Kaleidoscope Thoughts?

Read a review recently of the Kaleidoscope Strato player system. They raved how great it is and how it combines the simplicity of internet with quality of physical media. Makes sense. Best of both worlds, however, the price...

Question is this.... I have an Oppo UDP-203. Shouldn't that deliver same audio and video quality? Assuming I use a 4k UHD disc

AVR: Marantz SR 5011
L/ R: Polk Audio 703 LSiM (Bi Amp'd)
C: Polk Audio 255c - LS
R: Def Tech
Sub: PSW 505 (12 inch)
DVD: Oppo UDP 203
TV: 2016 Sony XBR 75X850D

Comments

  • ZLTFULZLTFUL Posts: 4,164
    Honestly, I would give them a year or so before taking a chance on them. August of last year they were out of money and way overselling the upcoming capabilities the Strato. So much so that they shut the doors for over a month.
    They found investors and turned the lights back on but with 32 employees down from 81 and more reliance on third party resources than before even though the CEO claims less reliance.

    Kaleidescape makes fantastic premium products but the price of admission isn't worth it in my book when you can get so much more bang for your buck.
    "Some people find it easier to be conceited rather than correct."

    "Unwad those panties and have a good time man. We're all here to help each other, no matter how it might appear." DSkip
    2 Channel: Silverline Audio Sonatina MKI, Monitor 5 Series II, DIY Seas based bookies
    LR 2 Channel: LSi7, DSW-MP2000
    HT: JTR Triple 8 LCRs, DIYSG Volt 8LX Surrounds, DIYSG Volt 6LX Atmos, 6 SI HT-18D2 Subs
    Guest BR 2 Channel: Swans D1080MKII
    Deck: Pyle BT Speaker pair with upgraded woofers
  • GospelTruthGospelTruth Posts: 254
    Read this article recently about them:
    http://www.highdefdigest.com/news/show/kaleidescape-digital-download-convenience-meets-4k-disc-quality/39472

    It looks like a very cool product, but there are some items that would keep me diving into their ecosystem.

    Price.
    It's a pretty steep entry fee to get into the Kaleidescape ecosystem. Taken directly from the above article, here is the pricing.
    Strato Movie Player ($4,495) - The company's most advanced media player, the Strato offers support for 4K Ultra HD at up to 60 frames per second, and lossless audio formats like Dolby TrueHD, Dolby Atmos, DTS-HD Master Audio, DTS:X, and PCM. Likewise, the device includes HDR10 playback. Models are available with 6TB of storage ($4,495) or 10TB of storage ($5,595) for up to 180 4K Ultra HD movies, 330 Blu-ray quality movies, or 1500 DVD quality movies. 100Base-TX/1000Base-T Ethernet (RJ45 connector), Integrated 802.11ac Wi-Fi, an HDMI 2.0a output, an HDMI 1.4 output for audio, digital toslink output, and coaxial RCA output are included as well. The unit can play movies from its own storage, or from a separate Terra movie server or another Strato movie player.

    Strato C Movie Player ($3,495) - Serving as a more compact version of the flagship Strato player, the Strato C includes the same basic 4K Ultra HD playback features of its larger sibling but does not include any internal storage. Instead, the device can play movies from a separate Terra movie server, or from another Strato or Alto movie player.

    Alto Movie Player - Though it lacks Ultra HD support, the Alto Movie Player offers support for full HD digital files with lossless Dolby Atmos and DTS:X audio. Likewise, the device includes an integrated Blu-ray drive for disc playback. An optional 6TB hard drive is also available for storing up to 200 Blu-ray quality movies, or 900 DVD quality movies. The player can be used on its own or to play files from a Terra movie server, another Alto or a Strato movie player, or from a Kaleidescape Disc Server.

    Terra Movie Server ($12,995) - Available in 24TB or 40TB storage options, the Terra Movie Server can store up to 720 4K Ultra HD digital titles. The device can then send content to any Strato, Strato C, and Alto players in a customer's home network over its 100Base-TX/1000Base-T Ethernet RJ45 connector, with support for up to 10 simultaneous playbacks of 4K Ultra HD movies.

    Alternatives.
    Here are a couple of comparisons for alternatives to the Kaleidescape system. I think you have to do some kind of comparison to determine cost vs. value.
    1. Compare to running PLEX from a NAS (which is what I use).
      This may not be a fair comparison as this does not support 4K, but all my movies rippped from my Blu-Ray and DVD collection.

      Cost of Entry
      • Synology DS415+ Diskless System DiskStation 4-Bay NAS $589.99
      • WD Red 4TB NAS Hard Disk Drive $149.99 each x 4 for $599.96**
      • PLEX lifetime pass $150
      • Roku for streaming Plex $89.99
      Total Cost of Entry: $1,429.94*

      *Assumes you have a capable PC of ripping Blu-Ray movies.
      **The above drives are in mirror RAID for 8TB of available space.

      Benefits
      • Can stream my movies anywhere, even to my apple phone.
      • Just add another Roku or device that can run PLEX client and you can watch movies at that location. Additional cost for Roku is $90 vs. $3,495 for a Kaleidescape only player.
      • I retain a physical copy of my Blu-Ray movie, and have it copied to my PLEX server.
      • Cheaper than Kaleidescape
      Downside
      • Not 4K compatible.
      • Can't rip my 4K movies to a hard drive.
      Other
      This system is a $1,430 vs. the entry $4,495 Strato movie player. That's a whopping $3,065 more. You get the convenience of not having to rip your movies and just download them, but it's at a cost that I am not willing to pay.

    2. Comparison to stand alone 4K Disc Player

      Cost of Entry
      Oppo 203 4K Player: $549

      Benefits
      • Can play 4K movies uncompressed, just like Kaleidescape.
      • I retain a physical copy of my 4K movie - device independent.
      • Cheaper than Kaleidescape
      Downside
      • Can't stream to multiple devices
      • Have to physically get up and change discs to watch another movie.
      Other
      This system is a $549 vs. the entry $4,495 Strato movie player. That's a whopping $3,950 more. You get the convenience of not having to get up off the couch and can view movies at your finger tips (provided you've already downloaded the movie).
    Content.
    With Kaleidescape, you still have to purchase the content! And here's a quote from the above article:
    Prices range from around $16 for some HD titles to as much as $37 for new 4K HDR titles -- and while that is more expensive than other digital services, the company believes that the increase in quality here earns that premium cost.
    At that price, why not just purchase the 4K Disc and be done with it. 4K discs on Amazon can be had starting at $19.99. You have the content and you are not tied into their ecosystem to play it back. The cost of $16 for some HD titles means Blu-ray quality, not 4K. I don't think the titles will be cheaper through Kaleidescape vs. the physical 4K media.

    The only unknown here is if there is more content in 4K on Kaleidescape vs. what you can buy on physical media. Without knowing, it's hard to compare. However, if there is more on Kaleidescape, you have to decided if that 4K content is worth the price.

    Internet Bandwidth.
    You'll have to download the movies from Kaleidescape in uncompressed format to get that "just like disc" viewing experience. You would have to check with your internet provider on any limitations on your bandwidth and if it is ever throttled. Movies on 4K discs are around 50GB and upward in size. That's a large file to download, and you'd have to know what you are capable of downloading from your provider.

    Longevity.
    If all your movies are tied into one system, what happens if they go under? You may still have your device and the movies, but you are limited to just that. No more movies, no more content going forward. For me, I have a hard time buying into something that may go away.

    Conclusion.
    It seems like a high price to pay for the convenience of having a 4K movie collection on demand. If you are blessed with money to burn on things like this, it's got the cool factor all over it. But this isn't for someone like me, and I find the alternatives cheaper and a little more future proof.

    And to answer you initial question, I think your OPPO player with a 4K disc will be just as good of a video presentation.

    Michael

    Speakers
    Energy RC-70 Mains, Energy RC-LRC Center, Energy RC-R (x4) Rear Channels, Energy RC-R (x2) Front Effects
    Polk 5jr+
    Polk SDA 2B
    Polk SDS 3.1TL

    Equipment
    Panamax 5510 Re-generator Power Conditioner
    Yamaha RX-V3800 Receiver
    Digital Sources: Sony CDP-X339ES CD Player, HHB CDR830 BurnIt Professional CD Recorder, Sony PS3, Oppo DV-983H DVD Player
    Analog Sources: Sony TC-K890ES Cassette, Nakamichi DR-1 Cassette, Technics SL-7 Turntable
  • ZLTFULZLTFUL Posts: 4,164
    I wish I could love your post bro.
    "Some people find it easier to be conceited rather than correct."

    "Unwad those panties and have a good time man. We're all here to help each other, no matter how it might appear." DSkip
    2 Channel: Silverline Audio Sonatina MKI, Monitor 5 Series II, DIY Seas based bookies
    LR 2 Channel: LSi7, DSW-MP2000
    HT: JTR Triple 8 LCRs, DIYSG Volt 8LX Surrounds, DIYSG Volt 6LX Atmos, 6 SI HT-18D2 Subs
    Guest BR 2 Channel: Swans D1080MKII
    Deck: Pyle BT Speaker pair with upgraded woofers
  • DSkipDSkip Posts: 13,519
    These type of products cater to the wealthy who want no fuss and the latest/greatest.
    audiothesis.com/

    Speakers: Usher: CP-6311, Be-10, T-515; Rosso Fiorentino: Elba, Fiesole, Volterra; Polk: T50, Signature S60, S55, S35, S30, S20, S15, RTA 15tl, Sonner Audio Allegro Unum, iFi LS3.5
    Preamps: Shuguang S200MK, Dayens Ampino, Parasound P5
    Amps: Shuguang S845MK, Dayens Ampino Monoblocks, Parasound A23
    Integrateds: Dayens Ampino, Triode Corporation TRV-88SER, MastersounD: Dueventi, Compact 845, Evolution 845; North Star Design Blue Diamond
    Sources: AURALiC Aries, AURALiC Altair, Denon HEOS Link, North Star Design: Magnifico, Supremo, Incanto, Intenso, Venti
    Cabling: Wireworld
    TV: Sony XBR-75X940C
  • KingkwasKingkwas Posts: 47
    Read this article recently about them:
    http://www.highdefdigest.com/news/show/kaleidescape-digital-download-convenience-meets-4k-disc-quality/39472

    It looks like a very cool product, but there are some items that would keep me diving into their ecosystem.

    Price.
    It's a pretty steep entry fee to get into the Kaleidescape ecosystem. Taken directly from the above article, here is the pricing.
    Strato Movie Player ($4,495) - The company's most advanced media player, the Strato offers support for 4K Ultra HD at up to 60 frames per second, and lossless audio formats like Dolby TrueHD, Dolby Atmos, DTS-HD Master Audio, DTS:X, and PCM. Likewise, the device includes HDR10 playback. Models are available with 6TB of storage ($4,495) or 10TB of storage ($5,595) for up to 180 4K Ultra HD movies, 330 Blu-ray quality movies, or 1500 DVD quality movies. 100Base-TX/1000Base-T Ethernet (RJ45 connector), Integrated 802.11ac Wi-Fi, an HDMI 2.0a output, an HDMI 1.4 output for audio, digital toslink output, and coaxial RCA output are included as well. The unit can play movies from its own storage, or from a separate Terra movie server or another Strato movie player.

    Strato C Movie Player ($3,495) - Serving as a more compact version of the flagship Strato player, the Strato C includes the same basic 4K Ultra HD playback features of its larger sibling but does not include any internal storage. Instead, the device can play movies from a separate Terra movie server, or from another Strato or Alto movie player.

    Alto Movie Player - Though it lacks Ultra HD support, the Alto Movie Player offers support for full HD digital files with lossless Dolby Atmos and DTS:X audio. Likewise, the device includes an integrated Blu-ray drive for disc playback. An optional 6TB hard drive is also available for storing up to 200 Blu-ray quality movies, or 900 DVD quality movies. The player can be used on its own or to play files from a Terra movie server, another Alto or a Strato movie player, or from a Kaleidescape Disc Server.

    Terra Movie Server ($12,995) - Available in 24TB or 40TB storage options, the Terra Movie Server can store up to 720 4K Ultra HD digital titles. The device can then send content to any Strato, Strato C, and Alto players in a customer's home network over its 100Base-TX/1000Base-T Ethernet RJ45 connector, with support for up to 10 simultaneous playbacks of 4K Ultra HD movies.

    Alternatives.
    Here are a couple of comparisons for alternatives to the Kaleidescape system. I think you have to do some kind of comparison to determine cost vs. value.
    1. Compare to running PLEX from a NAS (which is what I use).
      This may not be a fair comparison as this does not support 4K, but all my movies rippped from my Blu-Ray and DVD collection.

      Cost of Entry
      • Synology DS415+ Diskless System DiskStation 4-Bay NAS $589.99
      • WD Red 4TB NAS Hard Disk Drive $149.99 each x 4 for $599.96**
      • PLEX lifetime pass $150
      • Roku for streaming Plex $89.99
      Total Cost of Entry: $1,429.94*

      *Assumes you have a capable PC of ripping Blu-Ray movies.
      **The above drives are in mirror RAID for 8TB of available space.

      Benefits
      • Can stream my movies anywhere, even to my apple phone.
      • Just add another Roku or device that can run PLEX client and you can watch movies at that location. Additional cost for Roku is $90 vs. $3,495 for a Kaleidescape only player.
      • I retain a physical copy of my Blu-Ray movie, and have it copied to my PLEX server.
      • Cheaper than Kaleidescape
      Downside
      • Not 4K compatible.
      • Can't rip my 4K movies to a hard drive.
      Other
      This system is a $1,430 vs. the entry $4,495 Strato movie player. That's a whopping $3,065 more. You get the convenience of not having to rip your movies and just download them, but it's at a cost that I am not willing to pay.

    2. Comparison to stand alone 4K Disc Player

      Cost of Entry
      Oppo 203 4K Player: $549

      Benefits
      • Can play 4K movies uncompressed, just like Kaleidescape.
      • I retain a physical copy of my 4K movie - device independent.
      • Cheaper than Kaleidescape
      Downside
      • Can't stream to multiple devices
      • Have to physically get up and change discs to watch another movie.
      Other
      This system is a $549 vs. the entry $4,495 Strato movie player. That's a whopping $3,950 more. You get the convenience of not having to get up off the couch and can view movies at your finger tips (provided you've already downloaded the movie).
    Content.
    With Kaleidescape, you still have to purchase the content! And here's a quote from the above article:
    Prices range from around $16 for some HD titles to as much as $37 for new 4K HDR titles -- and while that is more expensive than other digital services, the company believes that the increase in quality here earns that premium cost.
    At that price, why not just purchase the 4K Disc and be done with it. 4K discs on Amazon can be had starting at $19.99. You have the content and you are not tied into their ecosystem to play it back. The cost of $16 for some HD titles means Blu-ray quality, not 4K. I don't think the titles will be cheaper through Kaleidescape vs. the physical 4K media.

    The only unknown here is if there is more content in 4K on Kaleidescape vs. what you can buy on physical media. Without knowing, it's hard to compare. However, if there is more on Kaleidescape, you have to decided if that 4K content is worth the price.

    Internet Bandwidth.
    You'll have to download the movies from Kaleidescape in uncompressed format to get that "just like disc" viewing experience. You would have to check with your internet provider on any limitations on your bandwidth and if it is ever throttled. Movies on 4K discs are around 50GB and upward in size. That's a large file to download, and you'd have to know what you are capable of downloading from your provider.

    Longevity.
    If all your movies are tied into one system, what happens if they go under? You may still have your device and the movies, but you are limited to just that. No more movies, no more content going forward. For me, I have a hard time buying into something that may go away.

    Conclusion.
    It seems like a high price to pay for the convenience of having a 4K movie collection on demand. If you are blessed with money to burn on things like this, it's got the cool factor all over it. But this isn't for someone like me, and I find the alternatives cheaper and a little more future proof.

    And to answer you initial question, I think your OPPO player with a 4K disc will be just as good of a video presentation.

    Michael

    Great post. Thank you. You confirmed my thoughts. Neat product but not worth the money, imho.
    AVR: Marantz SR 5011
    L/ R: Polk Audio 703 LSiM (Bi Amp'd)
    C: Polk Audio 255c - LS
    R: Def Tech
    Sub: PSW 505 (12 inch)
    DVD: Oppo UDP 203
    TV: 2016 Sony XBR 75X850D
  • ZLTFULZLTFUL Posts: 4,164
    Kingkwas wrote: »
    Read this article recently about them:
    http://www.highdefdigest.com/news/show/kaleidescape-digital-download-convenience-meets-4k-disc-quality/39472

    It looks like a very cool product, but there are some items that would keep me diving into their ecosystem.

    Price.
    It's a pretty steep entry fee to get into the Kaleidescape ecosystem. Taken directly from the above article, here is the pricing.
    Strato Movie Player ($4,495) - The company's most advanced media player, the Strato offers support for 4K Ultra HD at up to 60 frames per second, and lossless audio formats like Dolby TrueHD, Dolby Atmos, DTS-HD Master Audio, DTS:X, and PCM. Likewise, the device includes HDR10 playback. Models are available with 6TB of storage ($4,495) or 10TB of storage ($5,595) for up to 180 4K Ultra HD movies, 330 Blu-ray quality movies, or 1500 DVD quality movies. 100Base-TX/1000Base-T Ethernet (RJ45 connector), Integrated 802.11ac Wi-Fi, an HDMI 2.0a output, an HDMI 1.4 output for audio, digital toslink output, and coaxial RCA output are included as well. The unit can play movies from its own storage, or from a separate Terra movie server or another Strato movie player.

    Strato C Movie Player ($3,495) - Serving as a more compact version of the flagship Strato player, the Strato C includes the same basic 4K Ultra HD playback features of its larger sibling but does not include any internal storage. Instead, the device can play movies from a separate Terra movie server, or from another Strato or Alto movie player.

    Alto Movie Player - Though it lacks Ultra HD support, the Alto Movie Player offers support for full HD digital files with lossless Dolby Atmos and DTS:X audio. Likewise, the device includes an integrated Blu-ray drive for disc playback. An optional 6TB hard drive is also available for storing up to 200 Blu-ray quality movies, or 900 DVD quality movies. The player can be used on its own or to play files from a Terra movie server, another Alto or a Strato movie player, or from a Kaleidescape Disc Server.

    Terra Movie Server ($12,995) - Available in 24TB or 40TB storage options, the Terra Movie Server can store up to 720 4K Ultra HD digital titles. The device can then send content to any Strato, Strato C, and Alto players in a customer's home network over its 100Base-TX/1000Base-T Ethernet RJ45 connector, with support for up to 10 simultaneous playbacks of 4K Ultra HD movies.

    Alternatives.
    Here are a couple of comparisons for alternatives to the Kaleidescape system. I think you have to do some kind of comparison to determine cost vs. value.
    1. Compare to running PLEX from a NAS (which is what I use).
      This may not be a fair comparison as this does not support 4K, but all my movies rippped from my Blu-Ray and DVD collection.

      Cost of Entry
      • Synology DS415+ Diskless System DiskStation 4-Bay NAS $589.99
      • WD Red 4TB NAS Hard Disk Drive $149.99 each x 4 for $599.96**
      • PLEX lifetime pass $150
      • Roku for streaming Plex $89.99
      Total Cost of Entry: $1,429.94*

      *Assumes you have a capable PC of ripping Blu-Ray movies.
      **The above drives are in mirror RAID for 8TB of available space.

      Benefits
      • Can stream my movies anywhere, even to my apple phone.
      • Just add another Roku or device that can run PLEX client and you can watch movies at that location. Additional cost for Roku is $90 vs. $3,495 for a Kaleidescape only player.
      • I retain a physical copy of my Blu-Ray movie, and have it copied to my PLEX server.
      • Cheaper than Kaleidescape
      Downside
      • Not 4K compatible.
      • Can't rip my 4K movies to a hard drive.
      Other
      This system is a $1,430 vs. the entry $4,495 Strato movie player. That's a whopping $3,065 more. You get the convenience of not having to rip your movies and just download them, but it's at a cost that I am not willing to pay.

    2. Comparison to stand alone 4K Disc Player

      Cost of Entry
      Oppo 203 4K Player: $549

      Benefits
      • Can play 4K movies uncompressed, just like Kaleidescape.
      • I retain a physical copy of my 4K movie - device independent.
      • Cheaper than Kaleidescape
      Downside
      • Can't stream to multiple devices
      • Have to physically get up and change discs to watch another movie.
      Other
      This system is a $549 vs. the entry $4,495 Strato movie player. That's a whopping $3,950 more. You get the convenience of not having to get up off the couch and can view movies at your finger tips (provided you've already downloaded the movie).
    Content.
    With Kaleidescape, you still have to purchase the content! And here's a quote from the above article:
    Prices range from around $16 for some HD titles to as much as $37 for new 4K HDR titles -- and while that is more expensive than other digital services, the company believes that the increase in quality here earns that premium cost.
    At that price, why not just purchase the 4K Disc and be done with it. 4K discs on Amazon can be had starting at $19.99. You have the content and you are not tied into their ecosystem to play it back. The cost of $16 for some HD titles means Blu-ray quality, not 4K. I don't think the titles will be cheaper through Kaleidescape vs. the physical 4K media.

    The only unknown here is if there is more content in 4K on Kaleidescape vs. what you can buy on physical media. Without knowing, it's hard to compare. However, if there is more on Kaleidescape, you have to decided if that 4K content is worth the price.

    Internet Bandwidth.
    You'll have to download the movies from Kaleidescape in uncompressed format to get that "just like disc" viewing experience. You would have to check with your internet provider on any limitations on your bandwidth and if it is ever throttled. Movies on 4K discs are around 50GB and upward in size. That's a large file to download, and you'd have to know what you are capable of downloading from your provider.

    Longevity.
    If all your movies are tied into one system, what happens if they go under? You may still have your device and the movies, but you are limited to just that. No more movies, no more content going forward. For me, I have a hard time buying into something that may go away.

    Conclusion.
    It seems like a high price to pay for the convenience of having a 4K movie collection on demand. If you are blessed with money to burn on things like this, it's got the cool factor all over it. But this isn't for someone like me, and I find the alternatives cheaper and a little more future proof.

    And to answer you initial question, I think your OPPO player with a 4K disc will be just as good of a video presentation.

    Michael

    Great post. Thank you. You confirmed my thoughts. Neat product but not worth the money, imho.

    They are great products. And Kaleidescape's work to get licensing to distribute movies is a solid model for anyone wanting to get into that business.

    Once the 4k disc encryption is cracked though, ripping 4k discs will become a norm and will cut down on the demand for 4k streaming/download options.
    "Some people find it easier to be conceited rather than correct."

    "Unwad those panties and have a good time man. We're all here to help each other, no matter how it might appear." DSkip
    2 Channel: Silverline Audio Sonatina MKI, Monitor 5 Series II, DIY Seas based bookies
    LR 2 Channel: LSi7, DSW-MP2000
    HT: JTR Triple 8 LCRs, DIYSG Volt 8LX Surrounds, DIYSG Volt 6LX Atmos, 6 SI HT-18D2 Subs
    Guest BR 2 Channel: Swans D1080MKII
    Deck: Pyle BT Speaker pair with upgraded woofers
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