Hardware Features

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Mark Craven  |  Feb 19, 2013  |  0 comments
We regularly see Kaleidescape setups in professional cinema installs. Premium movie player/server combis, they're priced beyond the aspirations of the thriftier home theatre enthusiasts, who are more likely to make do with a combination of NAS drive, media player software and massive jumble of metadata mess. Yet part of the appeal of Kaleidescape, beyond its sophisticated-looking hardware, is the super-slick user interface, idiot-proof usability, and its Movie Guide database. The latter stores info on literally hundreds of thousands of titles so that whatever disc an owner adds to their system, the necessary metadata appears. Kaleidescape claims it's unique. We spoke to Simon Diplock, from Kaleidescape UK, about what makes it tick.   'A typical day in Movie Guide requires skill and agility,' jokes Diplock. 'Leaping over boxes while balancing a tower of discs in one hand and a remote control in the other is not something just anyone can do.' More seriously, Diplock admits that his days aren't just spent watching films. 'The job requires more than you would imagine. Every day, DVDs, CDs and Blu-ray discs are delivered to each of our offices for special processing. And there, the journey of the disc begins.'   'While the disc imports, we gather up all the crucial metadata about the film: who’s in it, who directed it, which year was it released, which studio made it, what is its rating, how long it is. All of this goes into Kaleidescape’s proprietary database.   'After typing all this out, Movie Guide artistry comes to life. What’s the movie about? Can you type that in 25 words or less and make it snappy and interesting? We write a short synopsis of each film that does just that.'   This is just the tip of the iceberg, however. Once the cover art has been scanned in, Kaleidescape prepares to 'slice and dice' the disc.   Eh? Diplock explains.'The start and end points of the film are marked so that any custom controls programmed by the installer who fits the system will sync with the movie, like lights fading in time with the credits and popcorn popping from the nearby machine when the homeowner presses play, etc. The aspect ratio and borders of the film are also 

Steve May  |  Jan 25, 2013  |  0 comments

2013 is fast shaping up to be the year of eight million pixels. Full HD, now ubiquitous on TVs at every price point and served up by more than 60 channels, finally has something to look up to. 4K resolution displays, built for those with really deep pockets, are finally becoming a reality. January’s International CES was a galvanising launch pad for these next-generation screens.

Team HCC  |  Aug 19, 2012  |  0 comments
£1,000 2D System – built by Mark Craven

Remarkably, putting together a home cinema system for just £1,000 can be achieved. It won’t represent the cutting-edge in AV, and you’ll struggle if you want 3D, but you can get lossless 5.1 audio, Full HD visuals and more goodies if you spend time shopping around.

Steve May  |  Jun 22, 2012  |  0 comments

The wind of change is blowing through the corridors of Sony’s Home Entertainment division. Rocked by earthquake and tsunami, battered by exchange rates and economic meltdown, wounded by inconsistent products, the world’s most iconic consumer electronics brand is going back to basics in an effort to re-energise its ailing TV business.

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