In an effort to make your life easier and point you in a direction that is going to net you fantastic home theater results, we’ve combined our nearly 100 years of industry knowledge and designed two amazing home theater systems at two different budgets along with the team at Kaleidescape and Sound United. The simple principle to remember here is: even with a $15,000 system, investing in a Strato is going to get the best performance from your components today as well further improving any system upgrades you make in the future. All while providing a user interface everyone in the household will love to use.
It doesn’t matter if you’re an avid movie collector, or just someone who wants to share an amazing watching experience with your family and friends, the below systems will serve you well.
Let’s begin. Coming in at $28,768, this is the no-nonsense home theater system to really level up your passion for movies, TV and other entertainment.
System Number One
Amplification: The audio system designed for this home theater features top-of-the-line amplification and processing from Marantz, a passionate manufacturer of top-quality musical electronics. Marantz is an ideal pairing given its musicality, making it a dynamic piece of equipment for both movies, music and concerts.
The Marantz SR8015 supports all the latest surround formats, and it can effortlessly power even the most demanding multichannel speaker system.
When paired with a Kaleidescape source device, like the Strato S 12TB, the Marantz has access to the absolute best visual and audio content and can pipe that straight into your multichannel audio system and top-of-the-line projector.
Speakers: It goes without saying, but you need dynamic, hard-hitting speakers to accompany your killer theater setup. To accomplish this, we’re elevating Definitive Technology’s celebrated BP9000 Series loudspeakers. The bi-polar design, built-in subwoofers and passive radiators along with top-mounted Atmos modules make these speakers incredibly room-filling with deep, impactful bass performance. This is great for smaller spaces where subwoofer placement can be tricky.
Even the center channel speaker has an 8-inch subwoofer built into it, so you get a ton of bass response from virtually every tower speaker in the room. When using this type of system, it’s absolutely necessary to feed it the cleanest audio source possible. A Kaleidescape player will ensure the system delivers pristine highs, immersive sound and deep, impactful bass.
(2) Definitive Technology BP9080X ($3,600 a pair)
(2) Definitive Technology BP9060 ($2,400 a pair)
Definitive Technology CS9080 ($1,000)
(2) Definitive Technology A90 ($500 a pair)
Having powered subwoofers built into mains, center, and surround channels eliminates the need to dedicate floor space required of external subwoofers, but it also ensures powerful deep bass regardless of where you are sitting.
Lastly the seamless integrated height modules deliver an immersive ATMOS or DTS:X surround sound without have to mount speakers high on the walls or in the ceiling.
Projection: The core visual of your system, this is an area to make a real investment, not to skimp. In return, you’ll get amazing picture quality, a gigantic image and unparalleled sharpness. The Sony VW295ES is the only native 4K projector available under $5,000. It will produce an amazing picture and boasts incredible brightness levels for light rooms and fantastic HDR capabilities.
Streaming content to the Sony projector can put your home network to the test and may result in blurry images as internet speeds change. Fortunately, the Strato player’s downloaded content eliminates that issue, and HDR10 capability ensures consistently beautiful images from your HDR content.
Projector Screen: This is another one of those things you simply cannot skip when making your home theater. A bed sheet will not cut it! This Screen Innovations 100” Solo Pro 2 screen is ideal for folks who want to get the most from their new projector system. You will want to determine which projector and projector screen will work best in the room and with the choice of home theater projector, seating arrangements, and any ambient light issues. The Solo Pro 2 is a step up from the original Solo Pro because it is available in 12 different screen materials which will allow you to optimize the picture quality of your specific projector in your room.
In addition, the Solo Pro 2 screen is also available with an optional built-in Lithium-Ion battery. While this increases the cost of the unit, it simplifies installation while dramatically reducing labor costs since you don’t have to hire an electrician to run power to the motorized screen.
Source Device: If you skipped the top half of this article, we discussed how your source device is likely one of the most overlooked devices in your system. As such, we’ve picked the Kaleidescape Strato S 12TB to make sure you get the most out of the other components listed. This compact, 1RU tall device enables you to purchase and store hundreds of titles on a single device in full fidelity and now you can even rent movies too, again, in that same pristine quality. If you’re making an investment in a $30,000 system, it’s safe to assume you’re an enthusiast and likely collect movies. Part of the Kaleidescape experience is having all your content located in one easy to find place, which is why we recommend the 12TB version.
System Number Two
While the below system can’t be considered “entry level” with a $15,399 price tag, it is more attainable than the aforementioned system without sacrificing much of the amazing quality you should expect to receive from this type of investment.
Amplification: There is no name more ubiquitous in-home theater electronics than the venerable Japanese powerhouse, Denon. With more than 110 years of designing audio equipment, and some of the best HDMI implementations in the market, they are an easy brand to recommend when it comes to building your home theater. The AVR-X4700H has all the latest bells and whistles, object-oriented audio codecs, plenty of muscle, and integration chops needed to make this your system’s main workhorse.
Speakers: We’ve once again chosen to elevate Definitive Technology’s BP9000 speakers for this scenario. The built-in subwoofers make them an unbeatable bargain for home theater. The integrated height speakers also reduce installation cost while still adding height effects to your home theater for an immersive Dolby Atmos and DTS:X experience.
(2) Definitive Technology BP9060 ($2,400 a pair)
Definitive Technology CS9060 ($700)
(2) Definitive Technology A90 ($500 a pair)
(2) Definitive Technology SR9040 ($500 a pair)
Projection: In this system, we’ve elected to use Epson’s venerable 5050UB projector. This award-winning 4K capable model has great image quality, 2,600 lumens of brightness and a price tag that’s decidedly more digestible than other projectors with similar qualities.
Projector Screen: The Elite Screens Fixed 100” screen gives you less flexibility than the Screen Innovations screen we recommended in the previous home theater setup. However, it does offer everything you need to ensure the Epson 5050UB can really bring your content to life.
Source Device: The Kaleidescape Strato S 6TB is exactly the same as the system we recommended in the previous home theater setup, but with less storage. While this does bring the overall system cost down, it may still be worth considering leveling up to the 12TB model given the nominal price difference ($3,000). Few things suck more than running out of space. Of course, additional storage and playback zones can always be added in the future as your system grows.
These are only two system recommendations out of a nearly endless array of opportunities to build the home theater of your dreams.
While the initial equipment spend is higher when you choose to invest in a Kaleidescape system, it may actually save you money over the long run of your home theater system. Between physical disc purchases, streaming service costs over time, and expensive, low-quality rentals from major streaming services, there’s a lot of wasted money on content that you can’t guarantee is going to be the best quality.
An investment in a Kaleidescape ensures you have the most amazing content available in your home, the opportunity to rent movies in top-notch quality, and the ability to dramatically and immediately upgrade your existing home theater’s components as well.
In addition, Kaleidescape products are trusted by many retailers, manufacturers, and the like to host their content for product demonstrations, evaluations, tradeshows, etc. It’s simply easier to ensure you consistently have access to the best quality content without having to worry about Wi-Fi or damaged discs. If the pros are using it for their system demonstrations, that’s a great sign for the enthusiast as well.
As we talked about in the beginning, it’s often easier to talk about larger screens, bigger speakers, and of course better projectors. However, the bigger we go with these components, the more important it is to start with a source capable of pristine image and sound no matter how big the picture, or how close to reference levels the sound is. Kaleidescape offers their users the proper foundation on which to build their system, whether it’s $15,000 or $200,000 great content always make the whole system shine.