Is Ultra HD’s Future in a Hard Drive Server?

Fox is launching an "Innovations Lab" to foster new 4K technology

Mike Dunn, president of 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment, thinks we need an easier way to manage high-def content. He is calling on Hollywood and consumer electronics manufacturers to work together to create a Blu-ray player with terabytes of space for storing and managing content, including 4K Ultra HD.

During his keynote presentation at the CEA Industry Forum in Los Angeles this week, Dunn spoke of an “entertainment hub” that ushers consumers into the digital world. It would store and make TV shows and movies available to any device.

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“Consumers would have the ability to copy their physical discs and store and manage their entire digital library in one centralized location—managed in the living room,” he says, “where most content is viewed on the big screen.”

It sounds a lot like an Ultra HD version of Kaleidescape’s Cinema One player (read our review here). Also, Sony is already selling an Ultra HD video server, the FMP-X1 for $699.

To that end, he says, 20th Century Fox recently is launching an “Innovation Lab” to foster “relationships with CE and tech companies to start early in the innovation cycle.”

So I asked the obvious question at the end of his presentation (in a much nicer way, I hope): We’ve got the hardware and software, what’s taking you guys so long?

I guess he didn’t understand the question because his answer was something about how not all content can reside in the cloud; you need local storage too.

Anyway, he says this “Digital Bridge is really the platform for the future” and that “we must build it together.”

And then, he adds, “Everyone can innovate around that for the next 10 years.”

In other Fox Home Entertainment news, Dunn spoke of the company’s new Digital HD service, which allows consumers to stream new titles for $14.99 as long as four weeks before they’re released on disc.

Consumers, he says, are adopting the service “at the same rapid pace as DVD.”

CEA chief Gary Shapiro thanked Dunn at the end of the program, noting, “We’ve seen how our relationship with Hollywood has gone up and down, so it’s nice to have Mike here.”

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