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Kaleidescape and Toshiba Claim 1080p Upscaling Players Rival Blu-ray Print E-mail
Wednesday, 18 June 2008
ImageKaleidescape, known for their DVD and Blu-ray archiving systems have claimed that their new 1080p Player and 1080p Mini Player rival the viewing experience provided by Blu-ray using SD DVDs.  Kaleidescape is not the first to make this claim.  Toshiba recently announced that they would not support the Blu-ray market, and instead focus on their DVD upscaling technology. Toshiba was met with much criticism at the time of the announcement by both consumers and press.  It is likely Kaleidescape will be met with this same criticism.  The simple fact is that a DVD has 480 lines of resolution and Blu-ray has 1080 lines of resolution.  No matter the technology conversion process, SD DVDs cannot match the quality of Blu-ray.  SD DVDs have already lost the quality, you can't get it back.  This is analogous to the MP3 technology.  Once a CD is ripped to 128kbps, there is no going back to the 1411kbps CD.  The technical data is lost and any information added back to the file is just best guess.

Toshiba demonstrated their new upscaling technology, but failed to do a side by side comparison between their technology and Blu-ray.  Surely their upscaled content is going to look better than the SD DVD.  We all know that.  However, it is simply not possible to yield the same quality as Blu-ray.  However, Toshiba will be releasing future products with the upscaling chip instead of Blu-ray.  For example, their upcoming lineup of laptops will future upscaling DVD drives instead of Blu-ray drives.

Kaleidescape's technology, while most likely quite impressive, still is fighting against the physics of it all.  In addition the cost of the players make Blu-ray seem super cheap (even at the originally released prices).

Kaleidescape, Inc. introduced the 1080p Player and 1080p Mini Player – two Movie Players that produce stunning video quality from ordinary DVDs, providing a viewing experience that rivals Blu-ray. The new family of Players makes it possible to enjoy the Kaleidescape Experience even with DVDs and CDs that have not been imported into a Kaleidescape System, and a new form factor makes it possible to place a 1080p Mini Player anywhere in the home.

The 1080p Player is designed as a 1U rack mount device, and includes a DVD/CD-ROM drive for import and direct playback of DVDs and CDs. The 1080p Mini Player offers the video and audio performance of the 1080p Player, in a smaller package with a lower price. It is ideal for inconspicuous installation in viewing rooms where owners desire that A/V equipment be hidden.

"These new Players have achieved our goal of producing beautiful high definition video from the DVDs that we've all been collecting for years," said Michael Malcolm, Kaleidescape founder, chairman and CEO. "The new 1080p Players leverage Kaleidescape's extensive Movie Guide database to make the viewing experience even more entertaining. Our patent-pending video bookmarking changes the way rental movies are enjoyed – no more annoying trailers, advertisements and DVD menus. And the compact 1080p Mini Player saves valuable space so customers can enjoy their movies and music in more locations throughout the home."

"The new Kaleidescape Movie Player produces the best quality video I have ever seen from any source device," said David Raife, owner of Paragon Technology Group with offices in Aspen, Vail and Steamboat Springs, Colorado. "It makes DVDs look absolutely beautiful."

Features and Benefits of the New 1080p Players

1080p Video Output – The 1080p Movie Player upscales ordinary DVD content to beautiful high definition video, matching the highest resolution of today's display devices without the added cost and complexity of an external scaler. Crystal clear video and amazingly accurate colors provide a viewing experience rivaling that of Blu-ray.

Content-Aware Video Processing – The 1080p Movie Player adapts its video processing to the type of content being viewed to achieve results that are impossible for an external scaler. For example, the onscreen display (OSD) with its sharp edges and high contrast is processed differently than movies, which contain motion and natural colors. Information in Kaleidescape's extensive Movie Guide database is also used to tailor the viewing experience, for example, to automatically detect and expand movies to fill a 16:9 display without any user intervention.

Advanced DVD and CD Playback Features – The Kaleidescape Experience is now available for DVDs and CDs that have not been imported. The user may insert a disc into a 1080p Player and enjoy detailed information about the movie or album, including cover art, movie synopsis, album review, and track names. Selecting "Play Movie" on the OSD starts the movie instantly, without trailers or advertisements – even for rental movies! These features combine to make the 1080p Player the ultimate DVD/CD player.

Full Import Control – The 1080p Player prevents accidental imports of DVDs and CDs for less worrisome enjoyment of borrowed or rented movies. The import process is only initiated with a press of the Import button on the front panel, or by selecting "Import DVD" or "Import CD" on the OSD.

Small Size and Near-Silent Operation – The 1080p Mini Player's small size and near-silent operation make it an ideal free-standing device sitting on a shelf in the viewing room, hidden behind a plasma display, concealed in a cabinet, or mounted recessed in a wall or behind a piece of furniture. Installed in the viewing room and connected to a Kaleidescape Server via Ethernet, the 1080p Mini Player allows for 1080p video quality in more locations throughout the home.

Myriad Installation Options – The 1080p Mini Player includes a mounting bracket, making it quick to attach to any surface. Its mounting options allow for inconspicuous installation in a viewing room where the ability to import or play directly from DVDs and CDs is unnecessary. An optional rack-mount kit secures two 1080p Mini Players in a 1U shelf, doubling the rack density of the 1080p Player.

The 1080p Player is available now, and the 1080p Mini Player will be available in the second half of July, 2008.

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