Colleague John Sciacca just posted a new blog over at Residential Systems about his experiences with the fresh-out-of-beta Kaleidescape movie download store:
Kaleidescape’s download store has been in Beta for the past four months while Kaleidescape monitored member feedback and response, and continued adding titles to the service, and there have been more than 12,000 downloads in that time. Today the store breaks out of Beta and into full operation, and now it is time to witness the download power of this fully armed and operational battle sta… I mean, as of immediately, the download store is offering the only way for people to legally purchase and download movies in full Blu-ray disc quality including all supplements, extras, language and subtitle tracks! (Insert GIF of fireworks exploding!)
To reiterate: Kaleidescape is the only company delivering a true, full Blu-ray quality version – 1080p/24, DTS-HD Master Audio or Dolby TrueHD – for download; a real differentiator for discerning home theater owners!
Within minutes of the store opening, one exuberant owner purchased nearly 30 HD-quality downloads, and the first title purchased by a non-Kaleidescape tester in Blu-ray quality was The Dark Knight. I downloaded the HD version of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, and the 53.1 Gig title took 8 hours and 13 minutes downloading at approximately 14.4 Mbps in two parts, the main feature and the supplements. The HD version of Inception was 55.4 Gigs and took 10 hours and 23 minutes at approximately 11.3 Mbps. Obviously, results will vary based on your Internet speeds, and according to one user on the Kaleidescape Owners Forum, he was able to download The Hobbit at 52 Mbps in just over 90 minutes.
Once downloaded, the films assimilated into my collection and then played back in stunning quality; performing exactly as I’d expect a full 1080p/24 film to look and sound. Rich, deep blacks of the golblin’s caves in the Misty Mountains, tons of detail in the Shire and Rivendell, and all the troll-smashing, axe-crashing surround and bombast you’d expect from a DTS-HD 7.1 channel soundtrack!
I also watched quite a few of the extras on both discs — the filming techniques from Inception being fasinating, by the way — which are all clearly listed on the store for viewing prior to purchase. In fact, one of the big improvements to the download store is that it now shows much more detailed information about the film, similar to the on-screen Kaleidescape GUI. The store lists all of the special features, scenes, songs, Rotten Tomatoes rating, and audio and subtitle tracks. There is also a link to instantly search more about the movie on Google.
There’s a whole lot more where that came from, so pop on over to Sciacca’s blog on Residential Systems and find out why he thinks there’s “no better solution” for movie lovers.