February 14, 2012
| by Grant Clauser
I’ve been living the life of the 1 percent for the past few weeks, thanks to a Kaleidescape movie server. As Ferris said, “It is so choice. If you have the means, I highly recommend picking one up.”
So what’s life like with Kaleidescape?
While most of the country was watching a game being played in Indianapolis, I was flipping through several hundred movies until I settled on one then spent my Sunday evening happy that I was avoiding those overhyped Super Bowl commercials. Not once throughout the entire Raiders of the Lost Ark or 300 did MIA or anyone else try to flip me the bird.
On Super Bowl evening, you’ll find nothing of any great value on other networks because no one wants to compete with the big game (unless you count Animal Planet’s adorable Puppy Bowl). But I had access to a huge movie collection, delivered quickly, without buffering or compression artifacts, and I didn’t have to dig through the shelves and boxes with discs or wait through painful load times as some internet service refreshed itself on my screen.
While waiting for my favorite TV show, Walking Dead, to return for the season, I had my horror show cravings covered with a great selection of scare flicks. Yes, I’m spoiled.
Well, at least for a few weeks I was spoiled.
But back to my story. Kaleidescape is a movie server—the movie server—for anyone who wants a serious luxury home theater experience. Sure, the projector, the speakers, even the touchpanel remote, will get some oohs and aahs when you fire them up, but nothing beats watching guests’ eyes when they see you cruising around on screen through hundreds of movies in Minority Report fashion. There’s a good reason why Kaleidescape servers show up on most of the Electronic House award winning theaters.
The Kaleidescape I used combined both DVD and Blu-ray discs titles into one system using a 1U server and an M700 Disc Vault. Both kinds of discs get copied and stored onto hard drive bays that slide easily into drive slots on the 1U server, which can hold over 1,000 DVD titles or 225 Blu-ray discs (a 3U server can hold 5,400/900 DVD/BD discs). The original DVDs can then get stored in your closet, under the bed or buried outside under the dog house. Blu-ray discs actually remain part of the system in a carousel device (the M700) that is connected to the 1U via an Ethernet cord so that that the system knows you actually own the discs and didn’t just copy them and return them to Wal-Mart. I’m not sure why that’s so important to the movie studios because what K-scape owner is so cheap to have to rip off discs… but I’m getting off the subject.
Grant Clauser has been covering home electronics for more than 10 years with editorial roles in several consumer and trade magazines. He's done ISF-level damage to hundreds of reviewed products and has had audio training from Home Acoustics Alliance and Sencore. He's also the author of the book The Trouble with Rivers
. Follow him on Twitter @geclauser.