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Kaleidescape Alto Movie Player Preview

Kaleidescape Alto Movie Player

Kaleidescape Alto Movie Player


  • Product Name: Alto Movie Player
  • Manufacturer: Kaleidescape
  • Review Date: December 18, 2014 06:30
  • MSRP: $2,495
  • First Impression: Mildly Interesting


• 17.0 in. × 2.8 in. × 10.0 in. (W × H × D) (43.2 cm × 7.1 cm × 25.4 cm)


• 10.2 lb (4.62 kg)


• Max consumption: 60 Watts

• Typical: 35W

• High Power Standby consumption: 20.0 Watts

• Low Power Standby consumption: 0.35 Watts

• External power adapter, 100-240VAC to 12VDC @ 5A, 60 Watts with detachable line cord.


• 100Base-TX/1000Base-T Ethernet (RJ45 connector)

• 802.11n Wi-Fi USB adapter included


• Ethernet control from Crestron, AMX, Control4, Savant, the Kaleidescape App for iPad, and other apps and control systems

• Kaleidescape Remote included

• Front-panel IR receiver window

• IR input (1/8 in. mini-plug)


• Operating temperature: 41 to 95°F (5 to 35°C)

• Storage temperature: -4 to 140°F (-20 to 60°C)

• Relative humidity: 20% to 80% (operation) 5% to 90% (storage)

• Maximum operating altitude: 10,000 ft (3000 m)

• Heat output: 135 BTU/hr (40 W) max

• Airflow: 10 CFM


• Minimum 1 in. (2.5 cm) ventilation space at the front

• Minimum 2 in. (5 cm) ventilation space at the rear

Rack Mount

• Middle Atlantic rack shelf available for mounting into a 2U 19 in. rack space.


• CSA (IEC 60950-1:2005, CSA 60950-1-07)

• FCC Class B

• CE


• RoHS compliant Video Outputs


Video Modes

• 1080p60/50/24, 1080i60/50, 720p60/50, 576p, 576i, 480p, 480i

• Video processing and user interface selectable to 2.35 (CinemaScape) or 1.78:1

Audio Outputs


• Digital coaxial (RCA connector)

• Analog stereo (RCA connectors)

Audio Formats

• Bitstream pass-through of Dolby Atmos, Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio

• Dolby Digital

• DTS Digital Surround • MPEG Audio Storage

• Integrated storage for up to 100 Blu-ray or 600 DVD quality movies


• Downloads from the Kaleidescape Store that precisely match the quality of movies available on Blu-ray disc and DVD quality movies

• Blu-ray disc, BD-R, BD-RE


Blu-ray Disc

• BD-Live

• Profile 2.0

Regional Playback Control

• The DVD region code of the Kaleidescape Alto can be changed up to four times.

• The Blu-ray Disc region code of the Kaleidescape Alto is set at time of purchase and cannot be changed by the customer.

Limited Warranty

• 3 years (extendable)

A while back we told you about the Kaleidescape's Cinema One Media Server. When we did, we noted that Kaleidescape had hinted that more consumer-level products were on the way. In Kaleidescape's world, the $4k Cinema One was consumer level. If you agreed with them, you're going to love the $2,500 Alto Movie Player.

Except that they seem to be exactly the same box.

When researching for this preview of Kaleidescape's latest and greatest, I couldn't help but notice the similarities with the Cinema One Media Server. Sure they look the same, but I didn't want to believe that they'd be the same box. However, the closer I looked at the specs, the more I became convinced that Kaleidescape simply renamed the Cinema One the Alto, fixed the one glaring issue of the Cinema One with a firmware update, and is giving you a $1,500 price break to help them clear out inventory.

Let's look at the evidence, shall we?

Here are the backs of the two devices - no, I won't tell you which is which:

Back 1

back 2

I'm seeing double

But that doesn't mean much. The changes could be on the inside. For sure, the Alto lists Dolby Atmos support where the Cinema One didn't. Of course, back in 2013, there was no Atmos to list, so that probably accounts for it. Both state that they store movies bit-for-bit, so there is no reason to think that the Cinema One wouldn't have the same information. Of course, there are other similarities.

Both players list 100 Blu-ray disc storage capacities (locally) with the ability to add more players for more zones. Here, we start to run into some differences. The Cinema One only claimed the ability to add one more Cinema One to your system where the Alto allows up to four (total) to be connected. One complaint of the Cinema One was that you had to have the Blu-ray disc physically in the player to stream to the connected TV (like every other Blu-ray player in the world). The Alto gets around this problem by simply recognizing your disc and allowing you access to the Kaleidescape store where you can download their copy for you to access. This is a much better solution.

Unfortunately, it also means that the new Alto no longer rips your DVDs and Blu-rays (or CDs for that matter). If Kaleidescape doesn't have it in their store for download to your box, you must put the disc in the drive. They still offer their Disc Vault products because their store doesn't contain every possible disc. Any Blu-ray disc you have that they don't will still have to be physically in the player or in one of their expensive Disc Vaults for you to stream it. A bummer for sure, but Kaleidescape has been making more and more studio deals lately.

Otherwise, the Cinema One and the Alto seem virtually identical. The specs are nearly the same, the connections and box looks the same, and they still have a USB dongle for WiFi. Honestly, if they had redesigned the product in any way, wouldn't they have made the WiFi internal?

If I were a Cinema One owner and Kaleidescape hadn't already offered me a firmware update to the cloud-based solution to get around having to put my Blu-rays in the drive when streaming, I'd be asking why.

For more information, visit www.kaleidescape.com.

Unless otherwise indicated, this is a preview article for the featured product. A formal review may or may not follow in the future.

About the author:
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As Associate Editor at Audioholics, Tom promises to the best of his ability to give each review the same amount of attention, consideration, and thoughtfulness as possible and keep his writings free from undue bias and preconceptions. Any indication, either internally or from another, that bias has entered into his review will be immediately investigated. Substantiation of mistakes or bias will be immediately corrected regardless of personal stake, feelings, or ego.

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