Kaleidescape’s Strato server offers exactly the same quality as UHD Blu-ray playing a digital download from the Kaleidescape Movie Store. However, those who also own a Kaleidescape Premiere Blu-ray/DVD server/player can’t access that content using the Strato’s user interface. In particular, the Strato cannot play physical discs, only digital downloads. At CEDIA, the company introduced the Kaleidescape Co-Star, which serves as a bridge between the Strato and Premiere as well as the second-generation Cinema One and Alto players.
With the Co-Star, titles on all paired systems appear in the Strato menu, with a clear indication of the type of content each one represents—UHD Blu-ray, HD Blu-ray, or DVD. When you select a title, the appropriate system is activated to play any digital download or physical disc in the system. Also, the Strato menu is UHD/60p, so it looks super-sharp.
Here’s a video that demonstrates how the new Kaleidescape Co-Star works:
As you probably know, Kaleidescape systems are fairly expensive. The Strato includes a 6 TB hard drive to store up to 180 4K/UHD movies, 330 Blu-ray-quality movies, or 1500 DVD-quality movies, and it costs $4495. It can also access movies stored on a Terra server, which is now available with up to 40 TB of storage for $13,000. The Strato C is a player only; it has no internal storage, but it can play movies from a Terra server or Strato or Alto player for $3500.
If you already have a Premiere, Cinema One, and/or Alto, and you want to step up to the Strato 4K/UHD server without abandoning your existing system, the Kaleidescape Co-Star is a no-brainer. And at $500, it doesn’t add all that much to the cost of the upgrade.