November 20, 2012
| by Julie Jacobson
There’s really only two things about 4K Ultra HD that consumers object to: price and lack of content.
The price is the price, but Sony is doing its part to get content to consumers who plunked down $25,000 for the new XBR-84X900.
Sony spokesperson Ray Hartjen blogged today:
In the next couple of weeks, the XBR-84X900 television will ship to customers who placed pre-orders since the product introduction in September. As an extra bonus, included free with the purchase will be the world’s first 4K Ultra HD delivery solution, complete with pre-loaded, native 4K entertainment. Not some goofy 4K content shot as a demo. I’m talking full length feature Hollywood productions, and available exclusively to purchasers of Sony’s 84” 4K Ultra HD TV.
It’s not clear if the “delivery solution” (presumably a small PC, which Sony has supplied to retailers for demo purposes) and native content will be available to those who buy the sets at retail.
Sony pooh-poohs the notion that lack of 4K content is a deal breaker. Hartjen notes that 4K Ultra HD broadcasts are sparse, but Fox Sports employs a Sony 4K F65 Cinealta camera at one NFL game each week.
The ultra-high-resolution footage allows broadcasters and commentators to blow up the action for extremely tight shots:
When the network enlarges the video to get an up close look at say a receiver tiptoeing a sideline, the video naturally loses resolution, common to enlarging any photo or video. But, with 4 times the resolution of Full HD, 4K has more than enough resolution to spare, and losing half still provides the best picture possible.
Hartjen says Sony would never “leave our 4K Ultra HD TV customers hanging.”
He notes the company makes 4K professional cameras for production studios and that Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) “turns out 4K production every day.”
Read More: What You Need to Know About Ultra HD.
In a recent interview with CE Pro, Sony spokesperson Rob Manfredo explains that Sony is hard at work remastering classic films.
“From that perspective,” he says, “we’re committed to releasing more content to the home.”
Furthermore, some new TV shows are already being shot in 4K “to kind of future-proof those products for syndication,” Manfredo says, singling out “The New Normal” and “Made in Jersey.”
Read More: 3net Studios Plans 4K TV Series.
Meanwhile, Sony is training filmmakers and others allied with the movie-production business, how to shoot and process films in 4K, just as the company did with 3D.
Julie Jacobson is co-founder of EH Publishing and currently spends most of her time writing for CE Pro, mostly in the areas of home automation, networked A/V and the business of home systems integration. She majored in Economics at the University of Michigan, earned an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin, and has never taken a journalism class in her life. Julie is a washed-up Ultimate Frisbee player with the scars to prove it. Follow her on Twitter @juliejacobson.