PS4 will offer Sony 4K movie service via 100 GB+ digital movie files

sony-ps4The Verge reports that Sony’s 4K content delivery service will be available via the PS4, citing Sony Electronics President and COO Phil Molyneux, who said “I promise you will not be disappointed” when asked if the 4K service would support his company’s new console.

Sony is apparently aiming for a summer launch for the service, which would offer 4K movies as files of “100 gigabytes and plus” depending on length. Molyneux admits that the large file sizes as well as limited broadband speeds are a hindrance but asserts that Sony has ideas that will mitigate these issues. While not discounting a 4K compatible blu-ray drive (there have been reports that Sony has been working with Panasonic to explore the possiblity of higher capacity blu-ray discs ad players), Sony has indicated that digital distribution of 4K content is the most likely outcome even if downloads initially take many hours or even days to complete.

The primary conclusion I draw from the forthcoming arrival of 4K content (and 8K soon after) is that internet bandwidth (in the United States at least) needs to increase drastically. Google Fiber, which offers a 1 gigabit per second connection (about 100 times faster than the connection most Americans have) would enable 4K delivery in a timely fashion, but the current cable company monopolies are willfully holding back technological progress. I hope Google’s rollout of Fiber continues to be successful and that the cable companies change their anti-consumer outlook.  For evidence of the cable companies’ complete lack of respect for their customers, see Time Warner Cable’s recent statement that they “don’t see the need of delivering [gigabit internet] to consumers.”

By the beginning of the 2020′s 8K content delivered at frame rates of 60 fps or higher (and in 3D) will be the norm.  I can’t wait to walk right up to a huge 8K TV or “life wall” and feel as if I’m gazing into an another reality.  But to get to this point some major changes to the status quo need to happen…the cable companies must adapt, or deservedly perish.

Sony shows off 84 inch XBR 4K TV that will cost you $25,000!

Sony has spruced up their site with a new section showcasing their bleeding-edge 4k LED 3D TV.  The screen–dubbed the XBR-84X900–is an impressive 84 inches, uses passive 3D glasses, and will set you back $25,000. It’s expected to be available for purchase in December.

By comparison, LG‘s 84 inch 4K TV (dubbed the UD 84LM960) has recently been announced to cost $20,0000, and is scheduled to release this month.  Head on over to LG’s site to sign up to be notified when it arrives in the United States

As we previously reported, Toshiba is also expected to release a 4K TV soon. And then the floodgates will open and economies of scale will start to kick in, reducing prices drastically. But it may take another year or two for a 60+ inch 4K screen to be within the realm of affordability for most people.

And what about higher frame rates?  Well, that will depend on upgrades to the blu-ray and hdmi specs, as well as possible future formats.  Although most TVs refresh at 120, 240, or even higher rates, blu-ray doesn’t currently have the disc capacity and read-speed to store and transmit 1080P images from the disc at 60 fps, let alone a 4K source at 60 fps.  And HDMI will also need an upgrade to handle the massive amount of data required to transfer 4K 3D at 60 fps to the TV.

But rest assured that the tech guys at SMPTE and the consumer electronics companies are all working feverishly create new standards that will deliver to us our much-coveted 48 & 60 fps 4K 3D movies, both at home and in the theater.