It’s the whole chicken-and-egg problem all over again. 4K, or “Ultra HD,” is undoubtedly the future of television, but read reviews of the newest 4K TVs, and the overwhelming sentiment is that the super-high-res TVs are held back by the lack of 4K content (at least until the PlayStation 4 launches later this month). Samsung isn’t content to wait for the PS4, though. The company announced late yesterday that customers who purchase a new Samsung UHD display before December 28 will be receiving two full-length movies originally produced for IMAX theaters, along with some additional vignettes, all in Ultra HD resolution.
The movies — The Last Reef and The Grand Canyon Adventure — will be delivered for free on a hard disk drive that plugs into the USB port of the TVs’ One Connect Box. If you’re not familiar with the way Samsung is building its UHD TVs, One Connect is the box that contains all of the connections — HDMI, component, digital audio, USB, etc. — as well as the processor and software for the TV. It’s designed to make the TVs easily upgradable and future proof to a degree, so that if (when) a new HDMI standard comes along, you don’t have to replace your entire TV. One Connect upgrades will also update the TV to the current year’s Smart Hub standard, not only in terms of the UI and content, but processor speeds and back end software, as well, in much the way that the company’s Evolution Kit does now.
As for the free IMAX goodies, Samsung says that existing UHD TV customers are eligible for the content. The hard drive will be mailed to users who register their UHD TV purchases online at samsung.com.