CES 2014: Kaleidescape Offers Limited Edition High-End STB

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Hoping to generate positive word of mouth with its deep-pocketed home theater-loving customers, Kaleidescape has unveiled a limited version of its Cinema One set-top box and movie server at CES. The Cinema One Limited Edition comes with a starter library of 50 titles from Warner Bros. and Lionsgate. What makes this edition especially attractive is that it sells for the same price as the standard edition: $3995. There’s no extra charge for the 50 movies, which are all DVD- or Blu-ray quality.

Kaleidescape sees this as a trial balloon, an effort to get affluent customers recommending the product to their friends. The limited edition will be available until February 28. At that time, Kaleidescape may offer a new option where buyers can select their own 50 titles when buying a Cinema One player.

Kaleidescape is able to make this offer since it now has an online movie store (it launched fully in April, 2013), which gives the company a convenient way to buy licenses for films. When customers bought movies prior to this, Kaleidescape would mail them boxed copies. After customers buy a movie from the store, they’re free to use the store as cloud storage and re-download the title as needed. All titles include an UltraViolet copy for playback on other devices.

The Cinema One connects to the Kaleidescape online store via Ethernet or Wi-Fi. The store currently offers 5000 movie titles and 6000 TV episodes. The company is working on getting titles from other studios, but is finding it difficult to get agreements for full Blu-ray quality download purchases. The store doesn’t offer streaming service, since the files are too large for instant playback. Instead, buyers download copies to their Cinema One. The player offers 4TB of storage on a single hard drive. Buyers can link two Cinema One players in the home for 8TB of shard space. The company says 4TB is enough for 6500 CDs, 600 DVD-quality movies, or 100 Blu-ray-quality movies. Besides offering online downloads, the Cinema One can import music and video from physical discs.

The Cinema One Limited Edition will begin shipping January 14.

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