To address the concerns of the studios, Kaleidescape requires the disc to be present when playing Blu-ray content from the server. Today this means the Blu-ray Disc must be in the tray of an M500 Player. To make things easier, Kaleidescape is developing a disc loader which will keep a large number of discs present within the Kaleidescape system. It will also provide bulk import, and make it easy to find and retrieve a disc.
"We have invested a great amount of time and resources in developing the M-Class architecture, which is our platform for future innovation," said Michael Malcolm, Kaleidescape's founder, chairman and CEO. "We now have the tools to improve our world-renowned user experience and offer an even greater variety of content."
The company's onscreen user interface has been also improved with M-Class players. The Kaleidescape Movie Guide has been expanded to include over 3,300 Blu-ray Disc titles. User's collection of movies and music is presented in high definition. The company's patent pending video bookmarks enable advanced features, including instantaneous start of a feature or concert, easy access to favorite scenes or songs, and control triggers to automatically adjust screen masking, lighting and curtains during playback.
The Kaleidescape M500 and M300 Players, when coupled with a Kaleidescape server, play back Blu-ray content and include support for 1080p video with 24 frames per second and bitstream pass-through of Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio.
Kaleidescape is accepting orders for M500 and M300 Players, and shipments will begin May 18th. U.S. MSRP is $3,995 for the M500 Player and $2,495 for the M300 Player. The disc loader is expected to be available in the first half of next year.
Kaleidescape has already won a lawsuit in California Superior Court brought against the company by the DVD Copy Control Assn (DVDCCA) last August. The DVD Copy Control Assn is a group representing the studios, consumer electronics companies and high-tech firms. The court ruled against the DVD Copy Control Association (DVD CCA) in a suit that asked the court to force Kaleidescape to change its design or stop selling its server that stores hundreds of DVD movies on a hard drive array for future playback. In those systems, the DVD disks did not remain in the system, something the DVD CCA said would allow users to keep unauthorized digital copies of rented or borrowed DVDs. The DVD CCA prevailed on appeal, sending the case back to Superior Court for another round.
It is not clear whether Kaleidescape's latest BD players are conforming to licensing requirements of the Advanced Access Content System Licensing Administrator (AACSLA), the company body repsonsible for AACS copy protection for the Blu-ray disc format. The AACS technology and licenses do not permit ripping of Blu-ray discs unless the copy has been authorized by the content owner, either by setting the Copy Control Information appropriately, or by individual authorization through the Managed Copy process. Managed Copy is expected to finally roll out at the end of this year.