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Sony to Make 4K Affordable with 55-Inch UHD TV, Media Hub & Distribution Service to Match

04.11.13 @ 10:58AM Tags : , , , , , , ,

Until more recently, the home theater/consumer side of 4K has been a bit beyond the reach of the average consumer. The $25,000 pricing of Sony’s 84-inch Bravia 4K TV, for instance, is simply prohibitive to all but the most enthusiastic home viewers — but Sony’s newly price-pointed 55 and 65-inch screens are poised to address that point, set to go for $5,000 and $7,000, respectively. And just in case you were wondering what (and how) Sony expects you to actually watch on such a thing, the company’s also unveiled its $699 FMP-X1 4K media player, plus an eventual distribution service, to go along with them cheap(er) UHD TV screens. Check out some more details below.

Straight from Sony, via Engadget and The Verge, hot off the tirelessly overworked NAB press (images courtesy Sony and its 4KTV homepage):

4K Ultra High Definition Experience Extends into More Living Rooms


The new XBR-55X900A (55-inch) and XBR-65X900A (65-inch) 4K Ultra HD LED TVs will cost $4,999 and $6,999 respectively and are available for order online and at retail beginning April 21, 2013. Images become lifelike with a resolution of four-times that of Full HD TV (3840 x 2160) delivers lifelike images… with Sony’s proprietary two-chip 4K X-Reality PRO picture engine. All colors, including difficult blues, greens and reds, are delivered naturally and accurately through TRILUMINOS Display.

Sony is also announcing its 4K Media Player, the FMP-X1, and video distribution service – both industry firsts… This summer, consumers of Sony’s 4K UHD TVs can purchase the FMP-X1 4K Media Player bundled with 10 feature films and video shorts in true 4K resolution for $699. In the fall of 2013, users of the same 4K Media Player will be given access to a fee-based video distribution service offering a library of 4K titles from Sony Pictures Entertainment and other notable production houses. The feature films included with purchase of the 4K Media Player are Bad Teacher, Battle: Los Angeles, The Bridge on the River Kwai, The Karate Kid (2010), Salt, Taxi Driver, That’s My Boy, The Amazing Spider-Man, The Other Guys and Total Recall (2012).

More information will surely follow, especially regarding the catchy-titled FMP-X1 and this 4K distribution service — in the meantime, more complete spec sheets are available regarding the UHD TVs through Sony’s online store. It may also be a good time to note that regardless of pixel-peeping dot-to-dot counts, UHD specs like those seen here (3840 x 2160, vs. 4K digital cinema’s 4096 × 2160) won’t be stopping anyone from referring to these as 4K televisions. The very organizations deciding on standards like UHD use 4K as a fair descriptor of 2160p images and screens.

What do you think? Is this someone that will find its way into your home?

Links:

[via Engadget and The Verge]

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  • Juanky Alvarez on 04.11.13 @ 11:18AM

    This will be great to monitor 4K footage in my editing studio. But I still dont see much sense for everyday house use… yet.

  • The TV looks cool, I wouldn’t go for the media player though. It’s expensive and it’ll probably be obsolete in the relatively near future. I’m betting on Apple to change the game within the next couple of years.

    • yeaaaah, with some obscenely overpriced shiny thing that only works with itunes in it`s ass…the future is for lemmings…

      • Yeah, just like the iPhone is sooooooo overpriced compared to its competitors.

        By the way, iTunes works great for me. I keep all my movies on my iTunes account and stream them to Apple TV.

        But don’t fret, Google or Samsung will make there own copy of whatever Apple comes up with, so you won’t have to use Apple’s thing if you hate Apple for whatever reason.

  • prolly put this in my bathroom /sarc

  • Anthony Marino on 04.11.13 @ 12:27PM

    It makes sense at that price if you’re a tv studio or production house where you need to view in 4k. Its certainly not ready for prime time yet, I guess when it’s comparable to prices now we’ll see the transition into the full K hole experience. I just hope in the future they come up with something more creative than 12k, 16k or 24k, nothing will be as exciting as 4k is right now.

  • David Hather on 04.11.13 @ 12:45PM

    “And just in case you were wondering what (and how) Sony expects you to actually watch on such a thing”

    You guys do know that the TV upscales 1080p content right? I saw them at CES and EVERY BluRay movie a customer owns will look better on these 55 and 65 inch sets. Something to remember before bashing.

    • Dave Kendricken on 04.11.13 @ 7:20PM

      That’s a great point David, to be sure — I just don’t think 100% of available content having been upscaled makes a great case for pulling the trigger on such a TV, was more what I was getting at.

  • I think the lower (relatively…) prices are a great leap forward. It means that the tvs will be around $2500 next year. That’s great news ! A Blackmagic 4K cinema camera and a 55″ monitor for the price of a Red camera ? Why not !

  • on a side note: is Canon even AT this event ? you think maybe they could’ve rolled out their six month old mk iii firmware upgrade or something ? jesus … talk about left in the dust.

    • ROTFLMAO!!! Exactly what I was thinking. Canon are a distant memory ;-)

    • But hey, they just got 1080p at 60fps in one of their camcorder cameras. Rip VanWinkle will be impressed.

    • daam seriously what are they at a booth with a big sign “get the Firmware exclusively now at NAB” or wtfunk??
      Cough it up already jesus.
      (or no booth and guerilla style outside the NAB halls… rofl… )

      Ah then again I don’t even have the cash for the external recorder and some ssds right this instant dammit.. you guys are rich indi filmers for SURE..! anyone in donation mood? :))

    • I’d actually wouldn’t mind owning something like the C300. You know, if they lower the price to something that makes sense now… like $1500. And while they’re at it, bring the C500 back to reality… at around $4500-$5000. They would actually become very popular again with something like that.

    • One thing I’ve been wondering about for a while is how large the “indie filmmaker”/”prosumer” market really is. I mean, is it something that Canon or any large company ought to care about? (Same could be said for FCPX. And maybe a company like Panasonic has made a conscious decision to only lightly dabble in the prosumer camcorder game.)

      As excited as everyone in “our world” is about the BMD production camera, how many average guys on the street will give a crap about it? A lot of normal people think GoPro cameras are way overpriced.

      Put it this way: if you’re selling to normal consumers, you can afford to make less margin per uni because you’re selling in quantityt; if you’re selling to pros, you can bump up the price tag, and they’ll still cough up for it because they have to keep up with each other, they’re operating in a competitive space, and they can’t afford to compromise; but if you’re selling to these weird in-between people, who want pro equipment at consumer prices, usually for hobbyist reasons, then isn’t that a race to the bottom? Where’s the margin? Small sales volume; high manufacturing costs. The company’s resources are better allocated elsewhere.

      So, I guess I’m thinking that in many ways it’s unsurprising that Canon has been underwhelming this year. They only stumbled into the DSLR-video market by accident in the first place. Maybe catering to this market forms a very small piece of their overall gameplan.

      • I have wondered if GoPro had changeable lenses if their picture quality, as is, would be good enough for some Indie movie makers. I bet it would be.

      • Here’s a 4 minute movie made with GoPro. It’s from the GoPro channel on YouTube.

        Make sure you click on 1080p in the watch quality button:

  • “4K Media Player, the FMP-X1, and video distribution service – both industry firsts”

    Industry first? Have they heard of RED RAY? Neither are available but RED RAY has been around and preorders have been placed before they ever announced this

  • john jeffreys on 04.11.13 @ 2:29PM

    They have 4k panels already for 1299 on tiger direct

  • Is there any truth to the rumor that red bought redtube and is going to start only streaming 4K content on that site, revolutionizing another industry, like they’ve done with ours?

  • Hey, I want one for a computer monitor.

  • this is going to look great next to my 3d tv!

    4k is not the future – the 10 in tablet is the future of how people will watch films and tv

  • On what kind of media will this be distributed?? Fee-Based what? Online Stream? ROFL.. will such a full feature movie fit on a blue ray? not uncompressed it wont… wonder if they might send out ssd’s.. :))

    • If they use an efficient codec like Red’s, a movie could very well fit on a 50gb Blu-ray with extras on another disc.

      • Ah really? ok sounds reasonable… and that codec is that good? would love to see a side by side comparison compressed and uncompressed…. but ok

    • just going off the picture above.. looks like there is a USB3 port and an SD card reader.. as well as what must be a HMDI out and a RJ45 network cable input..

      I’m guessing everything will be over internet but that they will also support ext HDDs e.c.t. I’ll bet the SD card reader is for looking at photos or home videos.

      Now the important bit is that they pick an amazing codec so that we don’t all need expensive internet connections just to watch.. (I would like not to have to wait a week for my movie to download).

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