Sony Launches 4K Service4 Sep, 2013 By: Chris Tribbey
Sony debuted its Video Unlimited 4K service Sept. 4, offering more than 70 movies and TV shows for rent and download on the company’s 4K Ultra HD Media Player ($699), for playback on 4K Ultra HD TVs.
The company also announced two new 4K Ultra HD TVs, the 55-inch XBR-55X850A ($3,999) and 65-inch XBR-65X850A ($5,499). 4K denotes a resolution four times the resolution offered by 1080p HDTV sets.
“We have been spearheading the advancement of 4K Ultra HD technology from the start, and have now reached another milestone as promised with the Video Unlimited 4K service going live,” said Phil Molyneux, president and COO of Sony Electronics. “Sony 4K Ultra HD TVs featuring our exclusive Triluminos Display have been receiving amazing feedback and now we are bringing the most immersive entertainment experiences to new audiences right in their living rooms.”
The Video Unlimited 4K service offers movies for $7.99 to rent for 24 hours, or $29.99 for purchase (Moneyball and Ghostbusters are among the initial offerings). TV shows (including “Breaking Bad”) cost $3.99 per episode. Purchased titles are enabled with UltraViolet.
Sony expects to beef up its library of content to more than 100 by the end of the year, including the upcoming releases of This Is the End, After Earth and Elysium.
“Sony Pictures has been working in 4K for several years. 4K mastering and restoration allows us to capture and convey more of the information from a film’s original 35 mm negative, while new 4K cameras like the F65 offer higher resolution and expanded color palettes to help us create ever-more immersive experiences for audiences in theaters and at home,” said Chris Cookson, president of Sony Pictures Technologies.
The Sony 4K Ultra HD Media Player comes with a 2 TB hard drive, and is pre-loaded with 10 movies: Bad Teacher, Battle: Los Angeles, The Bridge on the River Kwai, The Karate Kid (2010), Salt, Taxi Driver, That's My Boy, The Amazing Spider-Man, The Other Guys and Total Recall (2012).
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has also released a line-up of “Mastered in 4K” Blu-ray Disc titles, featuring 1080p video derived from 4K source materials. Those titles include Spider-Man (2002), Men in Black and Angels & Demons.