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Sony's 4K movie service coming to PS4, but 100GB downloads remind us why 4K is a waste

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Initial post: Mar 1, 2013 9:27:03 AM PST
Modern Wolf says:

The upcoming PlayStation 4 could serve as one of your first gateways to 4K video content - just as the PlayStation 3 helped bring Blu-rays to the living room, and the PlayStation 2 did the same with DVDs.

Sony Electronics president and chief operating officer Phil Molyneux (above) hinted that the 4K service would make its way to the PS4 in an interview with the Verge last night. While it's not exactly a confirmation, we can't imagine Sony would keep a flagship video service off of its much-hyped new console. Molyneux announced Sony's intention to create the first 4K distribution service at CES back in January.

4K offers four times the resolution of 1080p HD video, which is currently the highest resolution supported by TVs and Blu-rays today. The technology was one of the stars of CES - likely because the industry seems ready to move on from promoting 3D in the home. Broadcom announced a 4K gateway chip at CES that could make it easy for devices to manage massive 4K data streams.

Sony has already confirmed that the PS4 supports 4K resolution videos and photos, so the announcement doesn't come as a huge surprise.

What is surprising, though, is how Sony is approaching the service. According to Molyneux, 4K movies will be around 100 gigabytes in size, depending on their length. In comparison, 1080p HD videos streamed via Netflix and iTunes are typically around 4 GB to 8 GB. He told the Verge that huge file sizes and typical broadband speed are "challenges that we have to work through. ... We've got some very good ideas that will make that a comfortable consumer experience."

He could be referring to overnight downloads for the 4K movie service, which the PlayStation 3 already offers when downloading large games. But that's still a significant difference from the instant access consumers are expecting with services like Netflix and iTunes. A 100 GB download could take eight to 12 hours to download, and it could also quickly eat up your ISP's bandwidth cap. It's even less convenient than hopping in the car and finding a Redbox kiosk.

Perhaps Sony will come up with some method to alleviate the huge downloads. Molyneux said that work on new compression was in "active progress." But even then, you'll likely be looking at files around 50 GB to 70 GB.

I can't imagine consumers will suffer through such an arduous process to view 4K video, especially when its benefits are difficult to see on TVs smaller than 60- to 80-inches. So not only will you need to buy a new TV to watch 4K content, it'll also have to be somewhat massive (unless you opt for a projector setup). That's why Samsung is so focused on its 85-inch and 110-inch 4K TV sets.

4K content certainly looks great, from what I've seen. But given that most people can't even see the difference between 720p HD and 1080p on typical TV sets, 4K seems destined to be ignored by consumers. The headache around Sony's 4K service certainly won't help.

Posted on Mar 1, 2013 9:33:31 AM PST
WeaKeN says:
lol 100GB download. ouch.

Posted on Mar 1, 2013 9:34:24 AM PST
got mayo?™ says:

Posted on Mar 1, 2013 9:37:32 AM PST
Uncle Ulty says:
I don't need this either, but Im sure there are some insanely rich people out there who could benefit. Maybe movie theaters will each have their own PS4 before we know it.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 1, 2013 9:39:34 AM PST
got mayo?™ says:
Movie theaters have access to the the real deal already. They don't need to download movies over a console.

Posted on Mar 1, 2013 9:39:55 AM PST
Wow, if they want people to use this they had better be including a huge HDD.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 1, 2013 9:42:14 AM PST
Uncle Ulty says:
Yeah I guess Sony has already developed Digital Cinema at 4K for theatres.

Posted on Mar 1, 2013 9:44:50 AM PST
John McClane says:
But can you be watching a 4K movie and hit the share button?

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 1, 2013 9:45:25 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Mar 1, 2013 9:45:50 AM PST
What's the "real deal"? Most movie theaters these days DO download the films to a server.

Posted on Mar 1, 2013 9:57:27 AM PST
CyberPhobia says:
Don't some internet providers cap the amount you can download a month? I'm not sure some households would even be allowed to download one movie.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 1, 2013 10:00:31 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Mar 1, 2013 10:01:06 AM PST
Lucanus says:
What? I thought you were pro 4k? I could have sworn you were at my throat for saying 4k was stupid? Did I miss something?

I can't stream Vudu at 1080p consistantly.... so this service seems silly to me.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 1, 2013 10:03:34 AM PST
Maybe you should stop ripping off your neighbors WiFi and get a descent connection.

Posted on Mar 1, 2013 10:06:16 AM PST
Kr155 says:
google needs to hurry up and spread gigabyte internet.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 1, 2013 10:06:34 AM PST
A Descent connection? Sounds scary.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 1, 2013 10:06:37 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Mar 1, 2013 10:06:59 AM PST
Lucanus says:
What is a "descent" connection? Never heard of that before. Thanks in advance for the clarification. :)

Posted on Mar 1, 2013 10:08:34 AM PST
100gb? OUCH

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 1, 2013 10:17:10 AM PST
got mayo?™ says:
Are you making my point for me? What would be the value of using a games console for something that already has been purpose built for commercial application?

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 1, 2013 10:25:25 AM PST
Uncle Ulty says:
Could we agree the PS4 might possibly be the better option for people with very nice home theaters since movie theaters have their own tech.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 1, 2013 10:27:01 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Mar 1, 2013 10:27:52 AM PST
Voice of god says:
100 GB download over PSN?

Sweet! So I can buy a 4k movie with the push of a button and be able to watch it in just three short weeks!

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 1, 2013 10:30:32 AM PST
user22 says:
I'd like to have a connection with Natalie Mendoza.

Posted on Mar 1, 2013 10:31:07 AM PST
I've said it before and I'll say it again, I want Google Fiber.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 1, 2013 10:39:18 AM PST

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 1, 2013 10:56:28 AM PST
Lucanus says:
So do I. My internet back in Ohio was quite nice. Here in TN it sucks. I can't figure out what I am paying $60 a month for.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 1, 2013 11:05:01 AM PST
N. Gay says:
For once Keller I sympathize with you. I'm living down here is AL as a transplanted Hoosier. SEC football is unbearable for me.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 1, 2013 11:05:03 AM PST
All this is a challenge now, for sure. But this kind of thing was a challenge back in 2006 when they were starting to offer HD content. Now can stream 1080p movies with ease. Give it a couple years, and we'll be streaming 4K content as well. Technology is improving at an incredible pace.
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Discussion in:  Video Games forum
Participants:  30
Total posts:  49
Initial post:  Mar 1, 2013
Latest post:  Mar 3, 2013

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