It’s a pretty safe bet that once the dust has settled, the numbers will show 4K Ultra HD televisions were a huge hit this holiday shopping season. Prices came down big-time this year, and holiday sales have made for some irresistible deals. But what do you watch when you want to show off what that slick new next-gen TV can really do? Well, Netflix, Amazon, and Vudu have a few 4K Ultra HD options you can stream or rent, but if you happen to own a new Roku 4, a mother lode of 4K Ultra HD movies just dropped right in your lap. Announced today, UltraFlix has arrived on Roku, bringing with it several hundred 4K Ultra HD titles to enjoy.
A relatively fresh entrant into a bustling streaming video landscape, UltraFlix is different than Netflix in that it’s currently a rental-only service, offering streaming 4K Ultra HD titles that can be enjoyed for up to 48 hours from purchase. Rentals range in price and top out at $10. UltraFlix recommends Internet speeds of between 15 – 20 Mbps to best enjoy its 4K Ultra HD streams.
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UltraFlix has faced a 2-year uphill battle breaking into mainstream streaming video platforms — until recently you could only access UltraFlix through select Samsung and Vizio Smart TVs. The service, owned by NanoTech Entertainment, has recently spread its wings, however, landing its app on Sony’s 2015 Bravia televisions and, now, on Roku’s platform, including both the new Roku 4 streaming set-top box and, eventually, any 4K Ultra HD TV running Roku OS.
UltraFlix’s catalog has also seen massive expansion in just the last few months. In January 2015, NanoTech landed a licensing deal with MGM, scoring it restored and remastered titles such as Rocky, Rain Man, Fargo, RoboCop, and The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. More recently in August, NanoTech scored a similar agreement with Paramount, netting it big-name films including Forrest Gump, Saving Private Ryan, The Godfather, Star Trek (2009), War of the Worlds (2005), Transformers, Minority Report, World War Z, the Hunt for Red October and comedies like The Legend of Ron Burgandy, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Airplane, and Jackass: The Movie. Perhaps one of the best available 4K Ultra HD demonstrations available on UltraFlix, however, might be the 2014 blockbuster, Interstellar.
Now that UltraFlix is available on Roku and is expected to expand its reach to Amazon’s Fire TV products as well as the Android TV and Apple TV platforms in the near future, it would seem the service has moved past its label as a would-be contender and is now playing with the big boys.
This also represents something of a landslide moment for 4K Ultra HD in general. The previously lamented dearth of available 4K Ultra HD content is clearly coming to an end as services like UltraFlix and new formats like Ultra HD Blu-ray disc burst onto the scene in 2016.