Ars Technica Reviews Kaleidescape’s Cinema One

Chances are, if you’re here, you look at devices like the Cinema One as an expensive curiosity. It does provides some of the features we’ve been backstroking Scrooge McDuck style for more years than I can remember to the masses, er… monied masses, because while it is a cheap Kaledescape system, it still costs $3000. That pile of cash does automate many of the “complicated” tasks associated with plastic removal, but at least for Blu-ray doesn’t really address the sneakernet problem because you still need to put the disc in the box for it to play. I certainly understand why non-technical people would want something like this, but for my money, it seems like $3000 could buy an awful lot of VUDU to go with that OPPO if you don’t want to learn how to use AnyDVD HD.

Kaleidescape’s systems automate a significant chunk of the HTPC experience, wrapping the movie ripping and storage aspect in a single attractive package that looks and functions more like an appliance than an HTPC. The company’s traditional products, as mentioned, are expensive—like, $10,000-type expensive. They’re great for an upmarket customer who wants to wire every room in his or her vacation home up for movie watching, but it’s not a great option for the more middle-class among us.