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Kaleidescape Compact Terra 6TB Movie Server Review

Posted on January 29, 2022 by Kam Valentine
Kaleidescape-Terra-6TB Hot Product Award

Kaleidescape Compact Terra 6TB

Kaleidescape products are designed to download, store, and playback movies and TV shows in full video fidelity with high-quality multichannel audio. In addition, Kaleidescape offers a massive library of movies, in up to 4K HDR, 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. So while Kaleidescape does not make projectors, they definitely make equipment that will enhance your home entertainment experience.

In this review, we will be talking about Kaleidescape’s brand new Compact Terra 6TB (6 terabyte capacity) movie server. Kaleidescape sent Projector Reviews a demo system that included the Compact Terra 6TB movie server along with a Strato C movie player.

Compact Terra 6TB and Strato C Movie Player can be mounted side by side in a single rack space (rack mount kit sold separately)

The Kaleidescape Compact Terra 6TB movie server is initially offered as a bundle with the Strato C movie player at a special price of $7,995 through March 31, 2022.

Projector Reviews purchased a 12TB Strato S last year for product reviews and shoot-outs since it provides the best content available, and the demo script feature creates a consistent demo experience allowing us to focus completely on the differences between projectors. To learn why we chose the Kaleidescape, check out our article titled "Maximize Your Theater's Performance With Kaleidescape".

The Strato S is a movie player that can playback content stored on its internal hard drive. The Strato S is a great one-room solution. Since the Strato S chassis contains a player and storage, it is larger than a Terra 6TB server or a Strato C player. A Strato S can also share content stored on its internal hard drive with a Strato C unit located in a second room via a wired home network. 

For those looking for a multizone solution, a Terra movie server can support multiple Strato C players/clients throughout your home. Since the Strato C has no internal storage, it is more compact and less expensive than Stato S, but you’d need a Terra movie server for larger system configurations.

According to Kaleidescape CEO Tayloe Stansbury, “The Compact Terra 6TB server, when combined with a Strato C player, replaces the Kaleidescape Strato S as our entry-level system while providing the ultimate playback experience with significantly greater scalability and performance.”

Take a look at Projector Reviews’ Kaleidescape Strato System Review for additional details on the Kaleidescape Strato Movie Player + Server product assortment.


Kaleidescape Compact Terra 6TB Movie Server Specifications
Internal Storage6TB (6 Terabytes)
Resolution/Frame RateN/A (No HDMI Output)
HDRN/A (No HDMI Output)
Audio FormatsN/A (No HDMI Output)
Dimensions7.87” W x 1.52” H x 14.33” D
Weight7.2 lbs.
Warranty5 Years


The Kaleidescape Compact Terra is available with 6TB, 12TB, or 18TB of storage. We will be focusing on the new Compact Terra 6TB movie server that hit the shelves on January 4, 2022. The Compact Terra 6TB can store approximately 100 4K Ultra HD Movies and even more Blu-ray quality movies or DVD quality movies.

A Compact Terra 6TB server can serve up to five simultaneous 4K Ultra HD playbacks on Strato players in different rooms, compared to only two simultaneous playbacks for Strato S. High bandwidth combined with 10-bit color ensures even 4K HDR content at 60 fps is reproduced in the highest quality.

An enormous amount of content is available for purchase from Kaleidescape. Kaleidescape’s movie store offers 4K Ultra HD titles with high dynamic range support and thousands of movies in full Blu-ray HD quality. The Compact Terra 6TB server delivers four times quicker movie downloads than the Strato S 6TB all-in-one player and server. Purchased content is downloaded and stored on the Compact Terra 6TB internal hard drive at up to 800 Mbps. At up to 800 Mbps, you can download a 4K HDR movie in as little as 10 minutes on a gigabit internet connection.

In addition, the Compact Terra server even has the ability to allow playback and download content at the same time, which is something Strato S cannot do.

As an added bonus, the end-user can easily increase their storage by adding another Compact Terra 6TB, a Compact Terra 12TB, or 18TB. You could also jump up to a full-sized Terra 24TB, 48TB, or 72TB if you required that amount of storage.


Kaleidescape Strato C Movie Player Specifications
Internal StorageNone – Accesses content stored on the Compact Terra
Resolution / Frame RateUp to 4K@60 fps
Audio FormatsLossless multichannel audio, including Dolby Atmos, Dolby TrueHD, DTS:X, and DTS-HD Master Audio
Dimensions7.87” W x 1.52” H x 10” D
Weight4.2 lbs.
Warranty5 Years

The Kaleidescape Strato C movie player plays movies from the Compact Terra’s 6TB internal hard drive or another Kaleidescape movie server located in your home. To ensure maximum performance and quality, you will need to connect the Strato C player to the Compact Terra 6TB server via a wired network connection.

Since the Terra C does not include Wi-Fi functionality, the unit will need to be connected to your home network using its Ethernet port. However, I was able to find a workaround. I used a gigabit eero Pro 6 tri-band mesh Wi-Fi 6 router to connect the Strato C movie player located in my projector testing areas to the Compact Terra 6TB movie server located in my family room audio-visual cabinet.

Mind you, my projector testing areas and family room are nowhere near each other. With a total of three projector testing areas strategically placed throughout my home, it was a nice workaround using the eero Pro 6. There was no way I was running a CAT6 ethernet cable all across the house to test out the Kaleidescape system in the various areas.

The Kaleidescape Strato C movie player worked with the gigabit eero Pro 6. Utilizing the eero Pro 6 allowed me to place the Strato C anywhere I wanted without a direct hardwire to the Compact Terra 6TB movie server

The Strato C movie player is an excellent solution for those who want to distribute content from their downloaded Kaleidescape library to other home theater systems or displays in their home. Since the Strato C player does not have internal storage, it is even more compact than the Strato S player/server and less expensive.

The playback quality of the Strato C player is identical to the Strato S. The Strato C player supports 4K Ultra HD with frame rates up to 60 fps. In addition, the player provides upscaling of Blu-ray and DVD quality content to 4K resolution. The Strato C player offers seamless switching between 4K Ultra HD, 4K upscaled Blu-ray quality and DVD quality content. Lastly, the Strato C player supports High Dynamic Range (HDR) content and the latest immersive surround formats, including lossless multichannel audio, Dolby Atmos, Dolby TrueHD, DTS:X, and DTS-HD Master Audio.

Notable Features


Kaleidescape’s catalog is massive, with over 13,000 titles and 2,000 TV seasons available to choose from.

Kaleidescape’s catalog is massive, with over 13,000 titles and 2,000 TV seasons available to choose from. The amount of 4K content available far exceeds what is currently available of UHD Blu-ray discs. Movies are usually available from Kaleidescape before they are available on disc. Kaleidescape also states they have more 4K movies with lossless audio than anyone else, with studio-quality curation and a personalized cinematic experience. Kaleidescape even watches each movie from beginning to end to verify quality and they often recommended impact scenes to use for picture/audio quality demonstration.

Kaleidescape offers movie rental options.

Kaleidescape offers movie rental options for its Strato systems. This is especially beneficial for the Compact Terra 6TB server paired with the Strato C player. Since the Compact Terra 6TB has the smallest amount of storage out of all of the Kaleidescape servers, that means you will not be storing hundreds of 4K movies on it. The Compact Terra 6TB server can store approximately 100 4K movies.

For those of you who prefer renting movies to buying movies, there are over 8,000 titles currently available to rent in the United States. That is a convenient way to discover new content, renting titles you wouldn’t immediately buy, all from the comfort of your home and still in full fidelity. The Compact Terra 6TB is a great solution for users who do rent more movies than they purchase.

Rentals can stay on your system for up to 30-days. Once you’ve started the movie, you’ll have 48 hours to watch it as many times as you want. Even better and pretty exclusive to Kaleidescape, during the 30-day rental period, half the rental price will be credited towards the purchase if you love what you rented.

Kaleidescape offers movie rental options.

While the library is vast, the Kaleidescape user interface makes it easy to search, find and purchase your favorite content. Kaleidescape owners can browse the store library from the Strato C player on-screen menu. In addition, the end-user can use a mobile app or their computer browser for more extensive search capabilities to search by studio name, title, and movie/TV genre. You can also search by collections such as American Film Institute (AFI) Top 100 Movies. Lastly, you could also search by “available for rent,” HDR only, UHD or better, Dolby Atmos, or titles rated fresh on Rotten Tomatoes®.


Kaleidescape systems deliver a high-quality audio/video experience

As previously mentioned in Projector Reviews’ Kaleidescape Strato System review, Kaleidescape has worked out distribution deals with all the major movie studios. Originally the studios were fearful of high-quality digital downloads due to the possibility of piracy and unauthorized file sharing. However, Kaleidescape’s proven robust copy protection, anti-piracy and content security provided by their proprietary hardware and kOS operating system made it possible for Hollywood motion picture studios to trust the Strato line of products with their most precious quality content for home entertainment. The benefit for us movie enthusiasts is that we finally get access to a massive library of well-organized digital downloads of the highest quality.

In addition, Blu-ray quality and 4K Ultra HD movies are available with lossless multichannel and object-based audio, including Dolby Atmos, Dolby TrueHD, DTS:X, and DTS-HD Master Audio.

Kaleidescape starts with the authoritative mezzanine video file from the studio. Then using their proprietary methods, Kaleidescape process the file using minimal compression to preserve maximum fidelity. Downloaded 4K Ultra HD and HDR content plays back at up to 100 Mbps with 10-bit color and up to 60 frames per second. As a result, the picture quality easily rivals, and can exceed, that of a 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray.

Often the authoritative mezzanine video file from the studio is 10%-40% larger than what can be fit on the 66GB file size of a 4K Blu-ray discs  This means the studios or disc manufacturers often have to utilize additional compression to films in order to fit movie on a 66GB disc.

A Kaleidescape Terra Server or Strato S Movie Player is able to download movies directly to your home in full fidelity (because there is no file size constraint for Kaleidescape content), which ensures you’re not missing anything you want to see and hear.

Plus, you’re not dealing with fluctuations in content quality because all the bits are downloaded and stored on your local device, not streamed over the internet. This is especially important if you live in an area where internet service is not very good.

Comparison of streaming media vs a Kaleidescape using the same 4K projector

Even if you have ultra-high-speed internet, streaming content is encoded at a much lower bitrate than what is stored on a Kaleidescape. To capture the comparison photo above, we switched between HDMI inputs connected to a popular streaming player and a Kaleidescape Strato S. While it is the same scene displayed on the same projector the difference in quality is noticeable.

It doesn’t matter how incredible the specifications of your 120” 4K HDR projector are if the content you’re feeding it is streaming from a major provider under constrained bandwidth. Kaleidescape ensures you get the full-quality movie every time (and anytime) once it has been downloaded to your system, even if your internet is down.


The Kaleidescape user interface is easy to use.

Kaleidescape’s on-screen user interface features a movie cover-art mode. The cover-art mode is presented in 4K Ultra HD resolution and looks beautiful. The tiles rearrange themselves to conveniently show relevant content when hovering over a specific movie or show. For those of you who favor a more traditional way to search, there is also a standard list mode. You can search by cast, director, or genre or browse for titles alphabetically.

Another thing I love about the Kaleidescape is how fast the movie starts once it is selected from the downloaded library. I don't have to wait for a disc to load, wade through several trailers, or waste 15-20 seconds of my life looking at an FBI warning before the movie begins.


The connections on the Kaleidescape Compact Terra 6TB are simple.

The connections on the Kaleidescape Compact Terra 6TB are simple. The Compact Terra 6TB has a gigabit ethernet (1000 Base-T) port and a USB 3.0 port. The USB 3.0 port cannot connect to an external USB drive; it is “reserved” for troubleshooting and diagnostics at the factory.

The rear of the Strato C and Compact Terra

There are two HDMI outputs on the rear of the Strato C player. One is an HDMI 2.0a output that can send combined audio/video up to 4K Ultra HD HDR and 60 fps to your display and a compatible AV receiver. The second is audio-only HDMI 1.4 output to connect to an older AV receiver that does not support HDMI 2.0b. In addition, there are coaxial and optical digital audio outputs to mate with older audio components. Lastly, the Strato C player has Gigabit Ethernet (1000 Base-T) port. Like the Compact Terra 6TB server, the Strato C player has a USB 3.0 port that cannot be used to connect an external USB drive; it is also “reserved” for troubleshooting and diagnostics at the factory.


    A menu system can be accessed from the Strato C player’s on-screen display. The on-screen menu offers options to change time zones, adjust screensaver and standby mode preferences, and much more.

    To access the comprehensive video and audio preferences through the Strato C player’s browser interface, you would have to use a separate laptop or mobile device connected to the same network. While you do not need to access this menu during daily operation, it is loaded with a lot of helpful information like HDMI display capability as well as a detailed rundown of the Strato C player video signal output (i.e., resolution, color gamut, frame rate, dynamic range, and chroma).


    Watching Top Gun in 4K with HDR and Dolby Atmos was an excitingly new watching and listening experience for me

    Kaleidescape gave me a month with the Compact Terra 6TB movie server and Strato C movie player. The Compact Terra 6TB I was loaned came preloaded with 73 movies. It was a nice mix of Ultra HD 4K HDR, HD, and SD movies. Movies with HDR were marked with “HDR” to make them easy to identify. Mad Max Fury Road, Pacific Rim, Ready Player One, Jungle Cruise, A Quiet Place Part II, and Top Gun were just a handful of the great movies downloaded onto my demo Compact Terra 6TB server. You may laugh at me for being into Top Gun since it is from 1986, but let me tell you, Kaleidescape has Top Gun in 4K with HDR and Dolby Atmos. Watching Top Gun with the Kaleidescape was an excitingly new watching and listening experience for me.

    My audio-visual cabinet is in the process of being remodeled but this is how the Kaleidescape Compact Terra 6TB movie server and Strato C movie player looked in my family room with the Screen Innovations motorized Solo Pro 2 projector screen up and out of the way to show the speakers behind the acoustically transparent screen.

    Currently, my family room setup consists of a Sony VPL-VW675ES projector paired with a 110-inch Screen Innovations (SI) Solo Pro 2 Unity AT screen. A Sony 77-inch Class – A80CJ Series 4K UHD OLED TV rounds out the family room. I’m currently employing a full Definitive Technology setup for my audio. I am using their Demand Series D5c center channel speaker, two Demand Series D11 large bookshelf speakers, four Disappearing™ Series Round DI 6.5R 6.5” in-ceiling speaker, two SR9080 high-performance bipolar surround speakers, two Ultimate-in-wall (UIW) RCS III Reference in-wall/in-ceiling speakers, and two Descend Series DN10 subwoofers.

    All components are run through a Marantz SR8015 11.2 channel 8K AV receiver. I used my 7.2.4 setup to really test out Kaleidescape’s high-fidelity audio claim. I am here to tell you that the Kaleidescape did not disappoint and definitely lived up to its claim. The end-user truly gets high-fidelity multichannel sound utilizing a Kaleidescape system.

    The image and sound quality of the Kaleidescape never left me wanting more. Kaleidescape has deals with major studios to provide 4K Ultra HD content, even when those studios are not even interested in releasing that 4K Ultra HD content on Blu-ray discs. Having agreements with the major studios is part of what makes using the Compact Terra 6TB movie server and Strato C movie player special.

    While you could typically stream movies in 4K Ultra HD and HDR, the compression would result in visibly inferior picture quality on a high-quality display. Moreover, you would need to subscribe to multiple streaming services. Those streaming services include services like Netflix, Disney+, and Hulu. We cannot forget networks like ABC, CBS, NBC, and numerous others to get to all the movies and TV shows you want, especially if you want them in 4K Ultra HD and HDR.

    Watching movies and shows with the Compact Terra 6TB movie server and Strato C movie player was a great experience. When you hit play to watch a movie, it goes right to the movie’s beginning, which is usually the studio’s title sequence (i.e., Walt Disney Pictures, Sony Pictures, or Universal Pictures). The end-user no longer has to sit through time killers like trailers and FBI warnings. For those of you who love to watch your favorite scenes, Kaleidescape allows you to bookmark scenes. I also found scene bookmarking extremely helpful for my photo shoots for my projector reviews.

    I am awarding the Kaleidescape Compact Terra 6TB the Hot Product award from Projector Reviews!

    Kaleidescape states, “Kaleidescape elevates every other component in your theater, with higher-fidelity video source material, lossless audio, and integrative cues to control lighting, shading, seating, lenses, and screen masking.” The Kaleidescape Compact Terra 6TB server and Strato C player most definitely elevated my movie-watching experience to home theater quality. That is why I am awarding the Kaleidescape Compact Terra 6TB Movie Server the Hot Product Award from Projector Reviews. It is hard to go back to stockpiling 4K Ultra HD Blu-Ray movies and heavily compressed streamed movies once you use a Kaleidescape system.

    The ease of use combined with full fidelity makes the Kaleidescape well worth the price of admission. Check out Projector Reviews’ Maximize your home theater with Kaleidescape for additional information on building two amazing home theater systems that Technical Reviewer Paul Wilkie put together. Lastly, I think the biggest takeaway from this review could be the fact that after writing this review, I’ll be reaching out to Kaleidescape to spend my own hard-earned cash to buy one of their systems.

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