Does the world really need another digital delivery service/store? Apparently the backers of Kaleidescape think so as it looks to offer something that Vudu, Hulu, Netflix and Amazon don’t – namely the industry’s first service that enables digital delivery of movie purchases over the Internet with video and audio quality equal to Blu-ray.
The company has also secured an agreement that guarantees all the extras and bonus content that is available on retail discs while maintaining Blu-ray-quality video at 24fps 1080p, and Blu-ray quality Dolby TrueHD or DTS-HD Master Audio lossless audio soundtracks.
In addition, Kaleidescape will include UltraViolet access for most – but not all – movie titles purchased in the store and it further plans to provide disc-to-digital conversion in the future. Customers will now also be able purchase and download movies directly to their Kaleidescape Systems from the newly launched Kaleidescape Store that has been designed exclusively for online movie sales. Users will utilize the newly released kOS 5.0 operating system, which reportedly takes full advantage of the sytsem’s user interface to find and select films or TV episodes to watch.
So what’s the catch? For now Warner Bros. Distribution is the only studio to license content for sale through the new store. Whether this is cause for concern has yet to be seen. For one thing, this is par for the course with new platforms and Warner was among the first DVD backers in 1997, but it was also an early supporter of HD-DVD, and that now dead format’s final supporter.
However, in this case, Warner is going all in and will provide nearly 3,000 premium films and over 8,000 TV episodes, so that does ensure Kaleidescape will have a lot of content to choose from at launch. Titles will be priced from $6 to $20 depending on when it was released along with other factors.
Unlike Blu-ray movies, these digitally delivered versions can be viewed directly from the beginning without advertisements, trailers or extraneous menus. And bookmarking features allow viewers to jump to memorable scenes as well. All bonus content available on disc versions of the flicks, including director’s commentary, alternate endings, deleted scenes and bonus material, will also be available in the download.
The new Kaleidescape Store is now live in the United States and open for your downloading pleasure.