Sony introduces ultra-high-definition video player

Nov 30, 2012 by Derrik J. Lang
This undated publicity image provided by Sony shows an ultra-HD 4K TV set. High-definition TVs roughly quadrupled the resolution of the sets that came before them. Now, the industry is poised to do it again as Sony says its U.S. stores will, by December 2012, sell a TV set with four times the resolution of today's best HDTVs. The new, restored and rebooted films from Sony Pictures are among the content coming pre-loaded on a video player bundled with Sony's first ultra-high-definition television, a massive 84-inch set that retails for $24,999.99 and features nearly four times the resolution of typical high-definition TVs. (AP Photo/Sony, File)

"The Amazing Spiderman," ''Taxi Driver" and "The Karate Kid" are getting some real resolution.

The new, restored and rebooted films from Sony Pictures are among the content coming pre-loaded on a bundled with Sony's first ultra-, a massive 84-inch (213-centimeter) set that retails for $24,999.99 and features nearly four times the resolution of typical high-definition TVs.

"People ask the question, 'Do I need to get a bigger house to fit an 84-inch TV?'" said Chris Cookson, president of Technologies. "The answer is that 25 inches (63.5 centimeters) was right for standard definition; 50 inches was right for high-def; and 84 inches is right now that we're going ultra-high-def."

Ultra HD is widely regarded as the next evolution in TV technology, but there's currently a lack of content that takes advantage of the vast resolution, though Ultra HD sets are equipped to upscale lower resolution video. . is hoping to overcome that pitfall that with this new player.

The Japanese electronics giant debuted the hard-disc server—hidden in a cabinet underneath the behemoth television—at a posh invite-only party Thursday at a private mansion in Santa Monica that featured a performance by John Legend.

In this publicity image released by Columbia Pictures, Jaden Smith as "Dre", left, and Jackie Chan as Mr. Han, are shown in "The Karate Kid." "The Amazing Spiderman," "Taxi Driver" and "The Karate Kid" are going big. The new, restored and rebooted films from Sony Pictures are among the content coming pre-loaded on a video player bundled with Sony's first ultra-high-definition television, a massive 84-inch set that retails for $24,999.99 and features nearly four times the resolution of typical high-definition TVs. (AP Photo/Columbia Pictures - Sony, Jasin Boland, File)

The video player will include 4K content such as short films, concerts and 10 feature-length movies, including "The Other Guys," ''Salt" and "The Bridge on the River Kwai."

Sony's TV will also come with an Xperia Tablet S, which can be used as a touchscreen remote control.

"We know there are limitations with broadband and the typical size of a movie that's in 4K," said Phil Molyneux, chief operating officer of . "I think this is an extremely good first step to ensure that consumers can have and enjoy the 4K experience in their home."

The electronics industry has dubbed the new "Ultra HD," while Sony specifically refers to it as "4K" because it features nearly 4,000 pixels, compared to the 1,080 pixels found in "1080p" sets. Molyneux said Sony has been pushing for 4K since 2005, when the company put 4K projectors in movie theaters. Last year, Sony introduced a 4K home projector, and offered a 4K upscaling Blu-ray player earlier this year.

In this Thursday, Nov. 29, 2012 publicity photo provided by Sony, John Legend performs live at Sony 4k: Live Beyond Definition, in Los Angeles. "The Amazing Spiderman," "Taxi Driver" and "The Karate Kid" are going big. The new, restored and rebooted films from Sony Pictures are among the content coming pre-loaded on a video player bundled with Sony's first ultra-high-definition television, a massive 84-inch set that retails for $24,999.99 and features nearly four times the resolution of typical high-definition TVs. (AP Photo/Sony, Joe Kohen)

Molyneux teased that additional 4K content for the new player would be sent to owners on Blu-ray discs.

"It's a first step," added Molyneux. "If we've had a vision since 2005, and we've been arming and equipping for 4K content creation, I think it's fair to speculate that we're also thinking about other ways to get 4K content to consumers in their home."

LG Electronics offers a similar 84-inch Ultra HD TV. It retails for $19,999.99.

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pokerdice1
1 / 5 (1) Dec 01, 2012
This time around I hope for better marketing than what was used to push the HD revolution. For instance, I would recommend putting these screens up in airports and casinos throughout the US, especially ones such as Bellagio in Vegas, Trump in AC and MotorCity in Detroit, to attract well-heeled buyers. This would of course help drive demand and encourage further and more rapid investment in production AND encourage research in upscaling technologies to help with the dearth in content.

PS: Can you imagine marrying 4k with 3d!? :)
kevinrtrs
1.7 / 5 (3) Dec 02, 2012
Let's just hope that Sony as a company survives in order to make a profit from this technology...Things are looking pretty grim these days.
dan42day
3.7 / 5 (3) Dec 02, 2012
Wow, just imagine, a tv with almost 4000 pixels!
barakn
3.7 / 5 (3) Dec 03, 2012
dan42day is correct in pointing out the ridiculous nature of the "4000 pixels" statement and lite owes him an apology. 4000 pixels is only (approximately) the number of pixels in one row of this display. Furthermore the idiot writer, Derrik J. Lang, has decided to compare this number with the 1080 in 1080p, but 1080 is the vertical resolution, not horizontal. So to put all the numbers on the table, one of the new "4k" resolutions Sony has been working on is 3840 × 2160, whereas 1080p is 1920 x 1080.