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Kaleidescape Intros 1080p Upconverting Players to ‘Rival Blu-ray’
kaleidescape players
June 18, 2008 | by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Kaleidescape says its $4,295 1080p Player and $2,995 1080p Mini Player offer a viewing experience mainstream audiences will find on par with Blu-ray.
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Posted by reedl  on  06/18  at  09:12 AM

The article says:
“and are straightforward in saying that these will be just as good as Blu-ray for the non-videophile mainstream viewer”

But how many mainstream viewers will be purchasing a $4000 player to go along with a very expensive system to store DVD’s?  99% of the purchasers of this system will have purchased very high end TV’s and Home Theaters and will certainly be able to tell the difference between upconverted and true HD quality.

It is impossible to get an upconverted DVD to look as good as a true HD quality signal.  There is simply no way to take around 350,000 pixels and get over 2 million pixels worth of resolution.  It might look better than standard DVD, but it is not true HD.

Posted by thebland  on  06/18  at  09:26 AM

In other words, the ‘non-videophile mainstream viewer’ is the customer that couldn’t tell a difference, could care less and wants to be more seemless with DVD playback on his Kaleidiscape system. And that is fine.. The high cost in this player $4K DVD player is not in the upconversion technology, it is in the low volume and integrative features to Kaleidescape. If I owned a Kaleidiscape, I’d consider it for ergononomic reasons…but the idea that it rivals Blu Ray PQ is misleading and plain false (unless you are comparing its picture to Blu Ray on smallish plasma / LCD). I guarantee you on my 14’ screen, this player would look no better than my $200 OPPO Dvd player and look like garbage next to my much cheaper Denon Blu ray player.

Posted by I Know HD  on  06/18  at  09:35 AM

I call BS.  The inflated MSRP seems like a ploy to dupe inexperienced-but-well-off home theater owners into believing “if it costs this much, it has to work.”  There is no way you can take a pixel count of less than 6x that of blu-ray and come up with a picture that rivals bluray.  Physically impossible and easy to distinguish by any person who watches enough movies to warrant a home theater in the first place.  Sounds reminiscent of some way overpriced audio cables (think thousands) that ended up being outperformed by a pair of $30 no-name cables.

Posted by OhMyGod  on  06/18  at  09:50 AM

Three grand for a mini DVD player that upcoverts?  Four grand for a rack version?  Really?  If you are a client of a dealer who is ripping you off like this, you deserve it!  The dealer selling this equipment is a scumbag and the client a moron.

Posted by Rick  on  06/18  at  10:07 AM

Wow and too think people find Blu Ray players too high. This announcement shoul’ve came on April 1st, it’s that silly. What about the lossless sound?

Posted by jg  on  06/18  at  11:15 AM

You guys are missing the point. The price of these new players cannot be compared to standalone blu-ray or upconverting players. These players are part of the Kaleidescape system…they cannot be used by themselves. Is it as good as blu-ray, probably not but for the K-Scape owner who doesn’t want to wait for Blu-ray (or isn’t all that interested) this is another option that will give them better picture quality.

Your assumption that everyone wants or even cares about blu-ray is absurd. Most people have a hard time telling a HUGE difference between a good upscaling DVD player and blu-ray especially on TV’s smaller than 60”.

Posted by Michael Bauers  on  06/18  at  12:20 PM

I call BS on this.

Scaling is a bit tricky, but ultimately there are only so many accepted scaling algorithms.  And none of them magically recreate missing pixels.

Maybe some people can’t tell the difference with HD.

But I can offer some anecdotal evidence.

* Sahara, on HD DVD looks amazing.  It’s the best HD disc I have seen at home to date
* HD sports are where it’s at.  In particular, I now dislike SD Golf, Auto Racing and Football.
* I can often tell I am watching an HD channel off of Tivo even though I did not notice which channel it recorded a movie from

I can think of non HD reasons for some of the above, such as less compression, but I think HD will start winning over people.  Especially when more people start seeing HD sports post DTV switch over!

Posted by yves  on  06/18  at  12:57 PM

The non-videophile mainstream viewer will never pay $2500 for a DVD player, even if he’s rich.

The videophile will always see the difference between an upconverted DVD and a Blu Ray.

I think we have a looser here.

Posted by Rob  on  06/18  at  01:07 PM

Just another piece of way overpriced gear from Kaleidescape. Sad people blow money on their stuff.

Posted by peter parker  on  06/18  at  01:16 PM

why should i pay for a $2500 up-convert dvd player that can only be used on a particular system just to see sub-par HD…  i’d rather spend the money to and integrate bluray into my system…  what a bunch of ripoffs…

Posted by SomeGuy  on  06/18  at  01:49 PM

jg has the right of it - people are generally missing the point.

Kaleidescape systems aren’t priced anything like consumer electronics at Best Buy.  The people who buy them were previously paying about as much for a player that didn’t upscale to 1080p; now, they can get a better version of what they were already willing to pay for, at approximately the same price point.

Posted by AVDude  on  06/18  at  02:51 PM

Hey, Sound & Vision magazine just posted a review of this thing

Posted by Michael Bauers  on  06/18  at  02:55 PM

I am not missing the point.  They are claiming something that’s not true.  It’s irrelevant that they have their own system going.

For that matter, there’s cheaper ways to build a home media system even with tight integration, isn’t there?  But that IS off topic.

Posted by RobRuffo  on  06/18  at  03:38 PM

Circumventing DVD copy-protection is illegal, whether you own the disc or not, and charging this much for an SD DVD player with a cheap desktop attached to it should be.

You could get similar performance for $400.

Posted by Pb  on  06/18  at  05:54 PM

My PS3 upconverts SD DVD pretty damn good, so good that it is able to fill up my 14feet wide anamprphic screen. PS3 also plays blue-rays and game discs.

And it only cost about $400.

PS3 also connects to my desktop wirelessly which I use to stream media. 1080p movies? no problem!

You think Kaleidescape can beat all that? If anyone at all buying this, I would like to meet him.

Posted by SomeGuy  on  06/18  at  06:13 PM

Pb, I doubt you ever will.  Kaleidescape targets installations like this this.

Posted by james  on  06/18  at  06:41 PM

LAME-O-RAMA!  lmfao!

does anyone think this will even upscale and de-interlace ANY better than whats already out there?

Posted by Mayday  on  06/19  at  10:27 AM

Personally I think this product should have come out 2 or 3 years ago.  If I owned a Kaleidescape system or was thinking of buying one I’d just wait for the Blu-ray device next year.

I also agree that most here are missing the point about what Kaleidescape is.  This isn’t a system for the average Joe setting up the family room or even someone setting up a dedicated theater room.  This is for the person that wants several rooms or every room to have a TV and then have access to their collection of DVDs & CDs without all of the inconveniences of needing the physical media (or a way to play it) at each location.  It is really for someone who owns an extremely large house or yacht.

Yes there are other less expensive media servers out there, but I have never seen one with as slick or tight of an interface as Kaleidescape has.  Also, the “Circumventing DVD copy-protection” legality question was answered over a year ago in Kaleidescape’s favor.

Posted by joemama127  on  06/19  at  01:19 PM

I have doubts that this $4.3k upscaler would do a better job than the HQV Reon VX in my HD-XA2 that I paid $300 for…but I realize that this isn’t just an ordinary upscaling dvd player.

I did get a few laughs about the “peace of mind” and customers being worried about copying rented disks…..wow :) If it ever gets to the point where DRM forces you to buy separate media for every player that you own then I will gladly hoist the skull and crossbones and become a full blown pirate myself. I assume the disk is only copied to the kaleidescape system and can’t be transfered to devices out of the loop or to physical media. Non-issue…anyone who can afford one of these setups is mostly likley not also a rabid pirate..

Posted by LilghtningRod  on  06/19  at  02:23 PM

I guess if the customer is rich but lame, they’d but this.  I have a thousand bucks in my HTPC, based on a very nice MOBO which upscales and puts out real HDMI with HDCP, etc.  It looks wonderful on my 52 in LCD.  I have 2 TB of storage, which holds lots of video and audio.  I also have a PS3, and I must say that although the upscaled video looks nice BD still stomps it.  And - dont forget the big difference in audio quality.  You cant do much to “upsacle” audio, and DVD limits the nature of the source material to 2 ch PCM or DD or DTS (by far my favorite lossy format). Oh, and the HTPC does all those other things a PC can do.  If you buought - bilt an HTPC, youd have over 3 k left to spend on a real movie collection.

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