Kaleidescape yesterday launched the Kaleidescape Store in the UK, after debuting it in the US last December. “We’re the first and only people to offer delivery of movies over the internet in exactly Blu-ray quality,” Tom Barnett, senior director for marketing, told Installation. Video is delivered in up to 1080p/24 resolution, with Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio at bitrates that match the physical media.
The Store – which at launch contains over 400 movie and 450 TV episodes from Warner Bros Digital Distribution – is accessed from a web browser or the Kaleidescape App for iPad and enables users to download content over the internet to their Kaleidescape system. In addition to the main feature, other content from the equivalent Blu-ray Disc, including commentaries and supplementary features, is included. These are all incorporated into, and accessed via, the main Kaleidescape menu, alongside content ripped from physical media.
Up to five Kaleidescape systems can be connected to a store account, so content purchased can be downloaded to any of the customer’s systems. This is a feature that Barnett believes will appeal to customers with second homes.
Another feature enabling viewing in more than one location is the inclusion of UltraViolet licences with most titles. By linking the Kaleidescape Store account to their UltraViolet account, customers can in the same transaction authorise the download of a digital copy for viewing on a mobile device.
The inclusion of Kaleidescape’s own metadata enables titles to be searched by genre, or by a specific actor or director. All the titles found in a search can be purchased in one transaction using the ‘Buy All’ button. In addition, if a customer already owns a title in SD, the Store recognises this and offers an upgrade to the HD version at a reduced price. Critics’ reviews from rottentomatoes.com are also displayed.
Overall, the store offers Kaleidescape users a single manageable library for their entire collection of DVDs, Blu-ray Discs and downlaoads.
Barnett reports that, in the US, the launch of the Kaleidescape store has boosted business for dealers. One dealer in the San Franscisco Bay area, he said, “has already seen in the first half of this year close to a 50% increase compared to last year, and expects in the second half… to double his business with Kaleidescape over the next six months.”