Sony packages Ultra HD movie system with 4K TVs

Those who spend $25,000 on Sony’s 84-inch 4K Ultra High Definition television will thankfully have a handful of movies to watch on it.

Sony announced that the LED TV will include a hard disc server for pulling in movies in the new video format. The server will come pre-loaded with 10 movies , including “The Amazing Spider-Man,” “Total Recall” (2012), “Taxi Driver” and “The Bridge on the River Kwai.”

A selection of short videos in 4K resolution is also included, and Sony says the video player is designed to be updated with more movies and clips, with “further product and content announcements coming shortly.”

To sweeten the deal a little more, Sony's also throwing in an Xperia Tablet S to serve as a remote control.

4K – or Ultra HD as it's been dubbed by the Consumer Electronics Association – is just getting off the ground. Last month, LG started selling its first $20,000 Ultra HD television through a single retailer in California, while Sony is taking orders over the phone for its $25,000 set. More televisions in the 3840-by-2160 resolution format will likely be on display at the Consumer Electronics Show in January.

The biggest question for these new televisions, aside from how quickly their prices will fall, is what sort of content will become available for them. At the moment, most videos must be up-converted from 1080p to 4K, which means they don't take full advantage of the higher-resolution display.

Sony's trying to get things rolling by having its own Sony Pictures wing produce some 4K content, but that's more of a temporary solution for the handful of big spenders who own Ultra HD TVs. Hard disc servers won't be practical for mainstream buyers; eventually the format will need support from cable and satellite TV providers or streaming video services, and that seems unlikely until more content providers start producing video in 4K.

For now, the delivery system is just a small perk for buyers of Sony's new TV tech.

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