The story below was originally published on Theo’s Roundtable, for which I am contributing writer.


Fellow writer John Sciacca has been raving about how he’s peered through the looking glass and seen the future. First it was with Kaleidescape (K-Scape) and later it was via Prima Cinema. The problem with both of these so-called “solutions” is that neither is really concerned with providing everyday folks with the content they crave and/or desire. In other words, they cater to “one-percenters,” and having recently spoken to one of the before-mentioned companies, that philosophy isn’t about to change any time soon. This is why I contend that while K-Scape and Prima Cinema may be solutions, they’re not the future. In fact, they’re not even innovations—they’re me-too products.

I’m not here to pick on either K-Scape or Prima, for they’re both fine products with an arguably vast and loyal customer base—a customer base that is grateful for the service each company provides. These same customers are also not the type that are going to be too incredibly concerned with things like price, for much of their lifestyle likely revolves around the phrase “cost no object.” Great. However, for the rest of us, K-Scape and Prima are little more than show cars—we see ‘em at tradeshows or read about them in print, but likely will never get an opportunity behind the wheel. But we don’t need to. Not because either product is stupid or a waste of money, but because the service they provide has either been with us for a while now, or is coming very soon.

K-Scape is little more than a gussied up Media Center PC. Granted it has certain legalities on its side, but its move into the streaming/download arena basically puts it on a level footing with services such as Ultraviolet and Vudu, to name a few. As for Prima, well, it’s limited by two key points: first, price and, second, partners. At present, the only real titles you can enjoy via Prima are films distributed by Universal—and occasionally Lionsgate (which gives you Summit). Not all Universal or Lionsgate films are available, mind you, but rather just the ones the two studios grant Prima access to. While Prima does have a leg up in the day & date department over the competition, they’re not the only ones doing it. Nor were they the first.

So while John claims to have seen the future, my question is, what took him so long? (Love you, John)

The truth is, if you want to know where the future of entertainment is going, you need only spend $100…