By Alice Gustafson for CE Pro
What are the key upgrades/improvements of the new system?
Andy Jones (AJ): Kaleidescape’s Encore system is ideal for all sizes of installations where the customer prefers to purchase and download movies via the Internet, or if the customer desires the latest technologies such as 4K Ultra HD and high-dynamic-range (HDR) video.
An Encore system is the best match for large 4K Ultra HD televisions, projectors and for modern AV control systems. The Disc Server is also available as a convenient way to store, browse and play Blu- ray and DVD discs.
The system is truly scalable allowing clients to venture within the Kaleidescape world via the Alto Player. We liken this to a Blu-ray plus player, offering all the features and benefits of a conventional Blu-ray/DVD player, with the added benefit of cataloguing a client’s movie collection, allowing them to jump straight into a movie once the disc has been loaded into the player, bypassing unnecessary adverts and trailers.
It also offers the same user interface, providing clients an exciting way to browse their movie collection and select a movie. From here clients could add a Disc Server allowing them to store up to 320 physical Blu-Ray or DVD discs and play them back via the Disc Server, removing the need to fetch a disc from the bookcase each time.
Up to four Encore products (with internal 6TB storage) can be clustered together without the need for a Terra Movie Server to create a ‘mini’ Encore system, offering all the trappings of a full system, but on a slightly smaller scale. Finally, clients can add a Terra Movie Server allowing them to expand storage capabilities for larger movie collections or where additional playback zones are required.
Who is Kaleidescape targeting with the new products?
Cheena Srinivasan (CS): We have served the home cinema market for well over a decade and we have garnered an incredible reputation – we have a market share that is probably in excess of 60% among the finest home cinemas in the world. No, we don’t serve the bigger, broader market, but our brand has always been an aspirational brand – it is what everybody wishes to have.
What is so great about the Encore system is that technology is now making it very feasible for people in the mid-market (we call it the mass affluent market) – people that are driving the Beamer 5 Series and the Mercedes C Class.
These people can basically say: ‘I am investing in several thousand pounds worth of the finest display device,’ whether it be an OLED TV or a beautiful 4K home projector.
What they are looking for is something that can actually light up the TVs and the projectors in a way that gives them that immersive experience.
How have the new additions in functionality gone down so far with dealers?
AJ: The new Encore system has received huge a accolade from this industry so far and was awarded Best New Product at the recent CEDIA Expo in Dallas.
We’ve seen a huge volume of telephone calls into our office from dealers looking to obtain information about the new products with a view to specify new systems for client projects.
Everyone has been incredibly excited about this new product offering and the ability to download true bit-for-bit 4K content.
If a dealer does not currently offer Kaleidescape what are the main reasons you would suggest that they start?
AJ: Simply put Kaleidescape is the best movie server on the market. Offering the following: True bit-for-bit quality playback (video and audio) of movies within the system, supporting all the latest audio formats such as Dolby Atmos and DTS:X and now 4K video content via the Encore Line.
This is incredibly important on larger dedicated cinema screens where clients desire the highest quality experience in order to immerse themselves within the movie and escape reality for a few hours.
The system also has the best user interface via the Kaleidescape operating system (kOS) allowing users to browse, sort and filter their movie collection from the list view or allowing the system to serve up movie suggestions to the client from the covers view.
Also, because of the way Kaleidescape handles content, clients need never worry about buffering due to poor Internet connections, preventing disappointment when watching a movie. Kaleidescape systems are truly scalable with the largest system to date including an impressive 98 players!
More than scaling, Kaleidescape delivers the most engaging and entertaining home cinema experience.
Most importantly, Kaleidescape offers dealers a fantastic opportunity to make good margins on source equipment verses alternative streaming devices.
Does 4K present any challenges when building new products?
CS: 4K is an enormous challenge because it is very rich in information and unfortunately many of the service providers that are touting 4K don’t do it justice – for one thing Kaleidescape does not believe 4K streaming is a good idea; when you stream 4K you are actually doing a lot of things that are going to render a substandard picture.
The reason for this is to do with the fact that streaming, by definition, is designed to serve multiple millions of users simultaneously – as a consequence you try to basically capture a movie which is highly, highly compressed and the lossyness associated with that renders a very mediocre picture on the TV.
The finest way to watch a 4K ultra HD movie today is via over the top delivery, stored on a local hard drive played back at full bit rate.
What support/training is available on the Kaleidescape system from Pulse?
AJ: Pulse Cinemas have arranged a number of webinars to be held by Kaleidescape which will provide dealers with an overview of the new Encore Line products.
In addition we are currently re-writing our Kaleidescape training programme to include this new product line and plan to hold another session over the coming weeks. We’ll be contacting dealers with news of these dates shortly.
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