updated 02:49 pm EDT, Thu May 2, 2013
Films downloadable to Kaleidescape servers at Blu-ray quality
Kaleidescape has launched a new online video store for its range of home media servers, claimed to be the first in the world to deliver Blu-ray quality movies. Emerging from being in beta since December 2012, the service provides downloads of movies instead of streams, with audio and video quality said to be equal to that of films on Blu-ray disc itself.
Movies bought through Kaleidescape will automatically be added to the customer's UltraViolet account for viewing through any streaming Ultraviolet service, such as Flixster, on other devices. The downloaded files provide video at a resolution of up to to 1080p at 24fps, with Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio lossless soundtracks, and includes bonus features that usually accompanies physical disc purchases, like alternative commentaries and documentaries.
The extra content, image quality and audio does severely affect the amount of bandwidth required for the service. GigaOM notes that a download for Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire weighs in at 54GB, a size that will take a significant chunk out of a connection's data allowance.
The Kaleidescape store is roughly on par with Blu-ray releases, in terms of price. Users that own DVD versions of films on UltraViolet or bought DVD versions during its beta period can upgrade to Blu-ray quality downloads for $6.99.