Kaleidescape: For the Movie Geek Who Has It All

Do you have a DVD collection so large that you have trouble finding a place to keep them all? Would you like instant, one-touch access to those movies from any room in your house, without toting around the discs? And do you have enough spare cash lying around to purchase a well-equipped sports sedan?

Then Kaleidescape has got a product for you!

The Kaleidescape System is a unique product that lets you rip your DVDs onto a central server, inside which can reside up to twelve 300GB hard drives. That’s a total storage capacity of 3.6 terabytes, and if that’s not enough for you (Kaleidescape claims that you can fit 400 DVDs in there), you can always cluster multiple Kaleidescape servers together until your disk space needs are met.

To get your DVDs into the server, you use another component, the DVD Reader. This device rips an exact copy of the DVD onto the server, with no additional compression applied (so there’s no degredation of the picture or audio). Then, to watch whatever you’ve stored on your server, you use the final component, the Movie Player. You hook a Movie Player to any TV in the house that you want to stream content from your server to, and then hook all the components together using standard Fast Ethernet cabling.

Once it’s all set up, you can seamlessly stream any movie in your collection to any Movie Player-equipped TV in the house. The whole thing can be controlled by a home theater control panel, learning remote, or even a Web browser, allowing you to control and configure the system over a home network.

And the price? A cool $27,000 to start — and it goes up from there as you add disks, Movie Players, and so forth. So it’s probably out of the reach of Normal People for a while. But it’s an interesting glimpse into how we’ll probably all be interacting with home media in ten or fifteen years.



February 9, 2004
1:16 pm

How hard is it to go pick up the DVD and load it into the player? It seems like it would take a lot more time to copy all the DVDs into this Kaleidescape thing than to just do that. But what do I know? All I have is a VCR.

Jason Lefkowitz

February 9, 2004
1:19 pm

I imagine it’s more for people who have 500-1,000 DVDs, and who are tired of digging through stacks to find the one they’re looking for. Or people who have big #*&(@# houses and want to be able to watch their movies in more than one room. Or people who like having the “latest and greatest” to impress their friends and have barrels full of $100 bills lying around.
For people like you, me, and 99.5% of the rest of the population, though — well, it’s not really aimed at us 🙂


February 26, 2004
1:58 pm

Basically, it’s about convenience. Like Jason said, if you have a collection of 100s or 1000s of movies, it’s easy to forget what titles you may have and even harder to keep them organized. With the Kaleidescape system, you can organize your movie list by title, genre, actor, director, rating, running time, etc. The system also automatically downloads movie information automatically including cover art.
Basically you load a disc into the system and forget about it. You don’t have to touch the disk again and have the freedom to watch any of the titles in your library in multiple rooms. The system supports output to up to 7 players simultaneously (each one can operate independently showing the same movie, different movies, the same movie at different points, etc). The system also does some cool stuff like keep track of your paused, newly added, and marked as favorite titles. You can also mark favorite scenes from various titles. They’ve also stated that they will upgrade the system to handle music as well at some point in the future.