Sony to offer 4K TV buyers free content

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Sony Ulta HD TV 475x331 Sony to offer 4K TV buyers free content


They did it with their 3D TVs and now Sony hope to speed up sales of their new Ultra-HD set by supporting it with free content.

Available this month, the XBR-84X900 TV supports a resolution of 3840 x 2160 but comes with an equally high price tag of the equivalent of £15,700. 

The 84” passive 3D LCD set features dynamic edge LED backlighting, a three-chip 4K X-Reality Pro picture engine and an incredible 10 unit live speaker system.  Thanks to the size of the screen, it supports SimulView gaming, allowing two players to only see their viewpoint on the screen at the same time, both in full HD wearing glasses, using similar technology used in the Sony 3D monitor.

The XBR-84X900 TV will be able to up-convert 1080P to 4K but native 4K is the only way to experience the benefits offered by such high resolution so Sony have announced it will offer “the world’s first 4K Ultra HD delivery solution – free of charge to anyone who pre-ordered its 84-inch 4K TV.” The content will be pre-loaded and “Not some goofy 4K content shot as a demo” but “full length feature Hollywood productions.”

This is where Sony could really excel in the TV market, after taking a battering by LG and Samsung. Within the Sony range of companies is Sony Pictures – the studio behind movies such as Hotel Transylvania, Looper and SkyFall, all shot in resolutions (like most modern films) beyond 4K. Couple that with the fact that nearly 75% of all 4K theatres worldwide use Sony 4K digital cinema projectors and you can begin to see how Sony have a technological and content advantage.

It could only be an early advantage however as 4K content is growing all the time due to the relative cheapness of recording equipment. For example, JVC’s semi-pro JVC GY-HMQ10 4K camcorder costs less than £4000 and Sony’s two new professional 4K cameras start from approx. £14,000. We recently reported that 3net Studios are to produce their first native 4K series and BSkyB and the BBC are trialling the format.

Chinese display manufacturer Hisense are doing something similar to Sony by supporting the launch of their 4K XT880 TV range (50”/58” and 65”) with own cloud storage and an app store. Hisense recently did a deal with Stream TV Networks who will fit their optical technology to Hisense 4K panels and launching the glasses free 3D sets next year.