Kaleidescape (Sort Of) Supports Blu-ray On New M300 And M500 Players

It's a feature that consumers have been asking for, and Kaleidescape has finally obliged: Blu-ray support has been added to the company's movie servers. Granted, Kaleidescape servers can only be afforded by the most affluent among us, but hardcore movie lovers have been begging for BD support since the format war ended years back.

If you're unfamiliar with the company, they basically sell sleek HDD racks and front-end UIs that allow you to catalog your movie collection into a huge hard drive array, so you'll never need the DVD disc again. There's a great UI and search engine, which pulls down metadata and makes sifting through titles a breeze. But Blu-ray had yet to be officially supported until now, with the M500 and M300 copying over DVDs, CDs and Blu-ray Discs onto the hard drives within.

Unfortunately, studio concerns have made the company require that Blu-ray Discs be present during playback, meaning that the disc of the movie you want to watch must be in the tray of the M500 during playback. To enable the full Kaleidescape experience for Blu-ray, the company is developing a disc loader which will keep a large number of discs present within the Kaleidescape system. It will also provide bulk import, and make it easy to find and retrieve a disc. Obviously, this is a pretty big limitation.

The Kaleidescape M500 and M300 Players, when coupled with a Kaleidescape server, play back Blu-ray content and include support for 1080p video with 24 frames per second and bitstream pass-through of Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio. Currently, the company is accepting orders for both players, with shipments to begin on May 18th for $3,995 (M500) and $2,495 (M300).