Kaleidescape Strato System Review

August 4, 2020 / By Phil Jones and Art Feierman

Kaleidescape System Overview

The Kaleidescape Strato S – is a well thought out and exceptionally capable download server. Perhaps most importantly, Kaleidescape offers a massive library of movies, especially in 4K, along with TV series, documentaries, concerts and more. Both Blu-ray quality and 4K Ultra HD movies are available with lossless multichannel and object-based audio, including Dolby Atmos.

Kaleidescape Strato S movie player/server comes loaded with either 6 or 12 Terabytes of storage. Depending on the mix of 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray quality movies, and DVD quality titles, a 12TB unit can hold between 180 to 1,800 movies.

The Strato S is a great one room solution, but for those looking for a multizone solution you can add multiple Strato C players/clients throughout your home with a Terra movie server. Strato S can share content stored on its internal hard drive with Strato C unit via a wired home network so long as it’s just a two-viewing zone system. Since the Strato C has no internal storage, it is more compact and less expensive, but you’d need a Terra movie server for larger system configurations.

Kaleidescape Terra is a high capacity movie which can store up to 40TB of movies and serves them to any number of Strato players throughout the home.

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You can view the Kaleidescape's full specifications here.

Kaleidescape Strato S

While Strato S is ½ the rack unit of older Kaleidescape Stratos it is dense and very well constructed. The availability of high quality, high capacity drives is probably why the new Strato S is slimmer than previous models.

Kaleidescape Strato S is available with either a 6TB or 12TB internal hard drive. Unlike streaming services, Strato S plays downloaded Blu-ray and DVD quality movies. A 12TB Strato S can hold 180 4K UHD Movies, or 320 Blu-ray quality movies or 1,800 DVD quality movies.

A massive amount of content is available for purchase from the Kaleidescape which offers 4K Ultra HD titles with high dynamic range support, and thousands of movies in full Blu-ray HD quality. Purchased material is downloaded and stored on Strato S internal hard drive at up to 100 Mbps. High bandwidth combined with 10-bit color ensures even 4K@60FPS HDR content is reproduced in the highest quality, sometimes surpassing that of UHD Blu-ray.

The Strato S can play movies from its internal hard drive, from a Kaleidescape Terra movie server or another Strato S movie player located on the wired network. This means you can start with a single 6TB unit and add a second 6TB or 12TB unit in another zone increase the total storage available for up to 18TB.

Kaleidescape Strato S Specs

Price$5995 (6TB), $8995 (12TB)
Internal Storage6TB or 12 TB
Resolution/Frame RateUp 4K@60P
HDRYes (HDR10+)
Audio FormatsUncompressed Multi-ch, DTS:X, Atmos
Wi-FiYes ( for configuration and downloading only)
Dimensions17.0” x 1.6” x 10”
Weight8.6 lb
Warranty3 Years

While you can utilize multiple Strato S units in a home, from a system design perspective, when you go above two viewing rooms, Kaleidescape says the recommended configuration for a multi zone system is a Terra movie server with multiple Strato C movie players.

There is a lot of compute processing involved for both the onscreen display as well as the databases to fetch and present the right set of information onscreen. The nice thing about the Terra movie server is that it acts as a server and the Strato C movie players act as a client.

In the configuration I refer to above with two Strato S movie players or a single Strato S and a Strato C, the Strato S behaves as a server for both itself and for another client which could impact the unit's performance.

Kaleidescape Strato C

The Strato C player/client is an excellent solution for those who want to distribute content from their downloaded Kaleidescape library to other displays/home theater systems in their home. Since the Strato C has no internal storage it is even more compact than Strato S and less expensive.

To ensure reliability and maximum performance/quality you need to connect Strato C to the Strato S via CAT6 ethernet cable and a wireless connection is not available.

The playback quality of the Strato C is identical to the Strato S. Like the Strato S, it supports 4K@60FPS HDR content as well as the latest immersive surround formats including uncompressed DTS:X and Dolby Atmos.

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Kaleidescape Strato C Specs

Price$4995
Internal StorageNone (accesses content stored on Strato S)
Resolution/Frame RateUp 4K@60P
HDRYes (HDR10+)
Audio FormatsUncompressed Multi-ch, DTS:X, Atmos
Wi-FiNo
Dimensions7.87” x 1.52” x 10”
Weight4.2lb
Warranty3 Years

Kaleidescape Terra Movie Server

For those looking for higher capacity, multi-zone system, Kaleidescape also offers the Terra movie server. A single Terra movie server can support several Strato C and Strato S players. It can serve up to 10 simultaneous 4K Ultra HD streams around the home or 15 streams of Blu-ray quality.

Terra movie servers are available with either 24TB or 40TB of storage via an array of enterprise-quality hard drives. Depending on the mix of 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray quality movies, and DVD quality titles, a 24TB Terra can store between 360 to 3,600 movies while a 40TB Terra could store 600 to 6,000 movies.

Kaleidescape Terra Movie Server Specs

Price$12,495 (24TB) $16,495 (40TB)
Internal Storage24TB or 40TB
Resolution/Frame RateN/A (No HDMI Output)
HDRN/A (No HDMI Output)
Audio FormatsN/A (No HDMI Output)
Wi-FiNo
Dimensions7.87” x 1.52” x 10”
Weight21.6lb with four drives installed
Warranty3 Years
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