4K Ultra HD Streaming Service
Sony has launched their Video Unlimited 4K service today, making them the industry’s first and only company to offer 4K Ultra HD content via internet download (What is Ultra HDTV?). Owners of the $699 Sony 4K Ultra HD media player are now able to access over 70 movies and TV shows in native 4K Ultra HD resolution. The company expects to grow the library to over 100 titles by the end of the year.
Sony previously announced several of these titles, but revealed a surprise bonus today. Breaking Bad fans will now be able to watch AMC’s Walter White at four times the resolution of Full HD — enough to see the individual blood droplets splash across his grinning face.
TV episodes will cost $3.99, and film rentals will cost $7.99 for 24 hour viewing pleasure. Buying movies will run you $29.99, but some titles will also include SD and HD UltraViolet digital copies to sweeten the deal.
Sony XBR-65X900A 65-Inch 4K Ultra HD 120Hz 3D LED UHDTV (Black)
Sony FMP-X1 4K Ultra HD Media Player
“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 Sony Electronics President and COO Phil Molyneux. “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 4K media player is capable of storing 50 full-length films on the built-in 2TB hard drive, with the ability to connect an additional external USB hard drive. Unfortunately, the 4K media player and download service are only compatible with Sony 4K Ultra HDTV’s.
Commenting on the announcement, Chris Cookson, President of Sony Pictures Technologies said, “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 35mm 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.”
New Sony 4K Ultra HDTV’s
To complement the launch of the Video Unlimited 4K service, Sony also expanded its 4K Ultra HD TV line-up with the addition of the X850A series, available in 55- and 65-inch screens. These new models will not include the integrated speakers found in the X900A series. The new Sony XBR-55X850A (55-inch) and XBR-65X850A (65-inch) will be available next month through Sony Stores and select authorized retailers nationwide for $3,499 and $4,999 respectively.
HDMI 2.0 Support
Sony also mentioned HDMI 2.0 support for their Ultra HDTV’s using a firmware update which will be available by the end of the year. The HDMI 2.0 industry standard offers a significant increase in bandwidth, providing features such as life-like video resolution, making it ideal for fast-moving 4K Ultra HD 60p content such as sports.