I recently sat down with Cheena Srinivasan, Founder & Chief Executive Officer, Kaleidescape, about the past year and how Kaleidescape is differentiating itself as a premium solution. Part 1
Maureen Jenson: It’s been nearly a year since we last sat down. Can you share with our readers what Kaleidescape has been up to since then?
Cheena Srinivasan: Kaleidescape has made enormous progress on several fronts to live up to its purpose: To present the finest cinematic experience in the comfort of your home.
We have a very large installed base of systems comprising close to 100,000 disc-and download-based products. At CEDIA Expo last year, we began shipping our Co-Star 4K solution, which allows customers to have access to the latest 4K Ultra HD technology by way of our Encore line of products while allowing them to also seamlessly access the content on their existing disc-based Premiere systems.
We also recently integrated the Kaleidescape Movie Store within the onscreen display of our flagship Strato movie player. This has an innovative Pivot function, which provides an intuitive new way to explore the thousands of fine movies in our store. It also includes a powerful search feature to quickly find the exact title, actor, genre, or collection that interests our customers.
Kaleidescape focuses exclusively on luxury home cinema. We offer the finest, stress-and clutter-free user interface for enjoying a theatrical experience. More importantly, we have expanded from being a products-only supplier to residential system integrators to also become a premier content retailer. Kaleidescape offers timeless films from all the major Hollywood studios, and we offer the best selection of 4K movies anywhere. When we spoke last year, we had 4K Ultra HD titles from Warner Brothers and Sony Pictures. Over the past several months, we have announced the availability of amazingly high quality 4K and HDR titles with lossless surround sound from NBC, Universal, 20th Century Fox, Paramount Pictures, Walt Disney, and, this month, Lionsgate – which means that we now offer 4K Ultra HD films from all of the major studios. We now have license agreements with 29 studios, including several smaller, highly respected studios.
We have nearly 80 carefully curated movie collections, and we now offer a factory download service for customers who purchase movies or collections at the time they purchase their Strato player.
Lastly, we sell our products exclusively through residential system integrators, and we have new programs to help dealers migrate their customers from Premiere to Encore systems – that is, from Blu-ray quality to 4K Ultra HD with high dynamic range. These have been very well received.
MJ: With the option of inexpensive 4K HDR streaming content all around us, how does Kaleidescape differentiate itself as a premium solution?
CS: Our unique value proposition is simple: Kaleidescape is the only way to experience luxury home cinema. And for technology system integrators and consumers alike, there has never been a better time to have that experience.
But a luxury home cinema doesn’t have to be a dedicated theater room. It can be any quiet and darkened multi-function space within the home that is comfortable enough for spending time with friends and family. Most integrators would define a luxury home cinema as one that offers comfortable seats, a 4K screen that’s 70 inches or more, and excellent surround sound. Good acoustics are very important for faithful reproduction of the cinematic audio experience since the sound is often even more important than the video.
We understand that there is a race to the bottom, offering everything for less money, including 4K HDR films. But fortunately we’ve stayed committed to our purpose and value proposition by focusing on being the only online source for movies with full-fidelity audio and video to match the capabilities of luxury home cinema equipment.
The components that deliver an uncompromised cinematic experience are well understood by technology integrators: Source device, surround-sound processor, preamp and amplifier, large 4K HDR TV or front projector with a screen, and at least 5.1.2 surround speakers to support Dolby Atmos and DTS:X object-based audio in an acoustically treated room. Of course, this is even better when integrated with a simple and intuitive control system to automatically carry out the tasks traditionally performed by the projectionist at the neighborhood cinema – such as lighting, screen masking, and other customizations for movie playback.
We learn from our best dealers, and we understand that a great home cinema is only as good as the weakest link in the chain. That weak link is typically the source for streaming content. By contrast, a movie delivered on a Kaleidescape system is produced with enormous care and pride.
Here are some ways where we differ from other forms of online movie sources:
- Perfect Playback Experiences Every Time. Since Kaleidescape’s movies are available in the highest fidelity audio and video via download, customers will never experience problems with buffering, artifacts, motion blur, low-quality soundtracks, and so on.
- Cinema Quality Like No Other Service. Kaleidescape offers by far the best-quality cinematic reproduction of any Internet-based delivery system. We present flawless audio by delivering the movie so that the complete, lossless soundtracks in Dolby TrueHD and lossless Dolby Atmos or DTS-HD and DTS:X are made available for the preamp and amplifiers to reproduce cinematic surround sound. Kaleidescape’s soundtracks contain 26 to 64 times more information than the best streaming services. Likewise on the video side, streaming services embrace highly adaptive bitrates – technology to automatically throttle or increase the amount of information delivered to the display – which results in video quality changes while you’re watching the movie. Kaleidescape’s video delivers 4 to 10 times more information for the TV or projectors to decode and reproduce the image, and the quality never decreases.
- Designed for Luxury Home Cinema. Every Kaleidescape title comes with event cues that work seamlessly with a variety of home automation systems to dim the lights, open the screen curtain, adjust screen masking, and automatically choose the preferred language track, subtitles, and audio formats — the things that help create a truly cinematic experience.
A luxury home cinema depends on technology integrators to carefully make many fine audio and video brands work well with each other to create a symphony for your senses. There’s nothing better than that experience. Kaleidescape plays an important role as a luxury product and the premier content provider to enable this experience.
Next week I ask Cheena about ‘day & date movie releases at home’, the popularity of multi-use home theaters and CEDIA EXPO 2018!