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Kaleidescape Launches 4K Encore Line and Partners With Sony Pictures

Kaleidescape has launched Encore and partnered with Sony Pictures to deliver 4K content.

Cheena Srinivasan

Kaleidescape has launched Encore and its centerpiece, the Strato Movie Player, a 4K Ultra HD high-dynamic-range movie player for the home. 

Kaleidescape has also entered into a license agreement with Sony Pictures Home Entertainment to offer 4K Ultra HD films for download from the Kaleidescape Movie Store. Each new Kaleidescape Strato Movie Player will include five downloadable movies of the customer’s choice from a list of Sony Pictures Home Entertainment 4K Ultra HD titles.

Strato is designed to provide an immersive home-cinema experience, with playback quality that matches or surpasses that of commercial theaters. Each movie is downloaded and stored on a local hard drive — either on a Strato or on a Terra Movie Server. Strato plays back the movie in full 4K Ultra HD, at up to 60 frames per second, without the startup delays, buffering messages, or quality drops that are common with streaming services. 

Strato supports lossless multichannel audio, and is capable of playing HDR content on televisions and projectors that can process open standard 10-bit HDMI 2.0a HDR. The Strato onscreen user interface is also displayed in full 4K Ultra HD, at 60 frames per second, resulting in fluid animation and a stunning visual impact.

Strato can be purchased with or without an internal 6 TB hard drive that can store up to 100 4K Ultra HD movies, 150 Blu-ray quality movies, or 900 DVD quality movies. Strato equipped with an internal hard drive can be used standalone or in a system comprised of other Encore components. The Strato without internal storage plays back from a movie server.

The company also has two new models of the Kaleidescape Alto Movie Player. One comes with a 6 TB internal hard drive, while the other has no internal movie storage and plays back from a movie server. Alto plays Blu-ray and DVD quality movies downloaded from the Kaleidescape Movie Store. It can also play Blu-ray discs and DVDs via its built-in Blu-ray drive or from a Kaleidescape Disc Server.

The Kaleidescape Terra Movie Server stores movies and serves them to players on the home network. Terra also provides computing and caching services that enhance the performance of Strato and Alto movie players, and enables system configurations with up to 50 players. The Terra Movie Server can simultaneously stream 4K movies to up to seven Strato players, or Blu-ray quality movies to up to 15 players (Strato or Alto).

“I’ve long argued that streaming offers immediacy and convenience, but the internet can’t deliver a reliable high bitrate content stream, such as 4K, unless it is heavily compressed,” said industry analyst Dan Rayburn, principal analyst at Frost & Sullivan. “Kaleidescape’s model of downloading and playing back from a local hard drive is the only way to get internet-delivered content to match a 4K disc experience. Many of the service providers touting 4K content are capping their streaming bitrates at 16 Mbps, so naturally, Strato’s local playback — with bitrates up to 100 Mbps — will deliver better picture and sound quality.”

Cheena Srinivasan, Kaleidescape co-founder and CEO, said, “We are very proud to introduce our new Encore line of movie players and servers, which provides the industry’s finest sound and picture quality, and the most entertaining and convenient way to experience your movies at home. Our new Strato movie player provides the most authentic home-cinema experience.”