|Sony Goes Big on 4K Video|
|Joanna Stern||Jan 7, 2013, 8:00 PM|
LAS VEGAS - You're not surprised, are you? Sony took the stage this evening at its press conference at CES 2013 to unveil a whole array of electronics, including, yes, a 4K TV. But not just one or two 4K TVs - there's a host of 4K products and services the company is working on.
Lets start with the TVs, though, since that really is what everyone is talking about here at the consumer Electronics Show. Sony came out with an 85-inch 4K, Ultra HD TV last year that is on the market now for $25,000. There will now be smaller sizes - 55- and 65-inch models - which will bring down the price, Sony says. These sets, it promises, will offer the same sound and picture quality as the current model.
"The screen sizes are smaller, which will mean a more reasonable, consumer friendly price tag. However, we will not be talking about price right now," Sony's Rob Manfredo told ABC News.
But you know what won't be cheaper? The OLED 4K set Sony is showing here. The 56-inch set is just a demo or a prototype for now, so don't expect to see it in stores yet. But basically it is a sight to be seen - it blends an OLED with 4 times the resolution of current 1080p HDTVs. (OLED, short for Organic Light Emitting Diode, is a technology that delivers an especially bright, crisp picture.)
Sony's also addressing the 4K issue of content. As when HD first rolled out, the best picture what is made for it - in this case, native 4K-resolution video. Many TVs can "upscale" lower-resolution video, but it isn't the same experience. However, Sony will be rolling out a 4K service this summer.
"We will be launching a digital download service in the summer which will bring 4K content to the home," Manfredo said. The 4K media player will have Sony Pictures Entertainment (no details on what specifically) available for download right through the set. Additionally, it will be showing the first lineup of 4K-mastered Blu-ray discs.
There's another way to get 4K content: make it yourself. The company is showing off the first 4K consumer camcorder. It is just a prototype at the moment.
Lots of prototypes and promises from Sony, but you can bet on one thing: this 4K thing is, well, the next Ultra HD.