UK viewers will be left out in the cold when Wuaki.tv launches its 4K Ultra HD service – at least initially.
The streaming service, owned by Play.com parent company Rakuten, will bring next-gen HD streams to customers in France and Germany from December 1 onwards.
Other European territories including the UK will be able t get their 4K fix from Wuaki.tv soon after, but the company hasn’t said when yet.
Wuaki.tv is still in talks with content providers over a UK launch for 4K. It’s expected that the new service will be live before the Christmas rush begins, meaning those who find a 4K smart TV waiting under the tree this year should be able to tune in.
Jordi Miró, chief technology officer of Wuaki.tv said: “More and more of our customers are beginning to demand movies in 4K, as TVs with the technology become commonplace in the home. We expect 4K will become increasingly popular towards the end of the year and into 2015, as consumers in Europe buy new TVs around Christmas time, upgrade to Smart TVs, and 4K prices begin to drop as more devices come to the market.
“We’ll be ready for this when it happens so, as soon as a 4K TV is plugged in for the first time, everyone will have access to a quality catalogue of on-demand 4K content from Wuaki.tv.”
Wuaki.tv demonstrated its 4K service at IFA this year, showing off Ultra HD streams on LG and Samsung smart TVs. It’s not yet clear if Panasonic’s 2014 smart TVs, which can now access Netflix 4K, will be supported.
It’s not clear if Wuaki.tv will charge customers extra for 4K content, like Netflix, or keep the prices the same, like Amazon. As Wuaki.tv charges customers per title rather than on a monthly basis, it’s likley that 4K movies and TV episodes will cost a little more.
Launch titles are also be confirmed as is a minimum download speed. Netflix and Amazon Prime Instant Video both require around a constant 20-25Mbps of downstream bandwidth in order for 4K services to work.