And you thought Toshiba's super-resolution DVD player taking on Blu-ray was comical. Kaleidescape -- the company famous for selling grossly overpriced (albeit fanciful) DVD / BD archiving systems for wealthy home theater junkies -- has just announced two new standalone DVD players that "provide a viewing experience that rivals Blu-ray." The argument goes something like this: there are 170,000 titles on DVD, and "just 6,000" (wait, for real?) on BD -- why support the next-gen format when these two upscaling DVD players display content that is utterly indiscernible from Blu-ray. For starters, the outfit is launching the 1080p Player (pictured), which earns the "ultimate DVD player" label by featuring a Sigma Designs Gennum VXP chip, 10-bit processing and full support for Dolby Digital, DTS, MPEG and PCM audio formats. The 1080p Mini Player offers the same, but in a tinier package meant for inconspicuous installations. Granted, both units do have exclusive access to Kaleidescape's Movie Guide database, but that hardly justifies the $4,295 / $2,995 price tags (in addition to the required $10,000 Kaleidescape System). Full release after the jump.

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Kaleidescape claims new 1080p upscaling DVD players are "indiscernible from Blu-ray"




New Kaleidescape Movie Players Produce Stunning Video Quality from Ordinary DVDs, Provide Viewing Experience That Rivals Blu-ray

1080p Player and 1080p Mini Player Expand Kaleidescape's Reach in Home Entertainment

SUNNYVALE, CA, June 18, 2008 - Kaleidescape, Inc., the market leader in entertainment servers, today introduced the 1080p Player and 1080p Mini Player – two Movie Players that produce stunning video quality from ordinary DVDs, providing a viewing experience that rivals Blu-ray. The new family of Players makes it possible to enjoy the Kaleidescape Experience even with DVDs and CDs that have not been imported into a Kaleidescape System, and a new form factor makes it possible to place a 1080p Mini Player anywhere in the home.

The 1080p Player is designed as a 1U rack mount device, and includes a DVD/CD-ROM drive for import and direct playback of DVDs and CDs. The 1080p Mini Player offers the video and audio performance of the 1080p Player, in a smaller package with a lower price. It is ideal for inconspicuous installation in viewing rooms where owners desire that A/V equipment be hidden.

"These new Players have achieved our goal of producing beautiful high definition video from the DVDs that we've all been collecting for years," said Michael Malcolm, Kaleidescape founder, chairman and CEO. "The new 1080p Players leverage Kaleidescape's extensive Movie Guide database to make the viewing experience even more entertaining. Our patent-pending video bookmarking changes the way rental movies are enjoyed – no more annoying trailers, advertisements and DVD menus. And the compact 1080p Mini Player saves valuable space so customers can enjoy their movies and music in more locations throughout the home."

"The new Kaleidescape Movie Player produces the best quality video I have ever seen from any source device," said David Raife, owner of Paragon Technology Group with offices in Aspen, Vail and Steamboat Springs, Colorado. "It makes DVDs look absolutely beautiful."

Features and Benefits of the New 1080p Players

1080p Video Output – The 1080p Movie Player upscales ordinary DVD content to beautiful high definition video, matching the highest resolution of today's display devices without the added cost and complexity of an external scaler. Crystal clear video and amazingly accurate colors provide a viewing experience rivaling that of Blu-ray.

Content-Aware Video Processing – The 1080p Movie Player adapts its video processing to the type of content being viewed to achieve results that are impossible for an external scaler. For example, the onscreen display (OSD) with its sharp edges and high contrast is processed differently than movies, which contain motion and natural colors. Information in Kaleidescape's extensive Movie Guide database is also used to tailor the viewing experience, for example, to automatically detect and expand movies to fill a 16:9 display without any user intervention.

Advanced DVD and CD Playback Features – The Kaleidescape Experience is now available for DVDs and CDs that have not been imported. The user may insert a disc into a 1080p Player and enjoy detailed information about the movie or album, including cover art, movie synopsis, album review, and track names. Selecting "Play Movie" on the OSD starts the movie instantly, without trailers or advertisements – even for rental movies! These features combine to make the 1080p Player the ultimate DVD/CD player.

Full Import Control – The 1080p Player prevents accidental imports of DVDs and CDs for less worrisome enjoyment of borrowed or rented movies. The import process is only initiated with a press of the Import button on the front panel, or by selecting "Import DVD" or "Import CD" on the OSD.

Small Size and Near-Silent Operation – The 1080p Mini Player's small size and near-silent operation make it an ideal free-standing device sitting on a shelf in the viewing room, hidden behind a plasma display, concealed in a cabinet, or mounted recessed in a wall or behind a piece of furniture. Installed in the viewing room and connected to a Kaleidescape Server via Ethernet, the 1080p Mini Player allows for 1080p video quality in more locations throughout the home.

Myriad Installation Options – The 1080p Mini Player includes a mounting bracket, making it quick to attach to any surface. Its mounting options allow for inconspicuous installation in a viewing room where the ability to import or play directly from DVDs and CDs is unnecessary. An optional rack-mount kit secures two 1080p Mini Players in a 1U shelf, doubling the rack density of the 1080p Player.

Availability
The 1080p Player is available now, and the 1080p Mini Player will be available in the second half of July, 2008. For more information, contact Kaleidescape at (888) 352-5343 or (650) 625-6150, email sales@kaleidescape.com, or visit www.kaleidescape.com.

About Kaleidescape
The Kaleidescape System redefines home entertainment by transforming the way movies and music are collected, managed and enjoyed throughout the home or yacht. The Kaleidescape System combines a compelling interface, outstanding industrial design, and services that set new standards in the consumer electronics industry. Kaleidescape, Inc. was founded in 2001 and is privately held. The company is headquartered in Sunnyvale, California with research and development conducted by Kaleidescape Canada, Inc., based in Waterloo, Ontario. Kaleidescape products are available through a worldwide network of custom-installation dealers and distributors. For more information, contact Kaleidescape at (888) 352-5343 or (650) 625-6150, email us at sales@kaleidescape.com, or visit www.kaleidescape.com.