Streaming movies are very popular, but the video and audio quality are not consistent across services.
Physical media (DVD, Blu-ray, UHD Blu-ray) provides a better quality viewing experience and another benefit is that once you buy it, the content on the disc can’t be altered. However, those discs can take up a lot of shelf space and you may not want to buy a physical disc copy of every movie you want to watch.
One solution that provides the convenience of streaming, and the benefits of physical disc quality and ownership is downloading movies and storing them on a home media server.
One company that offers this option is Kaleidescape.
The Kaleidescape system offers up several movie server and player products that work in conjunction with an online store where you can rent or purchase movies (prices vary) in DVD, Blu-ray, or UHD Blu-ray video quality (including HDR), along with access to advanced audio (Dolby Atmos/DTS:X) and access to all the special features you might find on the disc versions.
The Kaleidescape movie store has over 12,000 movie titles for purchase and more than 8,000 for rent in DVD or Blu-ray Disc quality. Kaleidescape also offers a growing number of movies in 4K UHD (over 400 at this point).
Note: Kaleidescape’s proprietary operating system enables its movie servers to provide the advanced content protection required by the movie studios. This means you can’t make copies of your movie downloads but you can share across your home network.
The Compact Terra
The latest entry to the Kaleidescape product offerings was announced at the 2022 CES, the Compact Terra 6 TB movie server.
The Compact Terra is where you download and store your movies, but to play them you need a compatible player, such as the Kaleidescape Strato C. The Strato C accesses the stored movies on the Compact Terra, via your home network. No physical connection between the Terra and Strato C is required (nor is any direct physical connection between the two provided).
The combined system delivers lossless multi-channel audio and 4K Ultra HD (UHD) video, thanks to an efficient video compression solution utilizing 4 to 5x the video bit rate of competing digital video services.
Compact Terra Features
The Compact Terra’s 6 TB version stores up to 100 4K Ultra HD movies, 160 Blu-ray quality movies, or 900 DVD quality movies
The Compact Terra is also available with 12TB or 18TB of storage.
- 12TB configuration stores up to 200 4K Ultra HD movies, 325 Blu-ray quality movies, or 1,800 DVD quality movies
- 18TB configuration stores up to 300 4K Ultra HD movies, 490 Bluray quality movies, or 2,700 DVD quality movies
Tip: Up to 4 Compact Terra Movie Servers can be linked together for expanded storage.
Maximum download rate for movie storage: 800 Mbps. Depending on how fast your broadband speed is will determine how long it takes to download a movie to the Compact Terra. For example, at 800mbps it takes less than 15 minutes to download a 4K UHD movie.
- Supply 4K Ultra HD (or 4K HDR) movies simultaneously for playback on up to 5 viewing zones.
- Supply 4K Ultra HD (or 4K HDR) movies simultaneously for playback on up to 8 viewing zones.
- Supply DVD quality movies simultaneously for playback to up to 20 viewing zones.
Note: Each Zone Requires its own movie player, such as the Strato C discussed below.
Strato C Movie Player
While movies are downloaded and stored on the Compact Terra 6TB, the Strato C provides convenient playback offering two HDMI outputs (one for video w/audio and another for audio-only. As well as digital optical and digital coaxial audio outputs should those options be needed.
The Strato C movie player provides an immersive home cinema experience, with better audio and video playback quality than most commercial theaters. Strato C is 4K Ultra HD compatible and includes access to HDR and advanced surround sound formats such as Dolby Atmos, Dolby TrueHD, DTS:X, and DTS-HD Master Audio.
Strato C plays movies from a Terra with bit rates up to 100 Mbps and frame rates up to 60 fps.
Kaleidescape Mobile App
To make using the Kaleidescape System easier, a mobile app is available for iOS and Android devices. The mobile app allows you to:
- Browse the Kaleidescape movie library.
- Purchase a movie even if you are not at home, and even start the downloading process so when you do get home you can watch it.
- Control the movie player using the app as a remote control.
- Receive important information such as movie recommendations, or an alert that your system requires service.
Availability and Pricing
The Kaleidescape compact Terra 6TB movie server is initially offered as a bundle with the Strato C movie player at a special price of $7,995 through March 31, 2022, via Authorized Kaleidescape Dealers. This is their lowest priced system.
Note: If you opt for the Compact Terra with 12 or 18TB storage, the price will be higher.
Bonus: If you think that 18TB of storage still isn’t enough, also check out our article on the Kaleidescape Terra 72 TB Movie Server released earlier in 2021.