Since its first product launch in 2003, Kaleidescape Inc. has been known for three things: its innovative user interface, eye-catching industrial design, and its lengthy legal battle over DVD copy protection rules related to its premium-priced home media servers.
The Kaleidescape M500 and M300
Today’s official introduction of Kaleidescape’s newest media player indicates that one thing has been updated, one remains comfortably the same, and another is totally changed.
While the user interfaces on the company’s new products have been improved, its industrial design remains tied to the timeless style of its existing line, yet the way the products help store content has been changed in a way that the company believes better protects it from copy protection litigation.
Built on the company’s proprietary M-Class architecture, Kaleidescape’s new M500 and M300 Players have been designed to deliver a new and improved on-screen user interface and Blu-ray support. The M500 Player copies Blu-ray Discs, DVDs, and CDs onto a server. The imported content can then be played back instantly by M500 and M300 Players, creating the world’s first multi-zone movie server for Blu-ray, the company says.
“The key to both the current and upcoming products, Kaleidescape says, is that while an actual disc will need to be in the M500 and M300 players or loader, it does not to have to “spin” in the tray to start a movie“
To address the concerns of the studios, Kaleidescape requires the disc to be present when playing Blu-ray content from the server. Today this means the Blu-ray Disc must be in the tray of an M500 Player. To enable the full Kaleidescape experience for Blu-ray, however, the company also is developing a disc loader, which will keep a large number of discs present within the Kaleidescape system. It will also provide bulk import and make it easy to find and retrieve a disc. The key to both the current and upcoming products, Kaleidescape says, is that while an actual disc will need to be in the M500 and M300 players or loader, it does not to have to “spin” in the tray to start a movie.
“We have invested a great amount of time and resources in developing the M-Class architecture, which is our platform for future innovation,” said Michael Malcolm, Kaleidescape’s founder, chairman and CEO. “We now have the tools to improve our world-renowned user experience and offer an even greater variety of content.”
Further enhancing the Kaleidescape experience, the company’s award-winning onscreen user interface has been substantially improved with M-Class players. The Kaleidescape Movie Guide, the largest and most comprehensive of its type with more than 135,000 titles, has been expanded to include over 3,300 Blu-ray Disc titles. The company’s patent-pending video bookmarks enable advanced features, including instantaneous start of a feature or concert, easy access to favorite scenes or songs, and control triggers to automatically adjust screen masking, lighting and curtains during playback.
The Kaleidescape M500 and M300 Players, when coupled with a Kaleidescape server, play back Blu-ray content and include support for 1080p video with 24 frames per second and bitstream pass-through of Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio.
Kaleidescape is accepting orders for M500 and M300 Players, and shipments will begin May 18. U.S. MSRP is $3,995 for the M500 Player and $2,495 for the M300 Player. Both players are compatible with existing Kaleidescape products. The disc loader is expected to be available in the first half of next year.
Visit www.kaleidescape.com for more information.