Sony launched its 4K Ultra HD server, the FMP-X1, a couple months ago, but users were restricted to the handful of movies already on the hard drive (Bad Teacher, Battle: Los Angeles, The Bridge on the River Kwai, The Karate Kid, Salt, Taxi Driver, That’s My Boy, The Amazing Spider-Man, The Other Guys , Total Recall and others) when they bought it. Now the company has finally turned on the 4K online video service, and it sounds pretty cool.
So far the service offers about 70 movies and TV shows, and that list will grow to 100 by the end of the year. Among the titles available now on the service are the TV show Breaking Bad, and movies Moneyball, Think Like A Man, Premium Rush, Ghostbusters, The Amazing Spider-Man, Funny Girl and The Guns of Navarone. This is the End, After Earth and Elysium will be added soon.
The cost of each episode is about the same as you’d pay for an HD version from streaming services like Amazon’s Instant Video or Vudu. One episode of a TV show is $3.99 while a 24-hour rental of a movie is $7.99 or $29.99 to purchase the movie. Some of the titles also come with an UltraViolet (in HD) version, similar to Kaleidescape’s movie download service.
The server and the video service currently work with Sony’sXBR-55X900 and XBR-65X900A models, and the forthcoming XBR-55X850A and XBR-65X850A, but not the company’s original 84-inch Ultra HD TV or the VPL-VW1000ES 4K projector. There’s a program in place to upgrade existing Sony 84-inch UHD TVs to work with the server, and we’re told that a plan is in the works for the projector as well.
The server itself has a 2 TB hard drive that can store 50 4K resolution movies with uncompressed surround sound. Users can add additional storage capacity with a USB hard drive.
A Sony representative said 4K movies average about 40GBs in size, and download times, while dependent on the quality of your broadband connection, can be about four times the movie’s play length.
An interesting option for the FMP-X1 customer, called Video Unlimited 4K, automatically downloads new content to the hard drive, and users just select the available content for immediate purchase or rental without having to wait for a lengthy download.
The FMP-X1 Media Player is exclusively compatible with Sony 4K Ultra HD TVs and available for $699, or $499 if purchased together with a Sony 4K Ultra HD TV.
RED and Odemax have tested out 4K downloads for the RedPlayer already. You can read about that here.
Also Check Out:
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Sony 4K Ultra HD Media Player Coming July 15
Watch Four 1080p Shows at Once with Planar 4K TV
Theater Renovation Heats up Once-Frigid Room with 4K Images
Get Your Fill of 4K Indie Films with REDRAY
A Bargain Price Ultra HD TV: Is it Worth It?
What to Watch On a 4K Ultra HD TV
Sony’s New 4K Ultra HD TVs Start at $4,999
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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. He's also the author of the book The Trouble with Rivers
. Follow him on Twitter @geclauser.