CR Talks To... Michael Malcolm, founder, chairman & CEO of Kaleidescape: Next-Gen Movie Players & Their Users
CustomRetailer: Kaleidescape recently announced the introduction of its new M-Class architecture, along with two new products—M500 and M300—that work with the architecture. The players enable Blu-ray content to be played in multiple zones—a first. Can you talk about how you achieved this innovation?
Michael Malcolm: With the M500 and M300, we followed a similar model to the way the Kaleidescape system was designed before. These two players will work with any existing Kaleidescape servers. However, if you want to play Blu-ray, you can only do that with one of the new players. They have been built with more power for decoding video and audio.
Also, our interface has been substantially improved to take advantage of this more powerful hardware. We have a new, custom-designed typeface and a number of animations, shadings and different color schemes. Operationally, it’s much like the earlier user interface, but it looks quite different—it’s got a lot of visual changes and details that make it more enjoyable to use.
For starters, it’s all native 1080p HD—it really pops. While cover art has always been in high definition, you hadn’t been able to see that because in the previous players we couldn’t display it in HD. Now, you get to really enjoy that a lot more. In the music sections, we’ve added photographs of artists. This was all enabled by the more powerful hardware in these players. The M-Class architecture is enabling both Blu-ray and this new user interface—and it’s going to enable other things in the future. It has better computer graphics capability and quite a bit more powerful computing capability, in addition to the codecs for supporting the newer formats for video and audio, which, of course, are required for playing Blu-ray.
CR: By requiring the presence of a Blu-ray disc in one of the new players even though the content has been copied to a Kaleidescape server, you’re satisfying studio concerns—is that correct?