AV Components
Hands On: Kaleidescape Mini System
Kaleidescape Mini System
June 15, 2009 | by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
The Kaleidescape Mini System is unique thanks to its form factor and storage space, which expands up to 1.5 terabytes.
View this entire articleView this entire article
Back to top
21 Comments (displaying chronologically) Post a comment
Posted by Paul  on  06/15  at  09:51 AM

While I would really like a Kalidescape system for my home… $8k isoutrageous for what you are getting.  If it ever sees the market, Real’s Facet player is supposed to offer similar specifications for $300. 

So either Kalidescape’s completely ripping off consumers, or Real is loosing a fortune per box sold.  I’ll let you decide who’s doing what.

Posted by WooHoo!  on  06/15  at  10:47 AM

And this is “meant to be a starter system for consumers” according to the first paragraph!!! Outrageous indeed.

Posted by Chris  on  06/15  at  11:25 AM

for the record, they are not “ripping off” anybody.

And the simple fact is that the two products are very very different.

At the end of the day however, the real difference is the experience.  how the K UI works, and the speed of the box, and many other features make it a product that is head and shoulders different… and there are lots of people that will see that difference.

However just looking at two boxes that both simply serve up dvd’s it seems simple to just draw an apples to apples comparison.  much like a lexus LS and a scion.  they both do the same thing.  however HOW they do it is very different.  and for some people (plenty if you look at lexus sales) the difference is worthwhile.

And it still remains to be seen if the real box will see the light of day.  and nobody has any real idea of its feature set, or its UI/speed/reliability/quality, etc.

Posted by Aedile  on  06/15  at  01:26 PM

I can’t help but agree with people taking issue with the price-point.  As a dedicated home theater enthusiast, and some-time professional, I have spent a lot of time around kaleidescape boxes.  While they are slick, there is nothing here that can’t be done with XBMC.  For under $1000 you can have a system which, with very little massaging gives you the same level of service for a single zone, along with 4 terabytes of raid5 storage, blu-ray capable and has a NICER interface (see wall mode on the Aeon Auriga skin).  The only thing I’ve seen Kaleidescape do that XBMC still can’t do is the cool flying shuffle stuff, and XBMC does more than just video/music.  Can also do web-based video, photos, etc.  The trade-off is, of course, that it takes slightly more time to set up and maintain.


Posted by Stephen  on  06/15  at  02:28 PM

Surely that’s meant to be 799.50 dollars.  For a starter system it sure is expensive.  I agree with Aedile, WooHoo! and Paul.
I can get network attached media servers for around 400 euros with a 500GB hard drive built in. And then connect it up to a NAS and you have almost unlimited storage and the whole thing would still cost less than 8000 dollars.

Posted by c not k  on  06/15  at  04:11 PM

Remember that Kalidescape is the only manufacturer that went to the trouble to get a license from the DVD CCA. Technically it’s illegal to put protected DVD content on any device without that license. (What constitutes fair use is another issue, of course.)

I, too, would think the price is a typo. IIRC their full system starts at about 30K, the smaller system is 10K. (Unless this is a price drop on the smaller system.)

Posted by Paul  on  06/15  at  09:56 PM

Real is also a paying member of the DVD CCA, and Kalidescape’s ‘win’ is under appeal.  Real tried to duplicate Kalidescape’s product in my opinion.  The reason Real is being fought tooth and nail is that they want to sell a $300 product, and not a $30,000 product.

Posted by dtoolsguru76  on  06/15  at  10:57 PM

The pricing listed is correct - but they are also showing one of their mini players on top of the mini system - which is not part of the 8K price.  That mini player will run another 2K - giving you a 2nd movie zone.

They should be releasing a Blu-ray player within the year.  Will allow one to play back a Blu-ray disc (I believe giving you the ability to bypass the coming attractions and FBI warnings like one can when placing a standard DVD in any of the trays now) but will not allow you to store the Blu-ray content on the hard drive yet.

Posted by c not k  on  06/16  at  03:20 PM


IIRC Real didn’t obtain a license to store content like Kalidescape did. That’s why the DVD CCA is (still) pursuing Kalidescape, because they can. The others are not bothering to apply for a license.

(Personally, I think Kalidescape, Real, Axonix, and others should be free to sell their storage solutions to the public without fear of retribution.)

Also, the often-used car analogy applies here as well; a Mercedes and a Kia will both get you there, and there is a market for both of them. I suspect there will always be people who prefer the UI and uptime of the Kalidescape systems, as well as others who prefer the cost savings on the Real system.

Again, my point is Kalidescape is the only vendor to apply for and get a license to store protected content from the DVD CCA.

Posted by Paul  on  06/16  at  03:32 PM

@ c not k:  I’m not directly comparing the Kalidescape system to Real’s player on any basis other than price.  The Kalidescape system is everything you have attested it to be. 

I would be interested in seeing a third party study as to any supposed ‘up-time’ advantage Kalidescape would have over a RAID 5 equipped media server that has been properly configured.  I’d be willing to put money on the fact that there would be no statisical difference between the two products in terms of reliability.

Oh, as a side note, as a Mercedes owner, while the price premium is true, my car spends more time in the shop than my Nissan… you might want a different analogy :)

Posted by Willis  on  06/17  at  04:59 PM

Kalidescape, its a wonder why this is legal yet other DVD copy devices/software is not. Its a double standard.

Posted by Paul  on  06/17  at  09:48 PM

@Willis: I think it’s one simple reason: cost.  If Kalidescape wasn’t a super premium priced product, the lawsuits would have buried it.  As is, the lucky few who can afford it come to less than 0.001% of the population.  Not exactly a threat to profits if a Kalidescape owner occasionally rips a rental.

Posted by Dave  on  06/19  at  10:24 AM

There appears to be some misinformation.’

Real didn’t obtain a license to store content like Kalidescape did

K-Scape does not have a license to store either.  Their case involves specifications vs. agreement.  They one their round because although the specification called for a physical disc to be in the drive, the agreement did not.  No where is it found they have a license to load.  Look at their own FAQ’s

Did the DVD CCA approve this product?

The DVD CCA does not provide any certification, testing or approval service.

Q:    Did you get a license from the MPAA to make copies of DVDs on hard disks?

A Kaleidescape customer has a fair-use right to make copies of DVDs and CDs that he or she owns onto the Kaleidescape System’s hard disks. No license is required provided the copies will only be used for that customer’s personal home video entertainment.

Tell this to Real DVD.

Posted by Dave  on  06/19  at  10:28 AM

If I could spell.  They won their round…  Please show me anywhere that they have a license to load content.

Posted by Wireless Solutions  on  06/20  at  12:07 PM

The system, which imports DVDs and CDs for play without the disc, features Kaleidescape’s slick user interface in a case about the size of a cable box.

Wireless Solutions

Posted by Windows Tips  on  06/26  at  11:23 PM

Thank you very much for giving the detailed information about the Kaleidescape latest media servers. Its was so nice to get all in one solution

Posted by Scott Baker  on  06/30  at  09:53 PM

Jeremy gave the perfect answer.  Hopefully that guy saw it.

Posted by Curious  on  07/10  at  10:27 PM

This is the first time I’ve heard of this product….but I don’t get it.

What is it about this product that a PC or multimedia box doesn’t already do at a fraction of the price of this thing??

Posted by Duc1  on  07/11  at  10:14 PM

Dave: Just look at their web site :Kaleidescape manufactures and sells only properly licensed products. Kaleidescape has licenses from technology licensing bodies that include the DVD Copy Control Association, Inc., the DVD Format/Logo Licensing Corporation, Dolby Laboratories Licensing Corporation, Macrovision Solutions Corporation, HDMI Licensing LLC, Digital Content Protection, LLC (HDCP), MPEG LA, LLC, Nissim Corporation, Koninklijke Philips Electronics N.V. (acting for three different patent pools), Toshiba Corporation (on behalf of the DVD Patent Licensing Group), Thomson Licensin, and many others.

Curious: You are right, you don’t get it. If you want to- look at their FAQ.

Posted by Zero  on  07/19  at  07:22 AM

I like Kaleidescape system because it is indeed an all-in-one solution. I’ve heard about this system but I haven’t seen one in action yet. Maybe someday I can get a hold of this system, too.


Page 1 of 2 pages  1 2 >

Commenting is not available in this weblog entry.

  • News
  • Cool Homes
  • Blogs
  • Photo Galleries