The Kaleidescape Cinema One: A Fantastic Set-Top Box That You Can’t Afford

David Pogue, now at Yahoo, reviewed the The Kaleidescape Cinema One.

The Cinema One is a set-top box[1] that allows you to rip your entire movie collection—DVDs and Blu-ray disks—so that you can watch it instantly on your big TV. But because the Cinema One bypasses the copy protection on those disks, Kaleidescape had to seek the blessings from the Hollywood studio cartel. And boy did they make it unusable. Pogue writes:

When you want to play a Blu-ray movie off the Cinema One, you have to hunt down the original disc you own, insert it into the Cinema One’s slot, and wait for it to load. You’re not playing the disc; you’re just confirming that you own it. But you’re also losing 80 percent of the value of having a Cinema One! What happened to “any movie in your collection, instantly”?

If you’re not dissuaded by the fact that the Cinema One doesn’t work any better than playing a Blu-ray, the price tag might. It costs $4,000.

Doesn’t BitTorrent seem easier?


  1. Pogue is right in pointing out that this term is antiquated, but we still call it a computer mouse, long after it’s lost its “tail,” and we still “dial” phone numbers.  ↩

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