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The ultra high-definition (UHD) seems to be the future of home entertainment video and Sony Corp. is among the first companies to offer appropriate TVs and players. However, due to lack of standardized optical disc technology for 4K movies, the company will not only have to work with the Blu-ray disc association (BDA) to create one, but first to develop a special mechanism to deliver 4K movies over the Internet.

Sony has officially confirmed plans to develop the world’s first 4K movie download service, which will deliver videos in 3840*2160 (or similar) resolution to the owners of brand-new ultra-high-definition TVs. Each of movie in UHD quality will require over 100GB of storage space depending on the length and types of scenes, according to Phil Molyneux, the president and chief operating officer of Sony Electronics. Such vast file sizes significantly increase complexity of digital delivery and requirements for 4K players.

As is known, Sony PlayStation 4 game console will support playback of videos in 4K resolution, but currently it is unknown how such content will be delivered to the console. At present, Sony bundles media server capable of playing back content in 4K ultra high-definition resolution with its 84” Bravia XBR-84X900 4K LCD TV and preloads ten 4K full-length movies onto the server. While the company promises digital delivery of 4K movies to owners of the UHDTVs, it is unclear how the company plans to implement the service.

Streaming of UHD content requires fast and uninterrupted Internet connection (preferably with speed that exceeds 40Mb/s required for Blu-ray movies), which may not be always present. Meanwhile, pure downloads of movies that need over 100GB of space mean that local storage should provide at least 2TB of disk space to keep a minimal collection of favorite movies locally, a costly feature for a piece of consumer electronics.

The common logic implies that as 4K gets more widespread, Sony will offer 4K players with Internet connection, local storage and UHD movie delivery service to owners of non-Sony UHDTVs. The more consumers use the 4K video service, the higher bandwidth requirements for such technology will be. Given the fact that Sony already has bandwidth-consuming PlayStation Network (PSN) up and running with million customers and no problems, it is highly likely that the PSN will be the backbone of the 4K movie delivery service. With PSN available on non-PlayStation devices, the service will move a step closer to Microsoft Corp.’s Xbox Live.

Tags: Sony, 4K, Playstation, UHD, UHDTV, Blu-ray


Comments currently: 7
Discussion started: 03/01/13 12:53:13 AM
Latest comment: 03/04/13 05:41:06 AM
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From wikipedia: "BD has ... a maximum AV bitrate of 48 Mbit/s (for both audio and video data)"

(1920*1080)/48M = 0,0432
(3840*2160)/0,0432 = 192Mb/s

So streaming UHD with the same compression (providing it scales linearly) as bluray would require a 200Mb/s connection...

So Snatch ( best movie EVER ) would need:

Personally, I would prefer a good 1080p h265 download service with consistent performance, good price and vast selection.
0 1 [Posted by: exodeus  | Date: 03/01/13 12:53:13 AM]
- collapse thread

UHD videos will use HEVC/H.265 codec, it is supposed to be considerably more efficient than MPEG4-AVC, but (a) I doubt it will be that efficient and (b) there are stereo-3D technologies...
1 0 [Posted by: Anton  | Date: 03/01/13 05:28:54 AM]
Imagine the switching fabric necessary on the provider side to handle that kind of traffic when multiplied by thousands of simultaneous viewers....
0 0 [Posted by: bluvg  | Date: 03/01/13 02:24:57 PM]
Vendors are talking 36Mbps for broadcast quality 4k, <10Mbps adaptive bitrate progressive download 4K VOD.

Service provider switching infrastructure handles this and much more already. Keep in mind, most on-demand video these days is served from a CDN cluster within the SP's access network. the impact on core, transport and transit is typically low.

It's my view that the issue is not in the network (including satellite) - it's the current investment in STB fleets. These devices do not currently have capability (or upgradeable) to decode and output 4k therefore need forklift.

As with the transition from SD to 1080, the 4k transition will be gradual (industry STB amortisation 5-7 years) as 4K capable units are still in development only and it would take another 12-18mo before broadcasters could even start dep,oyment. Many are briefing projects right now that will take 2 years to land then another 5 years to reach 30-50% subscriber penetration.

A companion device (think 4K HDMI Roku stick) is a potential interim play. Or higher quality bitrates (e.g. Netflix "Super HD" ) based on current generation chipsets.

1 0 [Posted by: David A  | Date: 03/03/13 01:30:52 PM]

So.. err.. are all ISPs across the globe going to universally increase their monthly caps when 4K streaming goes live? Hope so as I cannot remotely see one trying to view a single 4K movie when watching 3/4ths of it would right away exceed most caps.

Further, I get 5Mb/sec downstream speeds so we'll have to exponentially increase the network infrastructure big time in 2-4years to allow for 4K (let alone 8K in a few years after that) which, really, I cannot see happening so quick. Would be nice of course.
0 0 [Posted by: thudo  | Date: 03/01/13 08:13:38 AM]
- collapse thread

Only Stone Age providers are still using monthly caps. I know this is very common in North America, but in Asia and Europe, except some countries, this practice have been all long abolished.
0 0 [Posted by: TAViX  | Date: 03/04/13 05:41:06 AM]

Is OK guys. In Japan 200Mbps is mainstream for a long time with 1Gbps being something common in big cities. Is about time all that bandwidth to be saturated with something else except torrents
0 0 [Posted by: TAViX  | Date: 03/04/13 05:37:49 AM]


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