Blu-ray on the Rise While Kaleidescape Offers Blu-ray Downloads - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 30 Old 05-13-2013, 06:05 AM - Thread Starter
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There has been lots of chatter in the last few months about streaming services acquiring new licenses and content, while others, such as Netflix, have lost content. So you might expect Blu-ray to be on the decline—but you'd be wrong.

The Digital Entertainment Group (DEG) reports a 28.5 percent increase over last year's first-quarter sales. Why is that? Although DEG didn't specifically mention the reason for the increase, one can imagine that wider availability of titles, multiple disc packages, and lower prices might have something to do with it. According to Consumer Reports, the Blu-ray gains were largely offset by declining sales of DVDs.

Streaming a la carte services such as Amazon Instant, iTunes, and Vudu were up 51 percent according to DEG. Streaming services are clearly on the rise, but Blu-ray is still alive and kicking. For any enthusiast, it remains the go-to format for achieving pure video and audio nirvana—or is it?




The infamous Kaleidescape launched its Blu-ray download service last Wednesday, offering Blu-ray quality downloads to Kaleidescape customers. Titles purchased from the company's store can be played back using a Kaleidescape system and accessed on the web or through mobile devices via Ultraviolet.

And now the question you are probably asking yourself—how much? Many will respond that anyone rich enough to own a Kaleidescape system can afford a top-tier ISP plan. Well, that's not always the case. Even consumers who can afford these puppies are looking to save some money. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, for example, weighed in at a whopping 54GB. That's a hefty number. Even for those with the AT&T U-Verse data caps that top out at 250GB won't be downloading a full catalog of movies. Considering it costs an extra $10 for each additional 50GB, it becomes an expensive solution.

The situation only gets worse with 4K movie downloads. Sony has announced a 4K movie download service, but Sony Electronics President and CEO Phil Molyneux recently told the press that those downloads would be 100GB or more per movie. So what do ISPs have to say about this? Not much for now. According to Gigaom.com, ISPs have long insisted that only small percentage of their customers actually use their monthly data cap. This may be true today, but the more we talk about 4K and streaming services, the higher the data caps will need to be, or consumers could be faced with a major problem.

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post #2 of 30 Old 05-13-2013, 06:16 AM
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Kaleidescape is a premium product for the well-to-do, it's hard to imagine a typical buyer balking at getting the bandwidth needed to take full advantage of the system, but maybe I'm the the extreme minority, in terms of the value I ascribe to bandwidth. I peeked at the Kaleidescape store and the collection looks good—plus the prices are very competitive.

 

It is still a rather limited download selection when compared to iTunes and Vudu collections—but the ability to archive Blu-rays locally clearly helps offset that disadvantage. I wonder if Kaleidescape will still be appealing when 4K movie services roll out. I have read about the metadata-related functions that are part of the whole Kaleidescape experience.

 

The main threat that I can see is Apple fielding a next-generation iTunes format with h.265 compression and 2160p resolution—if the company does introduce a 2160p OLED screen at some point. Will Kaleidescape be able to support any 2160p formats, if they become available—on disc or download.


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post #3 of 30 Old 05-13-2013, 06:32 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imagic View Post

Kaleidescape is a premium product for the well-to-do, it's hard to imagine a typical buyer balking at getting the bandwidth needed to take full advantage of the system, but maybe I'm the the extreme minority, in terms of the value I ascribe to bandwidth. Anyone who effectively earns over $100/hr for a living is not going to waste their time trying to save a buck, IMO. I peeked at the Kaleidescape store and the collection looks good—plus the prices are very competitive.

It is still a rather limited download selection when compared to iTunes and Vudu collections—but the ability to archive Blu-rays locally clearly helps offset that disadvantage.

I agree with you 95%. tongue.gif

I got some inside information for a few friends of mine that happen to be Kaleidescape dealers and they all say, it's a hard sell. Kaleidescape is a unique product and the best on the market. But the price tag is quite steep. Most of my friends clients are well off and spend lot's of money when it comes time to import flooring and exotic decor. But electronics and automation seems to fall between the cracks and gets allocated the smallest budget. Electronics don't sell a house unless you find someone who enjoys it and sees a real value. Most people will spend the money on expensive marble/granite etc...My friends mentioned that the majority of those clients tend to be more budget-weary.

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post #4 of 30 Old 05-13-2013, 06:42 AM
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post #5 of 30 Old 05-13-2013, 06:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VinnyS View Post


I agree with you 95%. tongue.gif

I got some inside information for a few friends of mine that happen to be Kaleidescape dealers and they all say, it's a hard sell. Kaleidescape is a unique product and the best on the market. But the price tag is quite steep. Most of my friends clients are well off and spend lot's of money when it comes time to import flooring and exotic decor. But electronics and automation seems to fall between the cracks and gets allocated the smallest budget. Electronics don't sell a house unless you find someone who enjoys it and sees a real value. Most people will spend the money on expensive marble/granite etc...My friends mentioned that the majority of those clients tend to be more budget-weary.

 

I've been in a gazillion multimillion dollar homes, as an architectural photographer. Ironically, it's usually my job to photograph the granite or the marble or whatever. I am constantly surprised at how little money is usually spent on electronics compared to other indulgences—like multiple full-sized pinball machines and all-Onyx bathrooms. On the other hand, when somebody who is wealthy is an A/V enthusiast, then you usually see something pretty darned spectacular. 
 
What I was postulating, was that a buyer who enthusiastically purchases a Kaleidescape system is likely a buyer would not chintz on their Internet. Because it goes hand-in-hand, willingly purchasing a system like that, and generally being willing to spend money on tech.

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post #6 of 30 Old 05-13-2013, 07:15 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imagic View Post

I've been in a gazillion multimillion dollar homes, as an architectural photographer. Ironically, it's usually my job to photograph the granite or the marble or whatever. I am constantly surprised at how little money is usually spent on electronics compared to other indulgences—like multiple full-sized pinball machines and all-Onyx bathrooms. On the other hand, when somebody who is wealthy is an A/V enthusiast, then you usually see something pretty darned spectacular. 
 
What I was postulating, was that a buyer who enthusiastically purchases a Kaleidescape system is likely a buyer would not chintz on their Internet. Because it goes hand-in-hand, willingly purchasing a system like that, and generally being willing to spend money on tech.

Agreed.

In turn, you really have two sets of Kaleidescape customers. The one who really want it and ask for it, and the other people that don't know about it and end up buying one. Initially, any new customer didn't need the bandwidth as it stored your physical collection. Anyone who now chooses to download Blu-rays will need to fork up extra bandwidth and the actual titles. It's convenient, but might be worth just buying the Blu-ray. Don't forget you need to add extra storage space once you start downloading. This adds extra costs in the end.

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post #7 of 30 Old 05-13-2013, 11:14 AM
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Once in awhile I get a bluray movie of a movie ive seen on tv, in a cinema, or online and from netflix so that I can give a friend or relative the dvd and also transfer a digital copy to myip
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Originally Posted by VinnyS View Post

Agreed.

In turn, you really have two sets of Kaleidescape customers. The one who really want it and ask for it, and the other people that don't know about it and end up buying one. Initially, any new customer didn't need the bandwidth as it stored your physical collection. Anyone who now chooses to download Blu-rays will need to fork up extra bandwidth and the actual titles. It's convenient, but might be worth just buying the Blu-ray. Don't forget you need to add extra storage space once you start downloading. This adds extra costs in the end.
Bluray is a great value.
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post #8 of 30 Old 05-13-2013, 11:26 AM
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I don't see how the the small number of owners of a Kaleidescape could impact the over volume of Blu Ray sales.

BD sales going up is very good news. Nothing speaks more volume to movie studio's then profit/sales numbers.
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post #9 of 30 Old 05-13-2013, 11:27 AM
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Expensive? Yes and not that I'd ever jump on the kaleidoscope bandwagon but I see it as, at least the quality is out there and getting better if you prefer streaming. For movies I really want I'll buy the blu ray and for the rest I'll rent on Vudu.
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post #10 of 30 Old 05-13-2013, 12:28 PM
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Originally Posted by comfynumb View Post

Expensive? Yes and not that I'd ever jump on the kaleidoscope bandwagon but I see it as, at least the quality is out there and getting better if you prefer streaming. For movies I really want I'll buy the blu ray and for the rest I'll rent on Vudu.

I feel the same way, I buy the movies that I really think are worth owning but other than that I rent from a red box/amazon instant/directv cinema

That said, a good home server that has all my movies and music on it one day would be really nice to have but I will most likely build my own.

Trying to enjoy the simple things in life.

 

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post #11 of 30 Old 05-13-2013, 01:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by comfynumb View Post

Expensive? Yes and not that I'd ever jump on the kaleidoscope bandwagon but I see it as, at least the quality is out there and getting better if you prefer streaming. For movies I really want I'll buy the blu ray and for the rest I'll rent on Vudu.

+1
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post #12 of 30 Old 05-13-2013, 05:21 PM
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I'm both a Kaleidescape owner, and a dealer. I do agree with most of what has been posted but I think it important to point out that over the many years of my ownership, and selling K sytems, the owner demographic has been changing. Although still a pricey proposition for most AV enthusiasts, the early days of K ownership were primarily the very wealthy, but over the years have reached to many moderate income folks that also happen to see the value in a K system from a home entertainment perspective. I'm not going to state here all the things a K system can do, that info is available in other threads and on K's website, but I can say, and all the owner's I know agree, it is the single best piece of AV gear in my system. It is also the one constant. I change projectors, screen sizes, processors, speakers, etc, every couple/few years, but the Kaleidescape system remains. My current system holds about 48TB of storage and I'm converting my DVD collection to Blu-ray just as soon as the BR becomes available, and I'm not alone. Currently, about 60% of our clients have upgraded their Servers to allow for the transition to BR, and many others are considering the same.

A Kaleidescape system is within the reach of anyone that can budget $10 - $12k towards what I believe is one of the best AV experiences available, and now that the K Store is open for downloads, I think K will soon reach out with new products to help reach the more mainstream marketplace.



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post #13 of 30 Old 05-13-2013, 06:16 PM
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Last I checked, $10-$12K did not get you much with K. Has that changed? You list 48TB and these prices in the same post, but my experience (been a while) your in the $30K plus club with that and a few players.
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post #14 of 30 Old 05-13-2013, 07:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thxman View Post

Last I checked, $10-$12K did not get you much with K. Has that changed? You list 48TB and these prices in the same post, but my experience (been a while) your in the $30K plus club with that and a few players.



Sorry if the 48TB was misleading, it was only referenced to point out the possibilities considering the Blu-ray download discussion. We regularly have new K owner's start at the price range I mentioned with up to 12TB of storage and full BR importing and playback. Your numbers are accurate for large capacity systems.


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post #15 of 30 Old 05-13-2013, 08:18 PM
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I will keep my 12TB NAS and MakeMKV.

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post #16 of 30 Old 05-14-2013, 08:29 AM
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Do the downloads from the K Store include lossless audio? One of main reasons I rent BluRay discs instead of watching streaming movies is because I'm convinced that the audio quality is superior on a disc that has lossless audio on it.

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post #17 of 30 Old 05-14-2013, 08:38 AM
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Do the downloads from the K Store include lossless audio? One of main reasons I rent BluRay discs instead of watching streaming movies is because I'm convinced that the audio quality is superior on a disc that has lossless audio on it.

Cal68
Yes the downloads do in fact include lossless audio and also any additional special features such as Director commentary as well.

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post #18 of 30 Old 05-14-2013, 09:55 AM
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I have a windows media center so I am aware of what a nice GUI experience can afford TV watching/file playback; however, I fail to understand how a piece of gear used to archive/playback Blu-rays is worth $10K and up. What's the problem with placing a disc into a player? Perhaps this is directed to projector-systems with hidden equipment racks? Why not a blu-ray disc changer? I understand how the GUI interface would be improved compared to a Blu-ray disc changer, but is it really worth 5 figures? I am genuinely interested in the advantages it holds over a disc changing system, because for me centralized storage/access of the movies is great, along with removing the previews/warnings/etc, but five figures? I guess it's all relative and everyone has their own priorities. The thing is I wired my whole house with gigabit and use media center with multiple extenders so I appreciate and could afford such a system, but I still don't see the value. Enlighten me, please biggrin.gif

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post #19 of 30 Old 05-14-2013, 01:05 PM
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Originally Posted by NeilPeart View Post

I have a windows media center so I am aware of what a nice GUI experience can afford TV watching/file playback; however, I fail to understand how a piece of gear used to archive/playback Blu-rays is worth $10K and up. What's the problem with placing a disc into a player? Perhaps this is directed to projector-systems with hidden equipment racks? Why not a blu-ray disc changer? I understand how the GUI interface would be improved compared to a Blu-ray disc changer, but is it really worth 5 figures? I am genuinely interested in the advantages it holds over a disc changing system, because for me centralized storage/access of the movies is great, along with removing the previews/warnings/etc, but five figures? I guess it's all relative and everyone has their own priorities. The thing is I wired my whole house with gigabit and use media center with multiple extenders so I appreciate and could afford such a system, but I still don't see the value. Enlighten me, please biggrin.gif

LOL, disclaimer: I'm not a K owner, nor will probably ever be for cost reasons alone...

disclaimer: I'm also a Dad with a 2 and 3 year old....

you can borrow them for 5 minutes if you like to see what difficulty is encountered when you mix them, pixie stix (or any sugar works just fine), and a little "alone" time... eek.gif

In all seriousness, the rug rats are my driver for finding systems to let me easily and quickly load up my collection on any tv or device anywhere.... the quest continues however.... need to find time and cost to put something together... mostly time, as when they aren't busy, i'm sleeping... smile.gifsmile.gif
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post #20 of 30 Old 05-14-2013, 01:44 PM
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I like the idea of setting up a NAS for BD but the cost is prohibitive. I have over 500 BDs and with a projection setup I would not want to further compress BDs to fit more on a server.

So let's figure 30G per movie just to store the video and audio files skipping all the special features. 500+ discs currently would require 15TB of storage. So even at this point I would probably need a NAS box with at least six slots with 3TB drives in each one. So the cost of the NAS box would be $800+ and the drive would run another $600 to $900 to store just what I currently have. Now I also typically add another 40 movies per yeara(maybe less now that my buying has slowed down) to my collection so I would need another drive every year or two. This NAS option is looking like a pretty big expense to make a point and click experience a reality. Also I didn't even figure in how long it would take to rip those movies onto the server.

In the end, it's just a hell of lot easier to get a disc out of the cabinet and put it in the player.

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post #21 of 30 Old 05-14-2013, 10:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JlgLaw View Post

I'm both a Kaleidescape owner, and a dealer. I do agree with most of what has been posted but I think it important to point out that over the many years of my ownership, and selling K sytems, the owner demographic has been changing. Although still a pricey proposition for most AV enthusiasts, the early days of K ownership were primarily the very wealthy, but over the years have reached to many moderate income folks that also happen to see the value in a K system from a home entertainment perspective. I'm not going to state here all the things a K system can do, that info is available in other threads and on K's website, but I can say, and all the owner's I know agree, it is the single best piece of AV gear in my system. It is also the one constant. I change projectors, screen sizes, processors, speakers, etc, every couple/few years, but the Kaleidescape system remains. My current system holds about 48TB of storage and I'm converting my DVD collection to Blu-ray just as soon as the BR becomes available, and I'm not alone. Currently, about 60% of our clients have upgraded their Servers to allow for the transition to BR, and many others are considering the same.

A Kaleidescape system is within the reach of anyone that can budget $10 - $12k towards what I believe is one of the best AV experiences available, and now that the K Store is open for downloads, I think K will soon reach out with new products to help reach the more mainstream marketplace.



Jim

Jim, when you say moderate income, what kind of numbers are you talking about?
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post #22 of 30 Old 05-15-2013, 07:19 AM
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Quote:
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In the end, it's just a hell of lot easier to get a disc out of the cabinet and put it in the player.
Cheaper, yes but compared to a K system, more work is involved, especially when you have multiple viewing locations. For example, let say you have 300 movies in your cabinet. What order are then in? Are they alphabetized, grouped by genre, etc? How much effort is it to maintain that organization when you bring home a few new movies?
With K, you can put the movie in the vault and walk away. The movie is even ready to watch if you choose. No other effort is needed other than figure out where to put your empty cases.
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post #23 of 30 Old 05-15-2013, 07:33 AM
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Not worth a several thousand dollar investment.

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post #24 of 30 Old 05-15-2013, 09:34 AM
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Not to everyone, but to some, yes it is. To each their own. I don't have a K system, btw. smile.gif
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post #25 of 30 Old 05-15-2013, 03:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by biliam1982 View Post

Jim, when you say moderate income, what kind of numbers are you talking about?


$60k - $80k annual, but these numbers are based only on conversations with fellow K owners, and not verified. (These are moderate incomes compared to most of my friends and clients.)




Jim
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post #26 of 30 Old 05-16-2013, 01:32 PM
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File server (or nas) + Dune + software jukebox = FTW. 98% of Kaleidescape functionality for 10% of the cost.

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post #27 of 30 Old 05-16-2013, 01:50 PM
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I think one of the reasons BR is picking up is the pricing, for those wanting to replace existing DVDs there has been a great number of $5 BRs over the last few months. With the trade in programs that now also includes all the $10 BRs too.
Last month I think I bought about 150 BRs, all under $5 if you factor in the trade ins.

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post #28 of 30 Old 05-16-2013, 03:49 PM
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File server (or nas) + Dune + software jukebox = FTW. 98% of Kaleidescape functionality for 10% of the cost.

I have to agree. I have this setup. My NAS is a approximately 68TB WHS2011 box. I'm considerately above the "moderate" income range Jim threw out above, and I still consider the K system too expensive for my needs (since I would need north of that 48TB system he described). I've got maybe $7k all in on my system (mostly the cost of 20 4tb drives), and it just works. The K system has to come down significantly in price for it to be a worthwhile investment to me, and based on some of your comments, even my relatively modest system (by comparison) is too expensive for some needs.
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post #29 of 30 Old 05-16-2013, 05:06 PM
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Originally Posted by JlgLaw View Post

$60k - $80k annual

I make significantly more than that in a month and i'm happy buying Blu-ray's and putting them on a shelf. Kaleidescape has priced itself out of the middle class markets.

Beer is the answer! What is the question?
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post #30 of 30 Old 05-18-2013, 08:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fuzzybear50 View Post

I make significantly more than that in a month and i'm happy buying Blu-ray's and putting them on a shelf. Kaleidescape has priced itself out of the middle class markets.



First, I've never heard anyone say K was aiming at the middle-class market, and if they were aiming at the "true" middle-class market, their prices would be significantly lower. It isn't for everyone, and obviously you are in that category. Nothing wrong with that, as others have said, to each his own. I also agree that not everyone that can afford a K system would buy one, the value in a K system stems from a desire in some of us to not have to search through 2,000 movie cases each time we desire to watch a movie, and then to further control the way we watch movies. Some of K's functionality is not available in other pieced together systems, mostly because of K's Patents, which is another draw to K for some of us.

That said, I've got two legitimate Billionaire friends that have seen the K system at my place and only one was interested in the system, probably just because it gave him something new to buy, not for the value I described. The other only watches movies a few times a year, so that explains his lack of interest. On the flip side, I've got a dozen friends that I'm sure make less than $70k a year and are happy K owners. To each his own.



Jim
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