Sunnyvale, Calif. -
is moving forward in its quest to deliver powerful multi-room home-based movie servers by introducing Tuesday two new players featuring a proprietary new M-Class architecture that, among other things, will enable what the company is calling one of "the world's first" multi-room Blu-ray Disc servers.
The company said both devices were designed to deliver a rich movie experience that is simple and intuitive to use.
The Kaleidescape System consists of networked movie players and servers, coupled with Internet services. The Kaleidescape Movie Guide contains more than 135,000 DVD and Blu-ray titles. The Movie Guide also provides video bookmarks so movies start instantly, without trailers, and menus.
It also provides control triggers for automatically adjusting lighting and screen masking during playback.
A Kaleidescape server stores exact digital copies of DVDs, Blu-ray Discs and CDs, and streams movies and music throughout home via 1GB hard wired Ethernet connections.
Multiple Kaleidescape servers can be grouped seamlessly to handle a collection of thousands of movies and music albums.
A player, such as the new M500 and M300 introduced Tuesday, connects to the Ethernet cable and a TV, presents the onscreen user interface, and decodes movies and music streamed from Kaleidescape servers in the home, the company said. More rooms can be addressed by adding more players.
Despite recent legal decisions that appear to limit the ability of manufacturers to market devices that can break or circumvent digital video content encryption mechanisms for DVDs and Blu-ray Discs, Kaleiscape is confident its new system for playing back Blu-ray content from its servers is within legal and ethical bounds.
The company explained that for Blu-ray playback the system requires a legal disc be present in a player on the in-home network in order for a movie stored on the connected server's hard disc drive to play. This requires the user to have a purchased Blu-ray Disc of the title in the system at all times it is viewed.
"The studios are concerned that users would simply rent a title and copy it to the server, and this process would eliminate that," explained Linus Wong, Kaleidescape product marketing director. "By doing it this way we feel we are fully within the rather enormous AACS copy control licenses."
Playing the title back from the server's hard drive rather than from the Blu-ray Disc itself is said to provide a range of convenience and performance features, including faster start up and playback times and the ability for multiple viewers to access the title from multiple rooms in the home at the same time.
The M500 player with playback and import capability and the M300 player offering playback capability only, will carry suggested retail prices of $3,995 and $2,495, respectively.
Kaleidescape said it is taking orders for both products and shipping is scheduled to begin on May 18.
Both players a fully functional with older Kaleidescape servers and players and platforms, the company said.
The new M-Class architecture the players will add audio and video codecs enabling playback of Blu-ray Disc movies in addition to DVDs and CDs.
It also adds greater processing power to run the onscreen user interface, which is said to be more elegantly presented in high-definition, and more intuitive to understand and use.
In addition the platform was designed for scalability to enable future capabilities and content sources.
Starting in the first quarter of 2011, the company plans to offer a 100-disc Blu-ray Disc changer that will store discs in the system for convenient playback and storage.
Kaleidescape is distributing its products through its network of 1,700 CEDIA dealers and installers, and is offering a special limited time special trade-up program to dealers, who can upgrade their clients older equipment to the new M-Class architecture. Dealers are free to work out their own upgrade terms with their clients.