Sony's Ultra HD content bundle revealed

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Nic Healey can usually be found on a couch muttering about aspect ratios and 7.1 channel sound - which is helpful given that he's the home entertainment guy at CNET.

Sony will "loan" an Ultra HD player with 10 movies loaded to anyone in the US who buys its $24,000 TV.

(Credit: Sarah Tew)

We reported recently that Sony had promised the "world's first 4K Ultra HD delivery solution" to anyone buying its 84-inch Ultra HD TV. Then we reported that it was for people purchasing in the US only.

However, Sony has now come out and explained what this delivery solution will be. Essentially, anyone who buys the Bravia 4K TV in the US will get "loaned" an Ultra HD video player — in actuality, a hard disc server — that will come loaded with a number of 4K shorts and 10 full movies in native 4K.

The movies include:

  • The Amazing Spiderman
  • Total Recall (2012)
  • The Karate Kid (2010)
  • Salt
  • Battle Los Angeles
  • The Other Guys
  • Bad Teacher
  • That's My Boy
  • Taxi Driver
  • The Bridge on the River Kwai

Not exactly a top 10 list of hot Academy Award contenders, but there's certainly one or two gems. We are a little curious about the older films and the process of remastering them for Ultra HD.

Our CNET US team reached out to Sony about the loan process and got the following reponse:

The loan is a free lease program with our customers, and is just the first step in the rapidly evolving processes to deliver 4K content to the home. It's been provided as a value-add to its customers because Sony felt that consumers needed a solution now rather than later. Currently, the loan period is open-ended.

Again, currently, Sony in Australia has no plans for a similar program.

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assuming the content is unencrypted, this sounds like a sensible/simple method of enforcing copyright on the bundled propertiary 4K content.

IE if a user is caught leaking the content makes onto p2p, the loan and or program could be terminated as the flagship status of the product line is comprimised.

If these devices were sold outright without any specific terms of use the content would be ripped quickly.

My understanding of such HDD based devices, eg a HDD for cinema movies is that an encryption key is needed to unlock the drive anyway and it would be a bit foolish to supply master quality content to end users unencrypted despite the users profiles.

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