Sony's upcoming 4K movie delivery service likely to work on the PS4

By on March 1, 2013, 3:00 PM

Sony Electronics president and COO Phil Molyneux recently shed some more light on the notion that the PlayStation 4 will be able to support 4K ultra-high definition content. The executive said we will not be disappointed when asked if Sony’s upcoming 4K movie download service would be coming to the PS4 during a recent interview with The Verge in New York.

Here’s what we know at this point. Late last year Sony’s Ray Hartjen revealed the fact that the XBR-84X900 Ultra HDTV set will include the world’s first 4K Ultra HD delivery solution. That service was showcased during CES where we were told it will be launching in the US sometime this summer.

Fast-forward to the PS4 unveiling just last month where, in the days following the reveal, we learned that the console will support media output resolution at 4K for photos and videos but not games.

Talking specifically about the 4K video service, Molyneux said the size of a typical movie download could be 100GB or more. Another key factor that comes into play is the speed of your broadband connection which is described as one of the challenges they have to work though. He noted that they had some really good ideas that will make for a comfortable consumer experience and looking to the future, the industry as a whole needs to look into developing new compression ratios and technologies.

Molyneux said he wasn’t discounting the idea of physical 4K distribution but he believes consumers are moving more towards downloads and streaming since they are already used to it.




User Comments: 12

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IAMTHESTIG said:

The real question is, does Sony's PS4 "support" of 4K mean it will view it but downscale it to 1080p, or will it actually be capable of outputting that native resolution to a 4K TV?

Puiu Puiu said:

Video might be possible, but I don't think there will be many games (if any) that could play at 4K. They just need the software to support it, the hardware already dose.

JC713 JC713 said:

Since the majority of internet in the US' internet is slow, this would be a fail

theBest11778 theBest11778 said:

Since the majority of internet in the US' internet is slow, this would be a fail

This is very true. I was curious as to the size of 4K videos, and 100GB+ sounds about right. The good news is there are 100GB+ Bluray disks already. The bad news is streaming will be impossible without a new compression ratio (H.266 anyone?)

TS-56336 TS-56336 said:

Time to get my 76 Mbps Broadband then... and a small fortune for the TV.

JC713 JC713 said:

One improvement may require 3 improvements as well. With blurays, I never really though of it effecting internet speeds over the years. As for 1080P and smart tvs, this may have pushed faster internet

Skidmarksdeluxe Skidmarksdeluxe said:

I can't imagine downloading 100 gig files. Hell, I don't use 100 gig in a year. It's just way too expensive.

1 person liked this | Tekkaraiden Tekkaraiden said:

Since the majority of internet in the US' internet is slow, this would be a fail

This is very true. I was curious as to the size of 4K videos, and 100GB+ sounds about right. The good news is there are 100GB+ Bluray disks already. The bad news is streaming will be impossible without a new compression ratio (H.266 anyone?)

I'm not so sure compression is going to be the answer, I'm think they are going to have to improve infrastructure.

JC713 JC713 said:

I feel like this will be a huge burden on the current infrastructure as said by Tekkraiden. I currently have unlimited 20mb/s download and 5 upload. If this gets to be too much of a burden, internet companies will begin to cap.

stbecker said:

Bring it on! I love to see a service that has astronomical requirements for bandwidth. How else would ISPs fall in line to provide higher bandwidth unless the average user has that same demand? TWC already said recently they didn't care to provide 1 Gbps internet because only a fraction of percent of their user base would actually subscribe to it.

As for the technology, I'm surprised at the 100 GB file size for videos. OTA (over-the-air) signals are broadcast in MPEG-2 (H.262) resulting in files around 7 GB / hour for 1920x1080. With H.265 in final draft this year, we are seeing a 70% efficiency gain in the bit rate reduction compared to H.262. That means what was 7 GB could take up only GB. And since 4K is roughly 4x the resolution of 1080, then I would expect an hour of 4K video to be around 8.4 GB with H.265.

Netflix was doing 1280x720 at around 5.23 Mbps, or about 2.3 GB per hour. 4K at that same compression would result in 20 GB.

I know the math is not that easy but this should be a decent ballpark number. Maybe they were talking uncompressed?

stbecker said:

... what was 7 GB could take up only 2.1 GB ...

Somehow forgot the 2.1 in the original post.

JC713 JC713 said:

Actually I Was reading an article today about a breakthrough with graphene. How a terabyte of data can be transferred in a second with a graphene antenna. Very interesting. We just need HDDs and SSDs with the capacity to keep up with the bandwidth (also it will probably cost a fortune to embed these systems into a network. And graphene is rare as it is also.)

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