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Kaleidescape Bows Online Store With Warner Content

11 Dec, 2012 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Kaleidescape to have access to 3,000 Warner movies and 8,000 TV shows with UltraViolet functionality beginning March 13

Physical disc movie server company Kaleidescape Dec. 11 launched an online e-commerce platform enabling users to purchase digital titles with UltraViolet functionality.

Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Kaleidescape signed a multi-year license agreement with Warner Bros. Home Entertainment that allows its 10,000-unit customer base to purchase the studio’s 11,000 titles — including new releases and TV shows — with UltraViolet, the cloud-based storage service at www.store.kaleidescape.com.

Compatible titles are processed through Flixster.com, Warner’s UltraViolet platform and movie recommendation service.

UltraViolet functionality will be available beginning next March, with titles purchased prior automatically converted thereafter at no additional charge. Kaleidescape says its users, on average, own more than 500 movies and purchase about 51 titles a year — seven times higher than the national average.

All digital purchases on the Kaleidescape Store include typical disc bonus material, including director commentaries, deleted scenes and alternate endings, with the exception of interactive features such as BD-Live.

“We’re trying to make the purchase of an electronic product as close to physical product as possible,” said co-founder and EVP Cheena Srinivasan.

Unique to the Kaleidescape Store is the ability to purchase entire film catalogs based on genres, directors, actors and subject with the simple click of a “buy all” link. Similar to Netflix, Kaleidescape employs recommendation software that suggests to users titles with descriptions, actor lists and alerts safeguarding against duplicate purchases.

For example, a search by Srinivasan for movies with actor Robert De Niro found 65 digital titles not already located on his server available for $716.35 collectively, or $11 each. Srinivasan said digital prices on average are about 15% higher than DVDs on Amazon.

“This puts us on the map closing the gap between physical and digital media devices,” he said.

Kaleidescape servers previously only converted users’ physical discs into digital files that were stored, categorized and played back on compatible connected devices in the home. The servers aren’t cheap, starting at $14,500 for a device capable of holding more than 1,300 standard-definition titles.

The company plans to bow a lower-priced server targetting the mass market in 2013, according to Srinivasan.

Kaleidescape’s partnership with Warner represents a reversal of sorts by Hollywood toward third-party storage and content servers. The company in July was granted a temporary stay from a state appeals court while it decided whether or not its servers violated contractual provisions of the DVD Copy Control Association.

The DVD Copy Control Association in 2004 filed suit against Kaleidescape contending its servers were in violation of the license agreement. In May 2010, Kaleidescape bowed a service it claimed was capable of storing and converting Blu-ray Disc titles into digital files.

“Kaleidescape is well-known for its user-friendly system that lets consumers access and watch movies from their home collections with the touch of a button,” said Thomas Gewecke, president of Warner Bros. Digital Distribution. “Now their users have the same one-touch simplicity with purchasing new movies electronically. UltraViolet will extend its ease-of-use further, with automatic upgrades for purchased titles and even more ways to watch movie libraries both at home and on the go.”

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