Sony says no plan to offer 4K movie downloads outside US

posted on Thursday, 31st January 2013 by Steve May

4K  LED 

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Sony says it has no plans to bring its 4K media server and movie distribution service to the UK or Europe. The brand confirmed the policy to Inside CI during a UK trade show preview of its 2013 4K and 2K screens. Paul Gyles, head of Sony's UK TV and home entertainment business, said: "Our official press comment is 'No plans for Europe at this stage.' It's a United States-only thing." However the lack any native 4K content won't slow down the roll-out of the brand's new Ultra HD LED TVs, promised product marketing manager Chris Trewhitt. "4K is extremely important to us as a corporation," he said. "That's because we're involved in 4K from the start, from producing the cameras and filming, to distributing content via Sony Pictures and then displaying 4K in cinemas and the home."

In the meantime Sony will stress the quality of its upscaling technology. "The crucial thing is our ability to upscale 2K, that's what makes them relevant today." As part of this messaging, Sony Pictures will be branding a range of Blu-ray titles as 'Mastered in 4K.' including The Amazing Spider-Man, Lawrence of Arabia and Taxi Driver. The discs will offer an expanded colour range and additional high frequency information which can be interpolated as additional detail when viewed on a 4K Sony screen. Sony confirmed that it will be emphasising 4K rather than Ultra HD in all its marketing. "That's what we'll be communicating."

As an aside, Trewhitt added that the brand's 84-inch £25,000 flagship 4K screen, the KD-84X9005, is already finding an audience. "The Prince of Dubai recently went into Harrods and ordered six of them," he revealed.

Sony's 55- and 65-inch X9000A 4K LED screens are expected to become available during the summer. While prices haven't been confirmed, they are expected to start with an RRP of less than £10,000. In addition to 3840 x 2160 resolution, the screens will feature hi-quality, forward facing magnetic fluid speakers.

Sony's 1080p LEDs TVs have also had a significant revamp for 2013. Out goes the Monolithic design used over the past few years and incomes a new, beveled glass frame which glints with a hint of green, dubbed the Sense of Quartz design. This look will also be reflected in the brand's new Blu-ray range. When it comes to 3D, the mid-range W8 series will offer Passive rather the Active Shutter 3D for the first time; the step-up W-series offers Active 3D, plus Triluminos colour filtering which delivers a significantly wider colour gamut, plus advanced picture processing. All the new Sony screens will feature a modernised user interface, and offer enhanced functionality with tablets and smartphones.

Also read:
Sony outs 4K Ultra HD OLED at CES, pledges 4K world

Steve May

Steve is a veteran of the UK consumer electronics industry, having covered it for
various media outlets for more than 20 years.

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