The 4k Content Conundrum - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 11-11-2013, 01:46 AM - Thread Starter
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Hello all... new here, and joined because I'm just getting into all this, especially fascinated by 4k. First post! 

 

As many note, the big issue with 4k is content. Or at least 4k content available right now

 

I'm willing to overpay as an early adopter and 5-6k isn't all that crazy for a great 65-70 inch TV with dedicated speakers anyway.

 

However, here is my issue: Currently, Sony is the only game in town when it comes to 4k content. (My last trip into their store had me impressed with the movies and TV shows they've added and are continuing to add.) Seeing this, it seems Sony has decided to leverage their lead in content, and make their service and 4k player/downloads incompatible with other TVs. 

 

I'm tempted by Sony 65 inch with speakers for $5500, however, I think I'd prefer the 70 inch THX certified Sharp for a variety of reasons. (Truthfully, I'd most love to own the 84 inch Sony but even if it came down 10k from it's current 25k price tag, it would still be too expensive.) 

 

My question is, does the Sony Video Unlimited 4k service use a proprietary file format? If not, what's to stop someone from downloading the rental/purchase and then playing the file with a different player on another manufacturer's 4k TV, such as the Sharp? 

 

Does anyone expect Sony to maintain this "exclusively for our TV's" stance for long? How long before others have access to the same 4k content that Sony is offering? 

 

I'm ready for 4k and willing to drop 6kish for a TV/player but I'd prefer something 70 inches+ and want at least some content--which only Sony seems to provide now. Not sure what to do, but I'm open to any thoughts or suggestions. 

 

Thanks!

 

Tony

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post #2 of 7 Old 11-11-2013, 03:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnthonyFlores View Post


My question is, does the Sony Video Unlimited 4k service use a proprietary file format? If not, what's to stop someone from downloading the rental/purchase and then playing the file with a different player on another manufacturer's 4k TV, such as the Sharp?

The Sony FMP-X1 4K Media Player use a codec they have licensed from Eye IO, LLC (eyeIO) which proably is based in H.264.
This might change when H.265 is released.

To use the FMP-X1 player you need to have both a Sony 4K TV and the player continuously connected to the Internet in the US through the same switch that verifies that both the TV and the player is in the same room/close proximity to each other.

The TV has to have the latest HDCP 2.2 DRM board and protocol to function.

Can't see how you would be able to hack into the Sony Video Unlimited 4k service or rip movies from the FMP-X1 and convert the content to a easier playable format to use on another brand of TV or projector.
Even the earliest Sony 4K TVs and Projectors needs a complete new HDMI & HDCP upgrade board to access the player and the content service.
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Does anyone expect Sony to maintain this "exclusively for our TV's" stance for long? How long before others have access to the same 4k content that Sony is offering? 
After going to so many hoops to protect their 4K content and making sure it can only be played on a limited series of Sony 4K TVs (and they are not finished upgrading the earlier models) I can not see why they should do all this and then open it up for non Sony brands.

The 4K content and player and upgrade is still only available in the US.

I have my doubt that the PS4 touted ability for playing 4K content will be getting any of this 4K content before several years have passed.
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I'm ready for 4k and willing to drop 6kish for a TV/player but I'd prefer something 70 inches+ and want at least some content--which only Sony seems to provide now. Not sure what to do, but I'm open to any thoughts or suggestions. 

Thanks!

Tony

Only way for now is to go for a Sony 4K TV.

Maybe something new will be announced at CES (or when Xbox1/PS4 is properly launched).
Odemax/Redray, Netflix, HBO, Nuvola and Intel all have been testing/teasing about 4K content delivery platforms and Blu-Ray 4K should be ready for launch next year.

Patience and a hope that the display manufacturer can get their act together and get some kind of agreement with the movie studios for a general release platform for 4K content next year is the only hope for those that don't own a Sony "familia" brand 4K display.

Sharp 4K TVs will not have HDMI 2.0 before the spring of 2014, so a TV bought now will probabaly not be upgradeable.

Here are a; HDMI 2.0 upgrade path: Where do the manufacturers stand? overview.
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post #3 of 7 Old 11-12-2013, 12:41 AM
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Look closely at the Sharp's pixels before you buy it. There is a weird problem with them, at least it looks that way up close. It is something i first learned about using a Sharp LE835U, which i returned, where anywhere there was a horizontal line formed by simply a color difference, vertical "teeth" protrude upwards. I was using it as a computer monitor though.

Compared the 65" Sony, the 70" Sharp 4K looked almost ugly with their 4k content. No kidding. I did wonder if Sharp had done some internal testing that showed that at normal viewing distances, that effect resulted in a increase in perceived sharpness/detail. I was looking very closely. ~1 meter, but i would not buy that TV.
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post #4 of 7 Old 11-13-2013, 08:17 AM
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One thing not mentioned is that the PS4 will include 4k streaming. Sony has the streaming all to themselves for now but down the road that will change. Besides the good reviews that Sony 4k sets are getting which is drawing customers there way, Sony is also enticing with their "right now" 4k streaming. There are not that many households that have 4k TVs at this point. But down the road, will Sony shut out potential customers from the huge base of PS4 owners that can be potential 4k TV owners? I'm not for certain on any of this but we do know that Sony is trying to storm back into the TV business after loosing market shares for a long time..
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post #5 of 7 Old 11-13-2013, 08:25 AM
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Originally Posted by tory40 View Post

Look closely at the Sharp's pixels before you buy it. There is a weird problem with them, at least it looks that way up close. It is something i first learned about using a Sharp LE835U, which i returned, where anywhere there was a horizontal line formed by simply a color difference, vertical "teeth" protrude upwards. I was using it as a computer monitor though.

Compared the 65" Sony, the 70" Sharp 4K looked almost ugly with their 4k content. No kidding. I did wonder if Sharp had done some internal testing that showed that at normal viewing distances, that effect resulted in a increase in perceived sharpness/detail. I was looking very closely. ~1 meter, but i would not buy that TV.

I have to agree with your assessment. I was in a Magnolia store recently and was checking out the 90" Sharp set. To my left was another TV and as I was looking at it I asked myself if that is a 4k set. It was the Sharp 70" UHD set but the 4k look was not as good as the Sony, Samsung or LG sets. The images on their demo were less sharp and less solid looking. The colors did not stand out either. As far as the demo goes, it seemed like a step behind the afore mentioned 4k sets.
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post #6 of 7 Old 11-13-2013, 08:54 AM
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But down the road, will Sony shut out potential customers from the huge base of PS4 owners? I don't think so as that would be so short sighted as to be dumb. They seem to be calculating their moves with this and from a business stand point it's hard to blame them as they are trying to get back in the game.

I am sure that Sony Electronics would like to open up the PS4 for 4K content to download or stream from the same streaming service that feeds the Sony FMP-X1 player.
The question is will Sony Pictures allow it?

When we see how Sony Electronics started to sell 4K TVs and then quite a while afterwards required HDCP 2.2 to be able to display Sony Pictures 4K content, which meant a very expensive upgrade to all the 4K TVs they already had shipped.
This was most likely a demand from Sony Pictures before they agreed to allow any 4K content distribution.

Do we really think that after that much trouble and cost that Sony will open up the service to PS4 without the same requirements?

The PS4 can do 4K playback, but that doesn't mean it will much more than "bragging points" for a long time when it comes to full length movie features.
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post #7 of 7 Old 11-13-2013, 09:04 AM
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Originally Posted by coolscan View Post

I am sure that Sony Electronics would like to open up the PS4 for 4K content to download or stream from the same streaming service that feeds the Sony FMP-X1 player.
The question is will Sony Pictures allow it?

When we see how Sony started to sell 4K TVs and then quite a while afterwards required HDCP 2.2 to be able to display Sony Pictures 4K content, which meant a very expensive upgrade to all the 4K TVs they already had shipped.
Do we really think that after that much trouble and cost that Sony will open up the service to PS4 without the same requirements?

The PS4 can do 4K playback, but that doesn't mean it will much more than "bragging points" for a long time when it comes to full length movie features.

More good questions. Maybe or maybe not we'll learn more when this week when the PS4 consoles are released. I'll be getting one on release day from Amazon even though I won't even have a TV since mine went back but wouldn't that be something if there were instructions for streaming 4k in the manual. Or will it say regarding 4k "feature not available at this time."
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