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Planning my Kaleidescape entry – feedback please!

Edgar

Active member
Hi everyone, first post here!

I’m thinking about getting a Kaleidescape system, and would like to validate my thinking among owners. I have a dedicated home theater, and have posted some questions on another home theater forum that has some overlap in membership with this one. However, this will represent a big purchase for me, and I’d like to walk through my thinking here in the dedicated owners forum to both corroborate and cast a wider net for feedback.

I currently have a JVC NX5 projector (although I am replacing it with a JVC NZ7) in a dedicated, light-controlled room. It projects onto a 127” CinemaScope AT screen. Sound is 5.2.4, properly placed, treated, and room-corrected. Sources are an AppleTV 4K for streaming content, and an Oppo 203 for discs. I do not have a video processor or a control system, other than my Harmony Elite remote and regular Lutron Caseta light switches. I do have a Synology NAS and Plex set up, but just couldn’t bring myself to go through the whole ripping process. It’s basically a 4K77 and home data server. But it could also potentially host Home Assistant later in the journey.

What I like about my setup is that the mild-mannered Oppo I always had connected to a TV, turned into a superhero in the theater. I can keep my projector zoomed to 2.4:1 and enjoy a number of convenient features, like instant back and forth scaling to 16:9; the ability to share that feature with my AppleTV via HDMI pass-through; and best of all, having subtitles, transport timeline, and top menu fully moved to the 2.4:1 body of the image.

What I’m thinking I’ll get from a K system is a more sophisticated version of those scaling and self-contained 2.4:1 operations, plus the convenience of not dealing with discs, and some film-specific content features that come from being a dedicated movie player with locally stored and indexed digital versions of the films. I’m excited to see how much more I can enjoy my movie collection when they’re not trapped in the Phantom Zone of my disc wall.

I am also motivated by growing problems with physical media. I recently enjoyed a renaissance with 4K discs once I set up my theater. Discs far eclipse streaming to my eye and ear, which became more obvious when spread across 127” and a dome of spatial sound. So I ramped back up, and enjoyed collecting the Steelbook versions of the discs. However, with The Digital Bits breaking the news that Best Buy is getting out of physical, that means the US is losing its main source of Steelbook exclusives. Maybe another will pick it up. But it’s happening at the same time that several major releases that I want to see are not getting a 4K disc. I wanted to see The Whale and A Haunting in Venice, and buy them on 4K disc. I don’t want to rent them on streaming. I have gigabit fiber, but even as good as streaming has become, I still see motion hiccups, compression artifacts, and several other small inconveniences that I know I don’t actually have to deal with. I want to watch these movies as a seamless simulation of seeing them in a movie theater.

So I’m at K’s door. Given this class of products seems 10x the cost of adjacent hardware, I was leaning toward a cheaper way in, a used Strato S with 12TB onboard. However, given how much K retains value, it would have cost only 20% more to get a new bundle of the Strato C and an 8TB drive – that would also be faster and snappier. But also a step down in storage. Thinking further, I do consistently have about 275 films in my core collection, I would have that space on a 22TB bundle for about 25% more from the 8TB bundle. And if I’m going to eventually settle in at the mid-tier option, which I usually do, then I’m actually saving myself time and money by just getting the correct system the first time. I realize this reads like a slippery slope as well, so that’s the part I really would appreciate feedback on. Sorry about the long road to get here, but hopefully the context helps provide the relevant details for a choice that really depends on the individual’s key factors. What do you think of my plan? If my thought process sounds familiar, but in your experience you found satisfaction in a different way, please share your thoughts!
 
Welcome to the forum Edgar!

I can’t speak for everyone but I bet most wished they purchased more storage up front. Now, you can always add more later so it’s not the end of the world, but I’ve seen many new owners fill up their initial servers much quicker than anticipated. And yes, the auto masking of the K system will work great with your set up although you may need to rethink your control system. I’m no expert, but you typically need your control system to capture the metadata and I’m not familiar enough with the Harmony to know if it does that. Is it on the network or is it IR or RS-232?

Hope you enjoy the K experience… it kicks butt

Andy


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
If going preowned, you can find used original Strato units with 6tb built in for around 3k now. That'll help you dip your toes in the ecosystem to check it out, but if looking at new I'd suggest a minimum of 22tb to start, and even then you'll fill it fast. Though you can always delete and re-download at no charge from the store anytime should space become an issue. Talk to Cinelife here and he can help get you set up!
 
Thanks for the feedback everyone! I do like the idea of the dipped toe, I guess I just don’t have a clear view on those options. Sounds like I need to talk to @cinelife!
 
Thanks for the reach out, I just responded to your PM.

Jim
 
The cool thing about the 8tb system is that even if it's not enough space, the movies download between 8 and 15 minutes. So you can get some popcorn and use the bathroom and by time you're back the movie is ready to go.
 
I went Strato C and 22TB, basically filled it up in a month. Although I did disc 2 digital for about 287 movies. Although you can delete and redownload, I do like just having everything there already. I ended up buying, through this forum, a gently used 48TB server for what I felt was a good deal. Think I’ve doubled my collection since getting that additional server. I still have 200+ movies in my wishlist.

I might be a little unique. I have a little bit of an ocd to me. So I must have all the movies in a content set, even if there were ones I didn’t like, and I’ve been buying movies from my childhood that I could probably easily catch on regular TV.
 
Fully understand that and have >7000 films and TV series on my Premier servers a lot of which will never be in the store. I have added 2 Terra's to my system but still space there and whilst I still buy DVD's (not often Blu-ray disks) especially TV series as have to have the set!
 
And if I’m going to eventually settle in at the mid-tier option, which I usually do, then I’m actually saving myself time and money by just getting the correct system the first time. I realize this reads like a slippery slope as well, so that’s the part I really would appreciate feedback on.
Do slopes come in another flavor (not counting sheer cliffs that you thought was a slope because you leaned too far over the ledge?) I think it's like most AV purchases: you're almost never going to wish for less, so go as big as you can afford.

...unless looking for things to delete & playing storage-Tetris sounds like a fun hobby (I have never found it to be enjoyable.)
 
I’m in the same boat. I do have a question about eventually moving up in storage space. What is the rate controlling step in download speeds? Is it the Strato S, an attached server or both?

David
 
I’m in the same boat. I do have a question about eventually moving up in storage space. What is the rate controlling step in download speeds? Is it the Strato S, an attached server or both?

David
If I understand your question, the download speed limit is determined by the destination device, so it will usually be the server with the most free space available (if you have one actively connected.)
 
I’m in the same boat. I do have a question about eventually moving up in storage space. What is the rate controlling step in download speeds? Is it the Strato S, an attached server or both?

David
If there is a Terra or a Compact Terra server present in your system, by default, your downloads will go to this server until it is full. To download anything onto a Strato or Strato S, you would need to remove the Terra server from your system or wait for it to be full.

The download speeds vary based on the processing power, the network interface and the operating system (software curtailment) of each unit. Strato and Strato S are bottlenecked by their processing power and possibly by some software curtailment to avoid any lock ups (i.e. no downloads while playback).
 
Hi everyone, first post here!

I’m thinking about getting a Kaleidescape system, and would like to validate my thinking among owners. I have a dedicated home theater, and have posted some questions on another home theater forum that has some overlap in membership with this one. However, this will represent a big purchase for me, and I’d like to walk through my thinking here in the dedicated owners forum to both corroborate and cast a wider net for feedback.

I currently have a JVC NX5 projector (although I am replacing it with a JVC NZ7) in a dedicated, light-controlled room. It projects onto a 127” CinemaScope AT screen. Sound is 5.2.4, properly placed, treated, and room-corrected. Sources are an AppleTV 4K for streaming content, and an Oppo 203 for discs. I do not have a video processor or a control system, other than my Harmony Elite remote and regular Lutron Caseta light switches. I do have a Synology NAS and Plex set up, but just couldn’t bring myself to go through the whole ripping process. It’s basically a 4K77 and home data server. But it could also potentially host Home Assistant later in the journey.

What I like about my setup is that the mild-mannered Oppo I always had connected to a TV, turned into a superhero in the theater. I can keep my projector zoomed to 2.4:1 and enjoy a number of convenient features, like instant back and forth scaling to 16:9; the ability to share that feature with my AppleTV via HDMI pass-through; and best of all, having subtitles, transport timeline, and top menu fully moved to the 2.4:1 body of the image.

What I’m thinking I’ll get from a K system is a more sophisticated version of those scaling and self-contained 2.4:1 operations, plus the convenience of not dealing with discs, and some film-specific content features that come from being a dedicated movie player with locally stored and indexed digital versions of the films. I’m excited to see how much more I can enjoy my movie collection when they’re not trapped in the Phantom Zone of my disc wall.

I am also motivated by growing problems with physical media. I recently enjoyed a renaissance with 4K discs once I set up my theater. Discs far eclipse streaming to my eye and ear, which became more obvious when spread across 127” and a dome of spatial sound. So I ramped back up, and enjoyed collecting the Steelbook versions of the discs. However, with The Digital Bits breaking the news that Best Buy is getting out of physical, that means the US is losing its main source of Steelbook exclusives. Maybe another will pick it up. But it’s happening at the same time that several major releases that I want to see are not getting a 4K disc. I wanted to see The Whale and A Haunting in Venice, and buy them on 4K disc. I don’t want to rent them on streaming. I have gigabit fiber, but even as good as streaming has become, I still see motion hiccups, compression artifacts, and several other small inconveniences that I know I don’t actually have to deal with. I want to watch these movies as a seamless simulation of seeing them in a movie theater.

So I’m at K’s door. Given this class of products seems 10x the cost of adjacent hardware, I was leaning toward a cheaper way in, a used Strato S with 12TB onboard. However, given how much K retains value, it would have cost only 20% more to get a new bundle of the Strato C and an 8TB drive – that would also be faster and snappier. But also a step down in storage. Thinking further, I do consistently have about 275 films in my core collection, I would have that space on a 22TB bundle for about 25% more from the 8TB bundle. And if I’m going to eventually settle in at the mid-tier option, which I usually do, then I’m actually saving myself time and money by just getting the correct system the first time. I realize this reads like a slippery slope as well, so that’s the part I really would appreciate feedback on. Sorry about the long road to get here, but hopefully the context helps provide the relevant details for a choice that really depends on the individual’s key factors. What do you think of my plan? If my thought process sounds familiar, but in your experience you found satisfaction in a different way, please share your thoughts!
I’m a Kaleidescape dealer in Port Saint Lucie Florida. www.atlanticaudiovideosolutios.com
 
Hi,
Are the download times faster since you added the terra. Was thinking of going this route as well.. Thanks, Lou
Once you add the Terra, all movies downloaded will go to the Terra (until it's full) and will take advantage of Terra's faster download speeds. (Assuming your internet service and local network support the higher speeds.)
 
A seeingly unpopular opinion, and one that will save you a lot of money: Unless you have multiple Strato players all over the house, with different family members accessing different films in your library at any given moment. it does not make sound financial sense to buy the expensive storage option. If you have one home cinema, like myself, you can only watch one film at a time anyway. In many cases, after watching a film, I have no interest in watching it again. Even if I do, I will most often immediately delete it. It really is not a problem to delete content as you watch it, delete unwatched films for to download films that you want to watch more, and generally use your storage to just keep what you really care cached out and ready to watch. I have a 6 GB Terra, and it's absolutely fine. I can still browse my entire library and download what I wish as I need it. As it is, I am about 100 films behind and I have no idea when I will watch this...or how many pounds I will gain by not getting the exercise that I used to get before I bought this system. :)
Save the 22TB and 48TB storage options for that yacht that you buy one day...when you are out sailing the world with no internet connection ; )
My two cents.
Cheers!
 
I don't think that opinion is necessarily unpopular, it's more related to personal preference, how you prefer to use your system, and how comfortable you are regularly deleting and downloading. I also think there's a difference between those that are true movie collectors, and those adding some form of Kaleidescape just to obtain the highest quality movie watching experience, with no real interest in collecting. Obviously cost is also a factor for some K owners, but not others, so it's nice to have Server options to support our personal choices. There are folks with 6TB Terra's, and others with four 96TB Servers that would prefer more storage, but are adhering to the four Server max recommendation. :)

Regardless of the equipment we own and how we use it, we have two things in common, we want the highest quality movie watching experience, and we selected Kaleidescape because it provides that experience.

Jim
 
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