|Posted on May 17, 2010 at 4:58 PM|
If you've been following my Kaleidescape posts, you'll know that I've recently questioned their plans for the future, covered their new Blu-player announcement, posted K'scape owners concerns over the new players, and most recently posted an update that included a personal response from K-CEO, Michael Malcolm. Amidst all this, i've been waiting for my rBlu-player review system to arrive, and I can say, that wait is over! (I knew they were totally committed to getting me a player ASAP when Diana Cartwright, VP of corporate communication, said she'd pull out her personal system if they couldn't procure a demo quick enough!)
Came home from some errands today to find 4 boxes on the porch -- 1 small, 2 medium and 1 *massive* -- barely sheltered from a pretty big rain (the two mediums are for another review system I'm working on for Jeremy G over at Resi---I am now as loaded with review gear as I have EVER been; with 5 complete systems in my possession!) The small box held a mini-player, which I asked Kaleidescape to send to get a real comparison of JUST how good the new HD GUI is compared to the old, and nothing beats a side-by-side for that. But I have to literally tumble the massive box inside, and I'm wondering just what is inside of it.
After I get the box in and cut it open, it was immediately clear that Kaledescape *knows* how to send a review system, and that they should create a primer for other companies. As I start unboxing, I find they've sent me 6 Terabytes worth of storage. Beneath that are two brand new, quality 5-meter HDMI cables. then I find a Case Logic case packed with Blu-ray discs. Then at the bottom of the box is a Pelican case that is pre-racked with a 1U Server, a new Blu-player, a fan and power kit and a Gigabit router. The cables are all labeled and neatly coiled. Now, I'm a pretty competent reviewer -- when not reviewing, my "day job" is to *charge* people to hook this stuff up, but that puts me in a relatively small group of the reviewer population. With this kit, Kaleidescape insures that their system will be installed correctly with the minimum amount of fuss and problems. That's smart! And even knowing what I'm doing, it is a welcome thing to literally have to plug in 3 cables (HDMI, Cat5 and 1 power) to make the system work.
They've also pre-loaded the server with 121 movies -- 38 of which are Blu-ray -- and 84 albums. (In case you're curious, that leaves 1.8 Terabytes of storage, or enough for 48 Blu-rays, 268 DVDs or a whopping 3000 CDs.) This means that the system is ready to use and enjoy RIGHT out of the box, but still with tons of storage left to add additional content. Within minutes of powering it on, Lauryn saw the cover art screen and shouted, "Oooh! Daddy! Let's watch a movie. That one!" she said pointing to Ice Age.
So, I have the system, it is unpacked, installed and operating with a full review coming on S+V's Website soon, followed by a print review for Jeremy G at Resi. (I'm going to shoot for next Monday, giving me a week to play, review and write.) First thoughts are, GUI is *noticeably* better looking. Much sharper, the text appears to be a different font (thinner) and razor edged, cover art looks like high-rez JPEGs, and -- above all -- I'm thrilled to once again have a Kaleidescape back in my home! Now if you'll excuse me, I've got some movies to watch...