Sony's betting big on 4K, with its movie studios shooting movies and television in 4K using its pro cameras. And now, to get that content to all those Ultra HD TVs, the company is rolling out its long-awaited Video Unlimited 4K download service. As of today, there are 70 native 4K movies and shows available -- Sony's aiming to have over 100 by the end of the year -- and users can rent or buy content through the service. Of course, you'll need one of Sony's FMP-X1 media players and an appropriately rezzed Sony screen to actually consume said video. Single show episodes are $3.99, with movie rentals starting at $7.99 for a 24-hour viewing window. Looking to buy? $29.99 gets you any film for good.
SONY LAUNCHES WORLD'S FIRST 4K ULTRA HD VIDEO DOWNLOAD SERVICE AND EXPANDS 4K ULTRA HD TV LINE
NEW YORK, Sept. 4, 2013 – Sony today launched the Video Unlimited 4K service, the world's first and only 4K Ultra HD video download service, with access to an expanding library of native 4K Ultra HD feature films and TV shows.
Beginning with a selection of more than 70 full length native 4K Ultra HD feature films and TV shows from Sony Pictures Entertainment and other notable production houses, Video Unlimited 4K will offer customers the option to rent and purchase content for download on Sony's 4K Ultra HD Media Player (FMP-X1) for playback on Sony 4K Ultra HD televisions.
To coincide with the debut of the Video Unlimited 4K service, Sony today expanded its 4K Ultra HD TV line-up with the addition of the X850A series, available in 55- and 65-inch screens (models XBR-55X850A and XBR-65X850A). With four times the resolution of Full HD and Sony's unique TRILUMINOS Display, the new X850A incorporates a slim bezel with an elegant design without the integrated magnetic fluid speaker system in the X900A series (models XBR-55X900A and XBR-65X900A) now on the market. This new design offers customers the flexibility of connecting to an existing or separate home theater system.
"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."
About Video Unlimited 4K
Sony Entertainment Network's Video Unlimited 4K download service is now live, offering feature films, movies, short-form videos and TV shows in native 4K Ultra HD resolution for download to consumers with a Sony Ultra HD Media Player and Sony 4K Ultra HD TV. Feature films and TV episodes have been prepared with the ultimate picture and surround sound quality in mind, carefully optimized for the best viewing experience. Over 70 feature films and TV shows are now available through the service, with a library of more than 100 expected to become available in 4K Ultra HD before the end of the year.
Available now on the service is the hit TV show Breaking Bad, as well as movies including Moneyball, Think Like A Man, Premium Rush, Ghostbusters, The Amazing Spider-Man, Funny Girl, The Guns of Navarone, and many more.
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."
Video Unlimited 4K will feature the hottest new releases for rent or purchase, including upcoming releases like This is the End, After Earth and Elysium. Owners of the Sony 4K Ultra HD Media Player (FMP-X1) will receive updated content over the internet, enabling them to rent or purchase the latest entertainment.
The cost for TV episodes is $3.99, while feature films start at $7.99 for a 24-hour rental, or $29.99 for a purchase. Select purchased titles include an UltraViolet™ digital version of the movie or TV show, enabling consumers to further enjoy their content on the go (in high definition or standard definition).
The Video Unlimited 4K download service is now accessible when using the Sony 4K Ultra HD Media Player (FMP-X1) with Sony XBR-55X900 and XBR-65X900A Ultra HD TVs and the soon to be shipping XBR-55X850A and XBR-65X850A models.
A program is now available for owners of the Sony 84-inch 4K Ultra HD TV (XBR-84X900) to gain access to the Video Unlimited 4K download service. Details on a program for Sony 4K projector (VPL-VW1000ES) owners will be announced at CEDIA later this month.
About the Sony 4K Ultra HD Media Player (FMP-X1)The Sony 4K Ultra HD Media Player is used to access, download, store and play back 4K content from the Video Unlimited 4K service. With a built-in 2TB hard drive, the FMP-X1 Media Player can store up to 50 feature films in native 4K resolution and uncompressed surround sound, with the ability to expand this by connecting an additional external USB hard drive available separately.
The player comes pre-loaded with 10 bonus feature films and video shorts that owners can watch immediately at no additional charge, including 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). The FMP-X1 Media Player is exclusively compatible with Sony 4K Ultra HD TVs and available for $699, or $499 if purchased together with a Sony 4K Ultra HD TV.
About Sony 4K Ultra HD LED TVs
Featuring four times the resolution of Full HD (3,840 x 2,160 pixels), Sony 4K Ultra HD TVs have the highest resolution picture Sony has ever produced on a TV.
Unique to Sony, TRILUMINOS Display creates incredibly true, natural shades of colors, for vivid images with a heightened sense of depth.
Sony 4K Ultra HD TVs upscale favorite TV shows, DVDs and Blu-ray™ movies – even YouTube® clips and smartphone videos – for higher quality, stunning results. The new 4K X-Reality™ PRO chip enhances HD (and lower resolution) images by analyzing and refining images with beautifully natural detail and astounding color. The latest Reality Creation database and Super Resolution processing breathes new life into everything seen by the eye with phenomenal 4K resolution.
All models are Wi-Fi® enabled and offer a wide range of internet connected services including Sony's smart connect solutions, supporting cross-device connectivity between mobile devices and their TV. With features such as One-touch mirroring and TV SideView®, Sony's XBR-series TVs provide greater control and additional content options by interconnecting media sources across the home and mobile entertainment ecosystem.
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. Pre-orders are being accepted now at: www.sony.com/newTVs.
The Sony XBR-55X900A (55-inch) and XBR-65X900A (65-inch) 4K Ultra HD LED TVs now cost $3,999 and $5,499 respectively.
About Personal 4K Ultra HD Content
After pioneering 4K technology in the professional field and bringing it into consumers' homes through televisions and films, Sony is now also applying the technology to personal video for the first time with its new 4K Handycam consumer camcorder (FDR-AX1). Consumers have been enjoying personal photos in 4K Ultra HD resolution and they can now capture their family memories in the highest resolution video quality available.
About Sony 4K Ultra HD Advancements and Offerings
At the cutting-edge of 4K Ultra HD technology, Sony has been leading in providing full 4K "scene to screen" solutions, delivering incredible viewer experiences exactly as the creative professionals intended. Advancements include:
March 2005 – Introduced first 4kcinema projectors; now more than 15,000 Sony 4K projectors installed in theaters worldwide;
April 2011 – Announced the Sony F65 digital motion picture camera with an 8K image sensor, the flagship of Sony's professional camera line with numerous feature film and TV productions currently in production;
September 2011– Announced the world's first 4K Ultra HD home cinema projector
January 2012 – Released a Blu-ray player (BDP-S790 ) that can upconvert 1080p images to near-4K, and can be used to up-convert the over 7,000 Blu-ray Disc titles currently in distribution;
September 2012 – Announced the first ever 84-inch 4K Ultra HD TV (XBR-84X900) – started shipping in Nov. 2012;
Sony introduced the world's first 4K Ultra HD video player, the precursor to the FMP-X1 model, and bundled it with the 84-inch 4K Ultra HD TV (XBR-84X900);
November 2012 – Introduced the F5 and F55 professional 4K cameras – started shipping Feb. 2013;
January 2013 – Introduced Vegas Pro™ 12 with native 4K editing support;
January 2013 – Announced the 65- and 55-inch 4K Ultra HD TVs (XBR-55X900A and XBR-65X900A) – started shipping May 2013;
January 2013 – Announced "Mastered in 4K" collection of Blu-ray titles from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, optimized for upscaling on Ultra HD TVs;
January 2013 – Showcased a glimpse of future technology – the world's first 56-inch 4K OLED TV and 4K Handycam camcorder;
April 2013 – Released 4K Media Player (FMP-X1) – started shipping July 2013;
April 2013 – Announced Video Unlimited 4K service
April 2013 – Unveiled a prototype professional 4K OLED monitor;
May 2013 – Started shipping XBR-55X900A and XBR-65X900A 4K Ultra HD televisions;
July 2013 – Began shipping 4K Ultra HD Media Player (FMP-X1 4K);
September 2013 – Launched Video Unlimited 4K download service with native 4K content;
September 2013 – Added two more Sony 4K Ultra HD TVs to the line-up (XBR-55X850A and XBR-65X850A);
September 2013 – Announced world's first consumer 4K Handycam camcorder (FDR-AX1) priced under $4,500;
September 2013 – Introduced new professional 4K handheld camcorder (PXW-Z100).
Sony to Support HDMI 2.0 Industry Standard
Sony is prepared to support the HDMI 2.0 specification on its line-up of 4K Ultra HD televisions with an easy firmware update to be available over the Internet by the end of this year.
Just released by the HDMI Forum, 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.
New Sony High Definition Internet TV
In addition to the new 4K Ultra HD TV models, Sony today also added a 65-inch screen (model KDL-65W850A) to its W series of LED BRAVIA televisions for those looking for an amazing high definition experience. The new KDL-65W850A will be available next month through Sony Stores and select authorized retailers nationwide for $2,999. Pre-orders are being accepted now at: www.sony.com/KDL-65W850A.
The W series of LED BRAVIA televisions includes the KDL-W650A, KDL-W802A and KDL-W900A models. All are Wi-Fi enabled, with the W900A TV incorporating NFC features of the X-series, TRILUMINOS Display, X-Reality PRO™ picture engine and active 3D capability.
For more information, visit www.sony.com/4KTV.
For high-resolution product images, visit www.sony.com/news.