The REDRAY 4K (Ultra HD) media server is nearly here, with content, ready to fill that 84-inch TV you bought already for your home theater. Remember a couple of months ago when we told you about the REDRAY? It’s a $1,750, 4K/3D media player with a 1TB hard drive (expandable). It’s a lot closer to shipping now (the site still reads “coming soon”), and there’s content available. Yes, real 4K content shot with 4K Red cameras.
That’s encouraging news for people yearning for the promised perfection of more pixels. Unfortunately if you were hoping for top-billed Hollywood movies, well, those aren’t in the immediate picture.
Odemax, the company that Red is working with for the cloud-based delivery system, is focusing on independent films, not blockbusters, for now. Red and Odemax are inviting indie movie makers to create their own dedicated channels on the REDRAY server. So far there are about 9 titles available from full features to shorts, covering a mix of genres including sci fi, romance, drama and more.
So my first reaction to this news was, honestly, disappointment. Red cameras are currently being used by many of Hollywood’s biggest names (like Peter Jackson) but none of those names, at least at the moment, seem to be jumping onto this new delivery format.
On second thought though, this is kind of exciting. The ability to experience new talent and new ideas on the industry’s newest format is fitting. It strikes me that the best way to get new filmmakers—those willing to take new risks—excited about this format is to give them an outlet for sharing their work. Some of my favorite recent movies and TV shows have been from obscure directors and studios which I stumbled upon by accident (browsing through Netflix recommendations mostly).
This news doesn’t mean that the REDRAY player will be restricted to titles no one has ever heard of. Odemax’s Tom Oro wrote in an email “Over time, Odemax will provide a growing selection of Big Name VOD movies but will always specialize in smaller, story-driven films.” That sounds like a best-of-both-worlds situation. I think I’d much rather show off my new 4K display (hypothetically of course, since I don’t have a 4K display) with something unique than with another release of Titanic or Avatar. You can check out the REDRAY player here or the list of current titles here.
REDRAY isn’t the only 4K media product on the horizon. Sony is promising a 4K server as well, and theirs is going to sell for $699, and we expect it to be dominated by Sony content—which means more Spiderman and Taylor Swift.
Some of the indie filmmakers featured on the REDRAY
What to Watch in 4K
The Best TVs from CES
Check Out the RedRay 4K Player
What You Need to Know About Ultra HDTV
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Grant Clauser has been covering home electronics for more than 10 years with editorial roles in several consumer and trade magazines. He's done ISF-level damage to hundreds of reviewed products and has had training from THX, the Home Acoustics Alliance, Control4 and Sencore. His latest book is Necessary Myths
. Follow him on Twitter @geclauser.