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Server Would Store Up to 440 DVDs

21 Dec, 2003 By: Holly J. Wagner

Kaleidescape Inc. is preparing to offer the Kaleidescape System, a DVD Server that lets users store their entire movie collections on hard disks and access them from any viewing zone in their home, for a mere starting price of $27,000.

Under license from the DVD Copy Control Association (DVDCCA) and Macrovision, the Kaleidescape system touts rack-mountable hardware components, proprietary operating system software and Kaleidescape's Movie Guide Service.

A basic Kaleidescape system has one server (with five disk cartridges for storing up to 160 movies), one movie player and one DVD reader. The server can handle up to a dozen cartridges, which is sufficient to store 440 movies. Additional servers, movie players and DVD readers can be added to the system as required by each homeowner to increase movie storage capacity, the number of viewing zones, and to make it more convenient to import DVDs onto the server.

Kaleidescape's proprietary operating system software enables the hardware components to communicate with each other within the home, via the home Ethernet and with Kaleidescape's Internet-based Movie Guide Service, which provides detailed information about thousands of movies.

The system works by importing an exact replica of the DVD files onto the server, including the copy protection. Since no additional compression is applied, no quality is lost. The same bits are streamed to the movie player positioned in any desired viewing zone. The content resides on the Kaleidescape server and can only be played on the Kaleidescape players within the home; it cannot be copied to PCs, rewritten to blank DVDs, or accessed via the Internet.

Once imported, the homeowner can have instantaneous access to the company's entire movie library through a proprietary user interface that provides multiple ways to browse and select movies, play movies, jump to favorite scenes, pause, resume and exercise parental control over which movies are available in each viewing zone.

Each room can be configured for individual preferences, such as audio settings, the screen aspect ratio and parental control.

The Kaleidescape system has been designed for the anticipated widespread availability of HD content.

Pricing will depend on the amount of movie storage as well as the number of viewing zones. A base Kaleidescape system lists for $27,000 and includes a Kaleidescape server with sufficient storage for 160 DVD movies, a movie player for playback in a single zone and a DVD reader for importing DVDs.

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