And it’s not like you press the play button and the disc chugs in the changer before it plays. “The advantage of importing it is that it doesn’t even move in the tray,” says Malcolm. “When you go to start a movie, it goes right from the hard drive.”
In addition, long before the company supported Blu-ray, Kaleidescape began tweaking the metadata and bookmarking the discs. Instead of having to suffer through opening trailers and other movie preambles, users simply hit the “Play” button to jump right to the beginning of the show.
In the case of concert videos, Kaleidescape has bookmarked every song, so users can easily navigate to their favorites.
“Bookmarking is our crown jewel,” says Malcolm.
Currently, Kaleidescape has more than 3,300 Blu-ray titles in its Movie Guide, in addition to 135,000 DVD titles.
“If you did happen to rent a Blu-ray movie, you can play it from the tray,” Malcolm says. You can’t do that with the legacy Kaleidescape players.
Each song is bookmarked in a concert video.
Coming in 2011: Multi-disc Changer
Wong acknowledges that Kaleidescape’s DRM-laden Blu-ray solution “certainly is not as convenient as what we have today with DVDs. That’s exactly the reason we’re developing a loader. It gives you a seamless experience without having to find a disc.”
Kaleidescape knows three things about its forthcoming multi-disc loader:
- It will be available in 2011
- It will accommodate at least 100 discs
- It will past muster with the studios and digital-rights organizations, including the Advanced Access Content System Licensing Administrator (AACSLA), which is sort of the DVD CCA for Blu-ray
“It will be hard to get a disc out [of the loader] without us knowing,” says Malcolm. “Every once in awhile, there is a way to randomly check. Once it finds that one [disc] is missing, it will check them all.”
Kaleidescape is examining a variety of options for Blu-ray changers including off-the-shelf products and a homemade version.
“Unfortunately, to my knowledge, no one has really made a reliable one,” says Malcolm.
As for pricing, Malcolm “thinks” it will be lower than the $9,000 200-disc changer from Crestron. “We’re hoping for quite a bit lower,” he says. In fact, Kaleidescape is aiming for a $3,000 to $5,000 price range, but “it’s too early to tell.”
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Julie Jacobson is co-founder of EH Publishing and currently spends most of her time writing for CE Pro, mostly in the areas of home automation, networked A/V and the business of home systems integration. She majored in Economics at the University of Michigan, earned an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin, and has never taken a journalism class in her life. Julie is a washed-up Ultimate Frisbee player with the scars to prove it. Follow her on Twitter @juliejacobson.