Besides officially announcing the prices for its soon-to-be-available 55in and 65in Bravia X9 series of 4K LED TVs, Sony has also launched its FMP-X1 4K Media Player and new ultra HD video distribution service. By being the first in the industry to offer this ultra high-definition (UHD) content delivery system, Sony has taken a massive step towards establishing itself as the undisputed leader in the 4K movement.
|Sony outs FMP-X1 4K media player & ultra HD video delivery service|
Sony’s move continues a trend of download-based instead of physical media delivery for native 4K content (come on BDA get your finger out for true 4K Blu-ray!). In November last year, the Japanese TV manufacturer bundled an Ultra HD Video Player (preloaded with 10 movies) with every purchase of the 84-inch XBR-X900 in the USA (but not in the UK nor Europe). The company also made good of its promise to keep adding ultra high-def content for lucky owners, delivering selected 4K video clips as well as Lawrence Of Arabia – newly remastered in gorgeous 4K resolution by Sony Picture Colorworks – via its home server.
Sony is not the only 4K content gunslinger in town though: RED, an American company famed for its critically acclaimed range of digital cinema cameras, announced its own version of a true 4K media player dubbed REDRAY towards the end of last year. However, priced at USD 1450 (roughly £945), the REDRAY costs more than twice as much as Sony’s FMP-X1 which has been given a price tag of USD 699 (around £455).
Furthermore, the FMP-X1 4K media player will come preloaded with the same ten feature movies that was included in the aforementioned first-generation video server shipped with the 84in X9 UHD LED LCD television. The films are Salt, The Amazing Spider-Man, Total Recall (2012), Bad Teacher, The Other Guys, The Bridge on the River Kwai, Taxi Driver, The Karate Kid (2010), Battle: Los Angeles and That’s My Boy – all in their ultra high-definition 4K glory.
To receive updated content, FMPX1 owners can subscribe to Sony’s new 4K video distribution service that offers a library of native 4K content not only from Sony Picture Entertainment, but also from other production houses. The subscription service is scheduled to go live in fall this year.
We certainly hope that both the Sony FMP-X1 4K media player and the new video distribution service will make it across the pond to the UK and Europe this time – in our opinion the availability of native 4K content is absolutely critical to initial takeup of relatively expensive ultra HD TVs.
Source: Sony USA blog