Advanced Television

Sony opens 4K download store

September 5, 2013

Breaking-BadSony has launched its direct-to-consumer 4K Ultra HD video download service in the US. Sony Entertainment Network’s Video Unlimited 4K service currently provides some 70 feature films and TV shows, with a library of 100-plus expected to become available in 4K Ultra HD before the end of the year.

“We have been spearheading the advancement of 4K Ultra HD technology from the start and have now reached another milestone as promised with the Video Unlimited 4K service going live,” Sony Electronics president and COO Phil Molyneux said in unveiling the service.

TV episodes are available for purchase at $3.99 each, while movies cost $7.99 for a 24-hour rental or $29.99 for a purchase. Select purchased titles include an UltraViolet digital version of the movie or TV show, to let users access the content on compatible devices.

Titles available at launch include episodes of Sony Pictures Television’s “Breaking Bad” as well as movies including “Moneyball,” “Ghostbusters,” and “The Amazing Spider-Man,” Upcoming releases on Video Unlimited 4K are set to include “This Is the End,” “After Earth” and “Elysium.”

According to Sony, the 4K movie titles will each take up 45 to 60 gigabytes. The large file sizes mean that users may quickly exceed bandwidth-usage restrictions set by many broadband providers. While acknowledging the bandwidth issues, Sony says future compression technologies will reduce the size of 4K video by roughly half.

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