Kaleidescape has had a very eventful existence. The company that has become synonymous with the high-end movie server spent its early years battling the movie studios over its DVD-based server systems. The two sides eventually made peace, which then evolved into partnerships that have proven to be mutually beneficial. About five years ago, Kaleidescape opened its Movie Store, which allowed customers to download bit-for-bit Blu-ray copies of movies to play back on the company's line of Internet-connected movie players.
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Kaleidescape has had a very eventful existence. The company that has become synonymous with the high-end movie server spent its early years battling the movie studios over its DVD-based server systems. The two sides eventually made peace, which then evolved into partnerships that have proven to be mutually beneficial.
About five years ago, Kaleidescape opened its Movie Store, which allowed customers to download bit-for-bit Blu-ray copies of movies to play back on the company's line of Internet-connected movie players. They began to make deals with the major movie studios to offer content through the store. The studios were happy because it took the disc and thus the disc copying out of the equation, and customers were happy because the downloads offered the quality of Blu-ray, with uncompressed Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD MA soundtracks.
Things seemed to be rolling along. Suddenly, in August , we were all pretty shocked to hear that the company had to close its doors due to a lack of funding. A few weeks later, we were happy to hear that they had secured new funding and were back in business. Since then, things have been fairly quiet on the public front, but Kaleidescape has continued to build up its Movie Store. The company has now secured deals with all the major studios, and the store features quite an extensive amount of 4K content.
The company also has continued to enhance the functionality of its line of movie players. Kaleidescape is very careful to call the Strato a "movie player," not a media player. The Strato is a disc-less playback device--the only way to add content to it is to download titles from the Movie Store to the device's hard drive. Multiple Terras can be linked together, too. Okay, now that we're all caught up on the company's activities and product lineup, it's time to really dig into the Strato.
The Hookup As one would expect from a high-end product, the Strato is built like a tank, with a thick, brushed aluminum shell around the top, bottom, and sides. The Strato measures 17 inches wide by 3. For the record, as I write this, Kaleidescape intends to introduce a new Strato box design with a smaller form factor, but I don't expect the overall build quality to diminish any.
The front panel is just a strip of glossy black with the Kaleidescape logo in the center, which illuminates white when you power up the device. Around back you'll find one HDMI 2. You also get an Ethernet port, and the box has built-in One USB 3.
The back panel has an IR port but no RS The package includes an IR-based remote control with an intuitive button layout and a nice rubberized texture. Much of the front face is backlit with bright blue backlighting. Only the number panel and color keys lack backlighting, but you really aren't gonna use those much.
Kaleidescape also offers a free iOS app for iPad only, not iPhone. Speaking of which, is this the moment to mention one of the big changes coming through the latest software update? Nah, we'll get to that in a minute. Kaleidescape products are primarily sold through custom channels, so all of the initial setup and authorization of the box, as well as linking it to the Movie Store, will likely be handled by a professional installer.
My review sample came preconfigured and preloaded with over 80 movies in both HD and UHD quality, but I did test the downloading process, which I'll discus in the Performance section below. Disagree with our product rating? Email us and tell us why you think this product should receive a higher rating.
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STRATO MOVIE PLAYER
Kaleidescape designed the Strato S Movie Player to provide an immersive home cinema experience, with better audio and video playback quality than most commercial theatres. Strato S plays downloaded movies in stunning 4K Ultra HD at up to Mbps and 60 frames per second, without any startup delay. Unlike streaming services, each movie is downloaded and stored on a hard drive on either a Kaleidescape Terra movie server or a Kaleidescape Alto or Strato Movie Player. Strato S supports lossless multi channel audio and plays high dynamic range movies on televisions and projectors that can process open standard bit HDMI 2. The Strato S onscreen user interface is displayed in full 4K Ultra HD at 60 frames per second, resulting in fluid animation and a stunning visual impact. Strato S can be used standalone or in a system with other Encore components, playing back from Terra movie servers or from other Kaleidescape Strato or Alto Movie Players with internal storage.
Luxury Home Cinema
Kaleidescape is the heart and soul of your home theatre system, powering your high-end speakers and large-screen displays with professional-grade hardware and pristine 4K Ultra HD quality movies. Local storage of all your movies provides a predictable playback experience so they can be instantly enjoyed in stunning audio and video quality with absolutely no compression, artefacts, or buffering. Whether on disc or as a digital download from the Kaleidescape Movie Store, Kaleidescape brings together all your movies in a visually stunning library making it beautifully simple to access and enjoy movies that truly matter to you. Kaleidescape is a truly unique product in home cinema. Enjoy an action-packed sequence from The Matrix trilogy or relive the most memorable moments from Middle-earth. Or let your 5-year old watch her favourite songs from Frozen over and over. Kaleidescape Strato products provide the most convenient way for movie lovers to enjoy films in the finest available quality.