Sony Launches Video Unlimited 4K Service

Sections: Streaming, Video

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Video Unlimited InterfaceSony launched its 4K televisions a few months back, along with its FMP-X1 4K Media Player  shortly thereafter, but many consumers have been wondering how one would actually go about acquiring — renting or buying  — new Ultra HD movies. The answer is finally here with Video Unlimited. GigaOM has the details:

The Video Unlimited 4K service would require a 4K Ultra HD Media Player (FMP-X1) for one to either rent or purchase the content  — the cost for TV episodes is $3.99 and feature films start at $7.99 for a 24-hour rental, or $29.99 for a purchase. The media player is one big honking home server that comes with 2 TB of storage and costs a whopping $700 a pop. It does come pre-loaded with 10 bonus feature films.

The ten free movies takes a lot of the sting out of the people who might be thinking about waiting for a PS4’s promised support for Video Unlimited. Of course, the elephant in the room is still bandwidth. Even on a good connection, viewing has to be planned well in advance, as downloading the movies will take five-to-six hours on a good connection, and it’d be at least two or three hours before you could start viewing on a pre-load. Of course, this service, and 4K in general, is not targeted toward the person who wants a movie to start streaming right out the gate, so this shouldn’t be a big issue until 4K has a lot higher market penetration.

Video Unlimited is the first official source of 4K content in North America. While other countries have had some test satellite broadcasts, being the first kid on the block to dependably deliver new content is going to be a major leg up for Sony. Me personally, I’m still hoping for BD4K, because I like my physical media, and on my current connection it would take me all day to download a 4K movie. Of course, anyone willing to drop $5000 on a new TV capable of displaying these movies probably has a much faster connection.

Via: [GigaOM]

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