As companies like Apple and Samsung battle for the future of your in-home video experience, Sony quietly continues to bet that the fastest way to the consumer is through more pixels – 8.3 million of them to be exact.
Sony announced its 4K Ultra HD video download service earlier this month, Video Unlimited. The service carries a catalog of more than 70 Ultra HD feature films and TV shows, primarily from Sony Pictures Entertainment. Using your Sony Ultra HD TV and the Sony media player, you can download these titles directly, either as a 24-hour rental or as a purchase.
The motive here is somewhat obvious and has a corollary in the gaming market: create an ecosystem of content creators for your own in-home hardware platform. Where it falls short, simply create your own content. Of course, download Sony content, and it only works on your Sony TV.
Services like this are partly the missing link to driving 4K adoption by the larger market. I have my own opinion about why we need more pixels, and it has more to do with the desire to aggregate large numbers of sources (videos, images, applications, etc.) on the same screen simultaneously instead of a single video consuming that many pixels. This is becoming a trend in the enterprise space – users within the enterprise definitely have a need to see a high-resolution 3D dataset displayed next to a spreadsheet. I suppose if Sony can pull this off, it’ll be one more reason for 4K to begin to see more adoption, and consumer price pressure for incredible 4K flat panels will be a great thing for the business market.