Late last year, Sony introduced the 4K Ultra HD Media Player as a complement to its 84-inch XBR-84X900 4K LED TV. The idea was to have some sort of a starter package for 4K adopters. After all, what's the use of having four times the resolution of a full 1080p HDTV, if you can't actually use it?
Flash-forward to January's CES 2013, where the company was showing off the box, promising that it would be coming sometime this year. Well, you can stop wondering and start ordering. Sony just made the announcement that the 4K Ultra HD Media Player is now available for pre-order.
Also known as the FMP-X1, the 4K Ultra HD Media Player promises to bring true 4K content to Ultra HD TVs. Well, just some Ultra HD TVs. The box won't work with LG or Samsung TVs; it's specifically designed to work with Sony 4K Ultra HD TVs.
It will come packing a slew of Sony movies presented in native 4K -- 10 to be exact. Those titles are The Amazing Spiderman, Total Recall (2012), Salt, Battle Los Angeles, The Other Guys, Bad Teacher, That's My Boy, The Karate Kid (2010), Taxi Driver and The Bridge on the River Kwai.
The circular box will also provide access to Sony's Video Unlimited 4K service, which is scheduled to launch sometime this fall. As part of the Sony Entertainment Network, this streaming service will include feature films, TV episodes and a variety of short-form video, all with a native 4K image. Users can stuff the FMP-X1's 2TB hard drive with downloads of feature film titles, which will be available as 24-hour rentals or for purchase, with prices ranging from $7.99 and $29.99, respectively.
"Only Sony has the relationships and experience to deliver the world's first 4K Ultra HD Media Player and video service for consumers," says Phil Molyneux president and COO of Sony Electronics. "Sony is a company of 'firsts.' We continue to leverage our entire portfolio of companies to uphold our commitment to deliver the world's best entertainment experiences."
Sony has priced the FMP-X1 4K Ultra HD Media Player at $699. However, if you already have one of Sony's X900A 4K Ultra HD TVs, the company is offering a $200 discount. Those same users may be able to score free in-home premium service activation. Check the Sony website to see if your set qualifies. Otherwise, expect the FMP-X1 to start shipping on July 15, 2013.
Where to Buy: