Two years ago, we reviewed the Kaleidescape Movie & Music Server, a rack-mounted home theater beast that could store all of your albums and DVDs on its hard drives. It was big and expensive, but did its job really well, to the extent that we gave it a Certified & Recommended rating.
Kaleidescape has since expanded its library and feature set, and is finally offering an all-in-one system that can fit under your TV, and not in your gear closet.
The Kaleidescape Mini System takes the server and player components of its original system and shrinks it into a set-top box that measures just over 17 inches wide and weighs just over 21 pounds with maximum storage.
The box accepts Kaleidescape Mini Disc cartridges which provide it with up to 1.5 TB of storage space, enough to serve 225 DVDs or 2,500 CDs. It's not much space compared to the 1U rack-mounted server (up to 3 TB for 450 DVDs) and is downright puny compared to the 3U server (up to 12 TB for 1,800 DVDs), but it's still a respectable amount of space for most collections. If you need more room, you can hook the Mini System up to additional Mini Systems or servers.
At $7,995, it isn't exactly the cheapest set-top box you'll install in your home theater. Still, it's about 40% less than its bulkier brothers, all of which can cost well over ten grand. Because of its high price and unique position, don't expect to see the Kaleidescape Mini System pop up in Best Buy any time soon. You'll have to find an authorized dealer, or speak with your custom installer.
— Will Greenwald
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