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OTT platforms are ramping up the battle with pay-TV providers to offer 4K UHD content with the confirmation from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment that the studio’s new 4K Ultra HD movie streaming service, ULTRA, will debut April 4, 2016 on Sony 4K Ultra HD TVs with Android TV in the United States.
“Consumers are rapidly upgrading their living rooms to 4K, and Sony Pictures Home Entertainment’s new ULTRA streaming service will provide a premium viewing experience to satisfy growing demand for 4K movies and television shows,” said Jake Winett, VP, Consumer Services & Advanced Platforms at Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.
“ULTRA takes advantage of the latest industry innovations – 4K resolution, high dynamic range, a wider colour spectrum, digital movie extras, and UltraViolet interoperability – so viewers get the most out of their televisions and their movie collections,” Winett added.
Sony Electronics’ president, Mike Fasulo, who initially announced plans for Sony’s televisions to include the ULTRA app at CES in January 2016, added: “Sony Pictures’ new ULTRA 4K streaming service is a ground-breaking visual experience with a wealth of high-quality content to showcase the exceptional quality of Sony’s latest televisions.”
Powered by the Sony Pictures Store, ULTRA will offer a variety of movies for purchase and playback in 4K Ultra HD, with many including High Dynamic Range (HDR) and Digital Extras at no additional charge, taking full advantage of the latest television display technologies and interactive capabilities.
Sony says that 4K Ultra HD provides four times the resolution of HDTV, and HDR provides a wider range of colour and contrast, producing more realistic details and depth to maximize the viewing experience.
Films available on ULTRA will include new releases such as Concussion, The Night Before and The Walk, and library titles such as Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon and Ghostbusters, priced at $30 in 4K with HDR.
Customers who purchase eligible Sony 4K Ultra HD televisions with ULTRA this summer will receive four complimentary movies when they sign up for the service.
The ULTRA 4K service is compatible with UltraViolet, so users will be able to link their ULTRA profiles to their existing UltraViolet libraries, and stream their Sony Pictures content previously purchased or redeemed through other UltraViolet-compatible retailers, such as SonyPicturesStore.com, Vudu and others.
Additionally, Sony Pictures Store customers that already own HD versions of select titles can upgrade them to 4K on ULTRA for a special discounted price.