Kaleidescape Introduces Cinema One, a More Affordable Movie Server - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 56 Old 07-23-2013, 10:44 AM - Thread Starter
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Kaleidescape is well known for its ultra-high-end, ultra-expensive movie-server system as well as its legal battles over protecting the copyrights of movies that are imported from physical discs onto its hard-disk-based servers. Today, the company announced a new product that brings its highly regarded system to a wider audience.

 

 

The Cinema One is Kaleidescape's first product to be sold at retail rather than through custom installers. For a list price of $3995, the Cinema One can store and instantly access up to 100 Blu-ray or 600 DVD-quality movies, and two units can be combined to double the capacity and allow owners to view the combined library on a second TV.

 

The highlight of all Kaleidescape systems is the user interface that is based on the company's Movie Guide, which includes over a quarter million titles. Movies are presented with high-resolution cover art and a short synopsis; as users browse, the system highlights similar movies based on genre, director, actors, and more. Even better, movies are played without the delays of previews, menus, or ads. Cinema One also connects to any home-automation system, allowing one-touch integration of playback, lights, screen masking, etc. In addition, Kaleidescape's CinemaScape feature lets you use a fixed anamorphic lens on a projector and automatically processes the signal to display the correct aspect ratio on a 2.35:1 screen.

 

Movies can be imported into the Cinema One from physical discs via its optical disc drive or purchased from the online Kaleidescape Store, which offers movies with the same audio/video quality of Blu-ray discs. Downloads include all the special features, audio tracks, and extra content that is otherwise available only on the physical disc.

 

If you want to watch a Blu-ray title that was imported from a disc, that disc must be in the Cinema One's drive in order to comply with copyright law. This obviates some of the advantage offered by a movie server—after all, you still have to find the disc and put it in the drive to watch the movie.

 

The jury is still out—literally—on Kaleidescape's legal battles over DVDs as court appeals remain pending. Meanwhile, owners can import DVDs to the server and play them at will without needing to put the DVD in the drive. I found it interesting that the press release says, "...viewers can browse through hundreds of movies in a snap, no longer having to search through stacks of DVD cases." Notice it doesn't say, "...no longer having to search through stacks of Blu-ray cases," which you still have to do. And if the legal appeals don't go Kaleidescape's way, who knows what restrictions will be placed on existing owners?

 

For me, the bottom line is, if you don't already have the Blu-ray or DVD and you want the Cinema One server, get the titles from the Kaleidescape Store and avoid all the legal mishegas and having to insert a Blu-ray disc into the drive. That way, you can enjoy all that the Kaleidescape system has to offer—and it offers a lot.

 

The Cinema One is the first in Kaleidescape's Cinema line of more affordable products for smaller installations; the current high-end system will now be known as the Premiere line and is intended for professional custom installation. The new server is available at all Magnolia Design Centers, any of Kaleidescape's 1800 dealers worldwide, or directly from store.kaleidescape.com (US only).

 

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post #2 of 56 Old 07-23-2013, 11:18 AM
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Nice write up Scott.

Effectively $40 per movie (not to mention high $4000 entry cost), plus the cost of the disc, plus you need to put the disc in?



That's a tough sale, even though this system is substantially cheaper than their previous offerings. If you need to put the disc in for Blu-ray quality, there seems to be absolutely no point to this.

If you're going to get an online copy, why not get an Apple TV and buy/rent the movie from iTunes or one of many other systems just like that, which can be done for a fraction of the price? I may be missing the point, but I just can't find it.
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post #3 of 56 Old 07-23-2013, 11:19 AM
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post #4 of 56 Old 07-23-2013, 11:52 AM
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4grand can buy a lot of hard drives for a HTPC...

I have a 400 disc DVD changer that I bought way back in the hayday of dvd's. it didn't have the sophistication of the menu art and all that, but it was also less than 300bux. seems like if you have to insert the disc to play blurays, a similar carousel design and less hard drive storage would be a lot more sense. i'm sure the menu system and all that stuff could be added to either one fairly easily(meaning it'll work for either about the same)

I just see this one of two ways, either it's convenient because you don't have to physically pick a movie, or it's not.

4grand is a lot of money to pay for a personalized IMDB to help you decide what movie you want to insert into your bluray player...

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post #5 of 56 Old 07-23-2013, 12:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Done Deal DR View Post

Nice write up Scott.

Effectively $40 per movie (not to mention high $4000 entry cost), plus the cost of the disc, plus you need to put the disc in?



That's a tough sale, even though this system is substantially cheaper than their previous offerings. If you need to put the disc in for Blu-ray quality, there seems to be absolutely no point to this.

If you're going to get an online copy, why not get an Apple TV and buy/rent the movie from iTunes or one of many other systems just like that, which can be done for a fraction of the price? I may be missing the point, but I just can't find it.

That is a fiercely debated topic and I wrote a series of comparisons looking at the quality differences between Blu-ray and iTunes, Vudu, etc. Ultimately, online-delivery services do not match Blu-ray quality, at least not yet. What the Kaleidescape store offers is legal, disc-free Blu-ray files—the actual data from the Blu-ray itself. Often that includes special features, uncompressed sound and better picture quality. On the flip-side, the selection in the Kaleidescape online store is somewhat limited, indicating that not all studios are on-board with Blu-ray without the disc as a concept.

I do know this, I've seen AVS members ask for precisely this device. It is still a costly option, no doubt... but so is deciding to build a dedicated home theater. What's the total cost per-movie once the projector (or flat panel), surround system, seating, etc. is accounted for?

Personally, I have settled on iTunes, but I can see this appealing to those who can afford it.

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post #6 of 56 Old 07-23-2013, 02:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imagic View Post

That is a fiercely debated topic and I wrote a series of comparisons looking at the quality differences between Blu-ray and iTunes, Vudu, etc. Ultimately, online-delivery services do not match Blu-ray quality, at least not yet. What the Kaleidescape store offers is legal, disc-free Blu-ray files—the actual data from the Blu-ray itself. Often that includes special features, uncompressed sound and better picture quality. On the flip-side, the selection in the Kaleidescape online store is somewhat limited, indicating that not all studios are on-board with Blu-ray without the disc as a concept.

I do know this, I've seen AVS members ask for precisely this device. It is still a costly option, no doubt... but so is deciding to build a dedicated home theater. What's the total cost per-movie once the projector (or flat panel), surround system, seating, etc. is accounted for?

Personally, I have settled on iTunes, but I can see this appealing to those who can afford it.

I've watched the webisode you were on with Scott and found it entertaining. Clearly iTunes et all don't offer the exact same quality as Blu-ray, especially with certain styles of content as you pointed out in comparing different sources and have also done in your comparisons you post. Of course this is why I buy Blu-ray's, the quality is almost always there and if it isn't... well, this site and/or blu-ray.com will tell me about it, and clearly the quality won't be there for the digital downloads either.

It is legal, I'll give it that... but can we really call it "disc-free" when the disc must be inserted each time to view? I feel like you're right back at the same point I am, placing a blu-ray in my Oppo each time I want to view. Except I still have $4000.

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post #7 of 56 Old 07-23-2013, 02:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Done Deal DR View Post

I've watched the webisode you were on with Scott and found it entertaining. Clearly iTunes et all don't offer the exact same quality as Blu-ray, especially with certain styles of content as you pointed out in comparing different sources and have also done in your comparisons you post. Of course this is why I buy Blu-ray's, the quality is almost always there and if it isn't... well, this site and/or blu-ray.com will tell me about it, and clearly the quality won't be there for the digital downloads either.

It is legal, I'll give it that... but can we really call it "disc-free" when the disc must be inserted each time to view? I feel like you're right back at the same point I am, placing a blu-ray in my Oppo each time I want to view. Except I still have $4000.

What might have been missed here, is that if you buy the Blu-ray title from the Kaleidescape store, you don't need the physical disc at all, yet you do get the full Blu-ray content in data form. The need for the physical disc is specific to Blu-rays purchased elsewhere, on physical media; not the Kaleidescape store.

It's an admittedly pricey option, especially with UHD streaming on the horizon. My guess is UHD streaming will look like Blu-ray, when displayed at 1080p.

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post #8 of 56 Old 07-23-2013, 03:48 PM
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They just dont get it, if they want to reach a wider audience they will need to get it well under a grand or we will just use our htpc. and have it make financial sense, 100 blurays wont cut it for most who collect blurays and would be interested in this product, i need something with 400, so i need to look at the way more expensive models.
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post #9 of 56 Old 07-23-2013, 06:06 PM
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Who is the CEO of Kaleidescape? W.C. Fields great grandson? rolleyes.gif
$800 for a 2TB disk? https://store.kaleidescape.com/hardware/details/disk-2000L
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post #10 of 56 Old 07-23-2013, 06:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imagic View Post

What might have been missed here, is that if you buy the Blu-ray title from the Kaleidescape store, you don't need the physical disc at all, yet you do get the full Blu-ray content in data form. The need for the physical disc is specific to Blu-rays purchased elsewhere, on physical media; not the Kaleidescape store.

It's an admittedly pricey option, especially with UHD streaming on the horizon. My guess is UHD streaming will look like Blu-ray, when displayed at 1080p.

That is a good point, no other way to legally get the quality discless right now. As you said UHD will probably look lice decent 1080p which could be interesting.

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post #11 of 56 Old 07-23-2013, 06:21 PM
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Originally Posted by olyteddy View Post

Who is the CEO of Kaleidescape? W.C. Fields great grandson? rolleyes.gif
$800 for a 2TB disk? https://store.kaleidescape.com/hardware/details/disk-2000L
No, P.T. Barnum's. "There's a sucker born every minute". wink.gif
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post #12 of 56 Old 07-23-2013, 07:27 PM
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I don't think any movie server is worth it right now. Requires too many hard drives + enough to backup + power to keep it running. Now a music server is another story. wink.gif
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post #13 of 56 Old 07-23-2013, 08:26 PM
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I just can't believe there is a market for that product. I built a 12TB Synology NAS for around $1100, add Make MKV or PavTube Bytecopy +XBMC and I have something a whole lot more functional. I have almost 300 Blu-ray's now and keep all the originals up on the closet shelf. If they would give me the ability to have a byte for byte download I wouldn't need to do that. I am where the industry wants me to be with digital media, they just aren't up with me on my quality expectations. smile.gif
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post #14 of 56 Old 07-23-2013, 08:43 PM
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I feel like you're right back at the same point I am, placing a blu-ray in my Oppo each time I want to view. Except I still have $4000.

^This +10. I would rather fork out 4k on some new equipment or more blu rays. I have no problem switching out my discs. I also have four remotes and have to press 5 buttons to get the ball rolling...and I don't mind it at all. It's part of the process that I enjoy - it's like A/V foreplay.

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post #15 of 56 Old 07-24-2013, 12:04 AM
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Wow, it cost me about $600 dollars to build my 15TB UnRaid server, which stores all of my media. I bought two Dune Media Players for approximately $450. Installed Zappiti and Yadis for jukeboxes, and I can play all of my BD's and DVD's content with a nice jukebox. eek.gif I'm not really sure who is going to be buying this!

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post #16 of 56 Old 07-24-2013, 04:21 AM
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This seems like the biggest waste of money I've seen on here so far, especially for 4 G's, gimme a break. And you have to put discs you already bought in the player anyway to watch them? No thanks, I'll take the extra 15 seconds it takes to open the BD case and pull the disc out. I can think of a ton of things I'd rather spend four grand on in my HT. Like 2 PC13 ultras.
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post #17 of 56 Old 07-24-2013, 04:34 AM
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This seems like the biggest waste of money I've seen on here so far, especially for 4 G's, gimme a break. And you have to put discs you already bought in the player anyway to watch them? No thanks, I'll take the extra 15 seconds it takes to open the BD case and pull the disc out. I can think of a ton of things I'd rather spend four grand on in my HT. Like 2 PC13 ultras.

While I agree that pricey gear might not make sense to a budget-conscious consumer, there is a market for luxury and convenience. This system is for people who can afford to go disc-free while demanding Blu-ray quality. It can't be cheap, getting the licensing that's needed to distribute Blu-rays through online delivery.

As for the PC13 Ultras? I've spent enough time in the AVS DIY section to have heard the exact same thing said about that sub, that you just said about the Kaleidescape. They are great subs, just as kaleidescape is a great media server system... but with DIY both the K and the SVS could be beaten handily in terms of performance, and at a lower cost. It just so happens that subwoofers and media servers are two areas where DIY works... same with screens and acoustic treatments. DIY AVRs and projectors are not so popular.
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post #18 of 56 Old 07-24-2013, 05:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imagic View Post

While I agree that pricey gear might not make sense to a budget-conscious consumer, there is a market for luxury and convenience. This system is for people who can afford to go disc-free while demanding Blu-ray quality. It can't be cheap, getting the licensing that's needed to distribute Blu-rays through online delivery.

The budget-conscious consumer buys $80 Magnavox BD players from Wal Mart. Everyone commenting on this thread are enthusiasts who don't mind spending money, as long as it's spent wisely.

$800 for a 2tb hdd, $1300 for a 4tb hdd, $39 for a $15 WMC remote. The customer for this is a person who has read about people putting their entire movie collection on hdd's, but hasn't done any research about it. The "more money than brains" consumer.
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post #19 of 56 Old 07-24-2013, 05:52 AM
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The budget-conscious consumer buys $80 Magnavox BD players from Wal Mart. Everyone commenting on this thread are enthusiasts who don't mind spending money, as long as it's spent wisely.

$800 for a 2tb hdd, $1300 for a 4tb hdd, $39 for a $15 WMC remote. The customer for this is a person who has read about people putting their entire movie collection on hdd's, but hasn't done any research about it. The "more money than brains" consumer.

The only thing I would argue there... quite a few people who have the money to spare, and can afford "luxury" items, turn out to be very smart—and more concerned with simplicity and saving time, rather than saving a buck.

I am not a Kaleidescape customer nor do I plan on buying one, but after doing some research I can at least see value in the system—if money was not an object. Millionaires account for the literal majority of all dollars spent on home theater, even though their numbers are much smaller than middle-class consumers, who make up almost the entire other half of the market. So, there is a market for this.

I ought to be more clear though, when I said "consumer" I really meant "home theater enthusiast"... not Wal-mart shoppers buying the cheapest possible Blu-ray player for a $300, 42" TV.

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post #20 of 56 Old 07-24-2013, 06:17 AM
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I wouldn't buy this thing if it was $500. The glaring issue is is that you would have to rebuy your entire BD collection from kaleidescope for this to actually be convenient. Plus it only holds 100 titles.

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post #21 of 56 Old 07-24-2013, 06:32 AM
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I wouldn't buy this thing if it was $500. The glaring issue is is that you would have to rebuy your entire BD collection from kaleidescope for this to actually be convenient. Plus it only holds 100 titles.

That's a valid point, but probably not an issue for those who can afford to buy one in the first place. The per-movie price at the Kaleidescape store is reasonable, and I personally don't have 100 movies that I would watch again in my collection—few people do. Most of my Blu-rays are gathering dust. I would think that someone who buys one of these might replace a few key movies with all-digital versions, but not an entire collection—to save some space for new releases.

Personally, I'm getting a PS4. UHD streaming is what I'm interested in.

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post #22 of 56 Old 07-24-2013, 07:35 AM
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well i think this kind of product is for people very very rich... kind of for celebrities or big CEO's of companies. many of us here on the forum know how to install and operating system on a computer, install a media center software, rip blu rays, etc... but those rich people just wants to click on the controller and have it there, something that never fails or needs maintenance, they don't want to go to the store to buy a blu ray.

if i was earning around 3 million dollars a year.. i wouldn't mind to buy this.
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post #23 of 56 Old 07-24-2013, 07:51 AM
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Having to put still put discs in just obviates the appeal of a system like this.

The whole appeal would be sitting down, turning on your system, having all your titles appear on the screen for selection, and then simply selecting whatever you wanted to watch.
This product offers you essentially just a cataloging of your titles, so you search through your titles and say "I want to watch that" and then you have go get your Blu-Ray and put it in the player
anyway, just like before you bought this thing.

If I just wanted some nice on-screen depiction of my movie library, Movie cataloging software is everywhere and dirt cheap. I can look at all my titles on My Movie catalogue software, in beautiful quality, to decide what to watch. And I've spent, what, $15 or whatever to get this. And it's vastly faster simply using an iPhone to scan the bar code - 'bing' - and it's in the collection, vs having to import a full Blu-Ray into a system that is going to demand I KEEP PUTTING THE BLU RAY in the player anyway.

Oh, but you can search from a comparatively tiny collection from Kaleidescape on line to download...or possibly find some titles you already own and re-buy them, simply to get the convenience you originally wanted from the system...for a few titles.

This item is a complete fail, IMO.

Kaleidescape knows how ridiculous this makes them look and they are no doubt grinding their teeth while this litigation goes on.
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post #24 of 56 Old 07-24-2013, 08:12 AM
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Why would they even put this on the market without having the legalities surrounding what is essentially the entire point of the system resolved?

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post #25 of 56 Old 07-24-2013, 08:12 AM
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Does any digital download come close to the bluray image?

I know that none of the streaming image is as good as the disc but I am really curious about the full movie downloads....

My biggest worry with going all digital is that I dont know if any of the services keep track of everything that you have bought.

Steam, which is what I use for videogame downloads, keeps track of my purchases and I can delete/reinstall any game that I have bought at any time. If this was an option for some Digital movies in HD I would be more willing to try it because the risk of losing my movies is pretty much eliminated....

I also would like to see these digital movies come through in atleast 5.1 audio...but I would of course prefer HD audio.

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post #26 of 56 Old 07-24-2013, 08:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Kimeran View Post

Does any digital download come close to the bluray image?

I know that none of the streaming image is as good as the disc but I am really curious about the full movie downloads....

My biggest worry with going all digital is that I dont know if any of the services keep track of everything that you have bought.

Steam, which is what I use for videogame downloads, keeps track of my purchases and I can delete/reinstall any game that I have bought at any time. If this was an option for some Digital movies in HD I would be more willing to try it because the risk of losing my movies is pretty much eliminated....

I also would like to see these digital movies come through in atleast 5.1 audio...but I would of course prefer HD audio.

Just to re-iterate... the downloads from the Kaleidescape store are identical to a physical Blu-ray. Same file size, same data, same special features. Therefore, through its online store, kaleidescape is offering the exact same image, same sound quality as a Blu-ray disc. Because it is the same.

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post #27 of 56 Old 07-24-2013, 08:37 AM
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But dont you have to have a Kaleidescape unit to download from them?

Trying to enjoy the simple things in life.

 

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post #28 of 56 Old 07-24-2013, 08:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Kimeran View Post

But dont you have to have a Kaleidescape unit to download from them?

Yes, that is the catch.

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post #29 of 56 Old 07-24-2013, 08:48 AM
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See, I would think if they offered a service that pushed their digital downloads and they kept track of your purchases in case you ever lost something they would drum up more business...

That way their name was maybe out there just a little bit more....

Trying to enjoy the simple things in life.

 

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post #30 of 56 Old 07-24-2013, 10:38 AM
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They just dont get it, if they want to reach a wider audience they will need to get it well under a grand or we will just use our htpc. and have it make financial sense, 100 blurays wont cut it for most who collect blurays and would be interested in this product, i need something with 400, so i need to look at the way more expensive models.

agreed. i have over 1000 movies on my HTPC with plenty of space for more. 100 would be a HUGE downgrade. and i bought the HTPC for about 600bux, spent maybe another 600 on HDD's. now if i kept FULL BD's, i'd probably be closer to 200-250 movies, but that's still more for less no matter how you look at it.

they are trying to sell some great software, but have it attached to some horribly overpriced hardware.

it's a cool system for those with money to burn, but this is a huge miss for a value oriented market. i'd much rather deal with 'pc issues' once or twice a month and save thousands of dollars

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