Sony is working on a on-demand movie and TV service for the PlayStation 4 that will stream titles in 4K Ultra HD.
As well as playing the next iteration of Killzone on your PS4, you’ll also be able to stream and download recent Sony Pictures hits like Skyfall and The Amazing Spider-Man as well as remastered classics like Dr. Strangelove and Lawrence of Arabia… but only if you’re living in the US.
Yes frustratingly for us in the UK, it looks like Sony will be keeping this one to the other side of the Atlantic for the time being.
Speaking to Inside CI, Sony UK’s TV business head Paul Gyles revealed that the service would be “a United States only thing,” and that there’s currently no plans for rollout in Europe.
For us beleaguered Brits there is however a ray of hope. Sky is currently trialling 4K broadcasts in Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium and SES – who owns the Astra satellites Sky uses – has said that 4K broadcasts could be a reality by 2014-15.
So while we might not be able to stream Sony’s 4K movies on demand via our PS4’s we might be able to watch them via Sky Movies. Of course for this to happen, Sky would have to release an updated Sky+HD box, as the current device isn’t capable of 4K Ultra HD output.
Also, there’s the fact that right now there are just two 4K TV sets on sale in the UK, the LG 84LM960V and the Sony KD-84X9005, both of which are priced upward of £22,000.
Whether 4K Sony movies will be made available on-demand over here is another thing. Sony Electronic’s president Phil Molyneux has said that a 4K download would weigh in at 100GB, so that’s way beyond what the majority of the UK’s creaky old broadband lines can handle.
On a BT FTTC (Fibre to the Cabinet) line which should give you up to 76Mbps, this would take you just under three hours to download a 100GB file. That’s assuming you’ll get a consistent 76Mbps download speed, something which you’re not always likely to get, according to the most recent round of figures.
Until the UK’s broadband infrastructure improves dramatically, we’re not likely to see 4K on-demand services arriving here any time soon.