receiver
Anthem AVM60
Main Amp
Emotiva UPA-700
Additional Amp
Emotiva UPA-500
Other Amp
Jolida JD202BRC (2-channel system)
Universal / Blu-ray / CD Player
Sony UBP-X800
Front Speakers
Triad InWall/4 LCR
Center Channel Speaker
Triad InWall/4 LCR
Surround Speakers
Triad InWall/4 Sat
Front Height Speakers
Triad InWall/4 MiniMonitor
Rear Height Speakers
Triad InWall/4 MiniMonitor
Subwoofers
SVS PB2000
Other Speakers or Equipment
Definitive Technology BP20 (2-channel system)
Video Display Device
JVC DLA X790R, Samsung & Sony 4K panels
Screen
SeymourAV CenterStage UF 115"
Remote Control
Harmony Elite
Streaming Equipment
PLEX Server, Nvidia Shield, AppleTV4K, Bluesound Node2i
Streaming Subscriptions
AppleTV+, Netflix, Amazon Prime, HBO Max, YouTubeTV
Satellite System
They still have those?
Other Equipment
ProJect Debut Carbon Turntable (2-channel system), Hana EL cart
It’s the right solution for me because setting up, maintaining, and ripping for a HTPC is not time I wish to spend. I’d like the quality and convenience combo.
As someone who, over the past couple years, has built and loaded a powerful PLEX server with all my disc content, I can say that it is definitely a large amount of work. I have just under 700 movies in UHD, HD and SD ripped onto a server, along with a bunch of concert films, TV series, etc. The server has about 90% of the functionality of the Kaliedescape, as well as some functionality not offered by the K-scape.

I still want a Kaliedescape.

The upkeep and maintenance greatly decreases once you have that initial load complete and it's simply adding new titles as you acquire them. But that is still work, effort, and pre-planning that the K-Scape can eliminate with its store platform.

However, one thing PLEX does add that I really appreciate is the OTA DVR functionality. I added an HD HomeRun and antenna and it allows me to view live TV and record our stories for time-shifting.

I still want a Kaliedescape.

As Todd mentioned, with optical media being harder to find locally, smaller sections, fewer options, it's making the PLEX server more and more work to keep up.

I think, where I'm at is that I'm really enjoying the PLEX server, but I still want a Kaliedescape. If anything, the PLEX server has made the Kaliedescape more attractive and desirable. It has given me a taste of the functionality, ease and quality of what the K-scape offers, but still requires a fair amount of time for upkeep and adding content. I would imagine within a few years out, I will likely have K-scape in my system in some form. I would likely run it alongside my existing PLEX server to avoid having to convert that catalog into K-scape's ecosystem, but again, as physical media continues to become less and less available, K-scape is the most viable option for max quality.

Hey @Brett Bjorkquist, perhaps you should look into giving your hardware the ability to read an external server full of mkv files so I can use a single device per display and not give up access to my existing content (wink, wink). That would truly make it a no-brainer.

I do love my PLEX system, but it makes me want a Kaliedescape even more.
 

Todd Anderson

Editor / Senior Admin
Staff member
Thread Starter
Joined
Jan 20, 2017
Messages
7,290
Location
Balt/Wash Metro
My AV System  
Preamp, Processor or Receiver
StormAudio ISP.24 MK2
Main Amp
Emotiva XPA-5
Additional Amp
Emotiva XPA Gen3 2.8 multichannel amp
Other Amp
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
Carada Cine-White 0 gain
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
The owner community is super friendly, as I often see them posting movie sale prices, and answering questions even before I can.
That owner community is welcome to settle here ;-)
 

Tom L.

Reviewer
Staff member
Supporter
Joined
Nov 5, 2018
Messages
255
Location
Lewisville Texas
Wow! A lot of technical prowess jam-packed into those boxes! The price for entry, and then to re-purchase all of the media I have spread between iTunes and physical media (or even a small part of it) would cause a major rift in my household (READ: DIVORCE!).

A very neat product that has demonstrably grown in power and capabilities over the years!

Thanks Todd!
 

Todd Anderson

Editor / Senior Admin
Staff member
Thread Starter
Joined
Jan 20, 2017
Messages
7,290
Location
Balt/Wash Metro
My AV System  
Preamp, Processor or Receiver
StormAudio ISP.24 MK2
Main Amp
Emotiva XPA-5
Additional Amp
Emotiva XPA Gen3 2.8 multichannel amp
Other Amp
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
Carada Cine-White 0 gain
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
Wow! A lot of technical prowess jam-packed into those boxes! The price for entry, and then to re-purchase all of the media I have spread between iTunes and physical media (or even a small part of it) would cause a major rift in my household (READ: DIVORCE!).

A very neat product that has demonstrably grown in power and capabilities over the years!

Thanks Todd!
Ha! A man that recognizes road hazards and plans ahead to avoid them is a very SMART man! Not surprised, Tom, as we know you've got some healthy gears turning in that head of yours ;).

It's always fun to handle gear that really nails the experience. "They've figured it out" definitely applies here.
 
Joined
Aug 7, 2021
Messages
10
@Brett Bjorkquist , thanks for the informative posts. Much appreciated.

I’ve looked for a way to rationalize the expense ownership for many years. First ran across Kaleidescape around a decade ago at a buddy’s theater. He was a dealer at the time. May still be.

It’s the right solution for me because setting up, maintaining, and ripping for a HTPC is not time I wish to spend. I’d like the quality and convenience combo.



This is exactly how I would see it going.



@Todd Anderson can get you hooked up. He knows a guy. ;)
We’ll get you there. I’ve always got a few tricks up my sleeve to help people out. Benefit of being education and engagement, not sales…

Everyone has a different budget, but based on your comments and others I’ve been helping this past year, once you get over the initial investment, I’m pretty sure you’ll love it. Feel free to reach out if you want to spend some time discussing things, but like you said starting with a smaller one can be a great way in, and then you can always grow it from there. I also have some ways to help catalog your existing disc content, so you can get the deep discounted disc-2-digital pricing. It helped me bring in more than 500 of my movies, and most were upgraded from DVD quality to 4K or HD for an average of $9 so a great deal to help me start my collection.
Brett
 
Joined
Aug 7, 2021
Messages
10
Ha! @Brett Bjorkquist needs 5 posts (I think?) to post a link.

@JStewart, your comment about time really resonates with my experience. The platform is a time saver - just in the content discovery process, you’re given every morsel of information you could possibly need to make a movie choice, right down to the running time (which is a common question in my house - without fail, that’s a question that always gets asked.

The other aspect I liked… you don’t have to buy a movie just to have on hand “in case” you might watch it. Like I mentioned in the article, I have a heap of unwatched discs, largely because I snag movies that I think I might like to watch, and I buy to have on hand. With Kaliedescape, you can mark those kinds of movies on your wishlist and if they scratch an itch down the road, you buy and download when you’re ready. Even on the Strato S, assuming you have a good internet plan, you can download while you make dinner… and you’re not sacrificing quality.
That’s actually a good point Todd. You can but it when you want, not when you see it. You know it’s nice when the movie Gravity isn’t a $100 disc, ours is always in Atmos and only takes 10 seconds to find!

The only time I go against that thought is during a sale. We’ve had so much great content on there lately in 4K HDR for only $10 it’s a smart buy even if you don’t watch it for a while.
Like you guys though, I just don’t have time to go out looking for discs, and then run through a ripping process. Scanning through my existing movies, and if I want to watch something new it’s ready to watch in 12 minutes is just a different experience.

Brett
 

Todd Anderson

Editor / Senior Admin
Staff member
Thread Starter
Joined
Jan 20, 2017
Messages
7,290
Location
Balt/Wash Metro
My AV System  
Preamp, Processor or Receiver
StormAudio ISP.24 MK2
Main Amp
Emotiva XPA-5
Additional Amp
Emotiva XPA Gen3 2.8 multichannel amp
Other Amp
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
Carada Cine-White 0 gain
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
That’s actually a good point Todd. You can but it when you want, not when you see it. You know it’s nice when the movie Gravity isn’t a $100 disc, ours is always in Atmos and only takes 10 seconds to find!

The only time I go against that thought is during a sale. We’ve had so much great content on there lately in 4K HDR for only $10 it’s a smart buy even if you don’t watch it for a while.
Like you guys though, I just don’t have time to go out looking for discs, and then run through a ripping process. Scanning through my existing movies, and if I want to watch something new it’s ready to watch in 12 minutes is just a different experience.

Brett
That's a good point. A sale is a sale.

I didn't touch on the customer emails Kaleidescape sends out detailing promotions. It's another mechanism that keeps you aware of specials without having to think about it. I can definitely see the temptation of scooping up deals.

That reminds me... Gravity... I thought I read somewhere that it's being released in 4K. Might be time to sell my Diamond Luxe version :bigsmile:
 
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