Kaleidescape launched its online offering in beta late last year, and now it's officially open, becoming what it claims is the first store to provide "internet delivery of Blu-ray quality movies." The Kaleidescape Store goes beyond other 1080p services (Vudu, iTunes, Xbox and PSN come to mind) by promising the disc-equaling higher bitrates, extras and lossless audio options they don't have. There's no streaming to be had here, only downloads, with file sizes we saw ranging from 23GB (Austin Powers) to as much as 55.4GB (Inception) and everywhere in between.
While the store is only built to work with Kaleidescape's high-end disc-playback systems -- these usually start in the thousands of dollars, and you'll need M-Class hardware for HD -- it currently offers movies from Warner Bros. with an Ultraviolet copy attached, so buyers can play them back on mobile devices through apps such as Flixster and Vudu. Ultraviolet support also means $6.99 upgrades of DVD purchases to Blu-ray-quality HD, and potentially disc-to-digital type features later. Naturally, anyone interested will need an internet connection with a generous / non-existent bandwidth cap, but we imagine that's not out of the price range for these niche owners. Still, it does provide an idea of the difficulty others like Sony and Netflix will face when trying to digitally distribute feature films in 4K to a wider audience. Check out a few screens of the store in the gallery, and the Random Thoughts blog link below for firsthand impressions from a beta tester.
Kaleidescape Launches World's First Online Store for Downloading Blu-ray™ Quality Movies and TV Shows
Purchases include UltraViolet™ rights to provide viewing on portable devices
SUNNYVALE, CA – May 1, 2013 - Kaleidescape, Inc. today announced the debut of the world's first Internet delivery of Blu-ray quality movies. Now Kaleidescape owners can easily download movies from the Kaleidescape Store with audio and video quality equal to Blu-ray Disc™ and enjoy hours of special features and bonus content.
The Kaleidescape Store is fully integrated with UltraViolet, the home entertainment industry standard for movies in the cloud. Once a movie is purchased through the Kaleidescape Store, that title can be automatically added to the customer's UltraViolet account, and then viewed through any participating UltraViolet retailer service, including Flixster. Kaleidescape customers can seamlessly access their UltraViolet movies through the Flixster app. With tens of millions of downloads to date, Flixster is one of the most popular online destinations for discovering and accessing entertainment, and UltraViolet playback is compatible with hundreds of millions of tablets, smartphones, game consoles and connected televisions and Blu-ray players, as well as with PCs and Macs.
A beta version of the Kaleidescape Store opened in December 2012 with content from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment, enabling the download of movies and TV shows in DVD quality. In addition to providing the latest new releases, the Kaleidescape Store provides a powerful discovery platform, helping customers discover great films for their libraries, regardless of release date. In addition to an innovative "complete my collection" feature, the service also provides movie recommendations from noted film critic Leonard Maltin.
"The new Kaleidescape Store makes it easy for our customers to discover, purchase and enjoy great movies over the Internet without compromise," said Michael Malcolm, founder, chairman and CEO of Kaleidescape. "People want to own the movies they love for viewing for years to come in the best quality possible, and this is the first service to enable such content to be delivered electronically. We already have seen a great response to the Warner Bros. library during the beta launch of the Kaleidescape Store, and we are looking forward to providing customers with these new capabilities."
"Flixster is thrilled to be providing Kaleidescape customers with an easy way to enjoy their UltraViolet movies on mobile devices," said Joe Greenstein, Co-founder & CEO Flixster, Inc. "Customers can stream titles on a wide variety of tablets and phones – or download them for viewing later in the car or on a plane. This is very helpful for parents who travel with children."
The Kaleidescape Store brings the highest standard of content into the home with just a click of a button. Movie lovers will now enjoy:
Blu-ray quality content with video resolution up to 1080p/24 and Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio lossless soundtracks;
Easy upgrade of DVD quality content to Blu-ray quality content for just $6.99;
Automatic UltraViolet rights for both new purchases and titles acquired during the beta period, with mobile playback from the Flixster app and website;
Bonus features including director's commentary, alternate endings, deleted scenes and documentaries;
Clear indication of titles the customer already owns on DVD or Blu-ray Disc while shopping;
Easy purchase of related titles with the unique Buy all button;
A single manageable library for viewing their entire collection of existing Blu-ray Discs, DVDs and newly downloaded titles;
Rotten Tomatoes® movie ratings and reviews included for each title while shopping.
Downloads that equal DVD quality are also available, which are particularly important for titles that are not yet available on Blu-ray.
Kaleidescape is pioneering the development of movie servers that redefine how film enthusiasts purchase, organize and enjoy their movie collections. Featuring a breakthrough user interface that gives viewers unprecedented flexibility and control over the movies they watch, the Kaleidescape System makes it easy for customers to select and enjoy films from their entire collection of DVD, Blu-ray and downloaded movies from any television in the home. Founded in 2001 and headquartered in Sunnyvale, California, Kaleidescape sells its products through custom installation dealers and distributors throughout the world. For more information, please visit www.kaleidescape.com.