I’ve slightly fallen in love with the Kaleidescape Mini System. I’d say my girlfriend would be upset if I brought it home but then she’d probably fall in love with it too. We could have some sort of beautiful endless threesome – me, Jenny and luxurious home entertainment system full of 1.5TB worth of 1080p upscaled DVD movies and CDs. We wouldn’t care for the way others would judge our tripple love. We would never leave home again.
The way it works is that you give them £6,695 plus VAT and you get a machine that rips anything you can stick in its optical drive. Now, I’m not going to say that this latest box beauty from Kaleidescope is cutting edge. It’s isn’t. It won’t import Blu-rays and, despite there being an Ethernet port, there is no option of downloading content to store from the internet. How dangerous would that be?
Both are, of course, on the Kaleidescape road map for the near future but until then, you’ll just have to settle for a fantastically silent running, wonderfully crafted, free standing server that’ll store between 75-225 DVDs or 825-2,500 CDs depending on how many cartridges you opt for.
Films are imported in around 20 mins and CDs five or six. Not so much a byte is compressed and, even though all the information is taken from each disc, when you press play it skips all the trailers, ads and nonsense and starts at the beginning of the film. Luxury.
It is possible to connect each one to up to 15 zones about your house/hotel but it does all have to be wired, so you’d better hope you’re living in a new build.
The Kaleidescape Mini System is a must for rich film fans and a dream for the rest of us. It may not sound like anything wildly new but there’s an incredible sense of style about the way everything is done from the menus to the quality of the image output. To sum it up in six words – I want, I want, I want.
Most products from Marantz usually get me nodding with approval and their CR502 CD/Tuner mini-system has already got my neck muscles twitching.
First up, it looks great and, if you’re after something compact that’ll fit into the right kind of space in your luxury pad, then aesthetic concerns are probably fairly high up your list. It’s got a nice sleek aluminium chassis and all the cables are carefully tucked in around the back.
Tick. So what about the…