Got 4K? Sony set to launch 4K UHD streaming service Ultra on April 4

best 4K streamer
The struggle for early adopters of 4K Ultra HD TVs has been real: a screen with unprecedented resolution and color, yet an unfortunate lack of content to watch on it. Fortunately, UHD content is starting to catch up as companies increasingly make it a priority. Sony Pictures Home Entertainment is the latest to target 4K enthusiasts, announcing today that the company’s new streaming service, Ultra, will launch on April 4 on Sony 4K UHD televisions with Android TV in the U.S.

At launch, Ultra will offer a selection of Sony-produced films for purchase and playback in 4K Ultra HD, ranging from new releases like ConcussionThe Night Before, and The Walk to older hits including Ghostbusters and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. Some movies include digital extras as well as High Dynamic Range (HDR), which gives viewers still better picture with a greater dynamic range of luminosity. For now, only Sony films will be offered on the service.

Films won’t be cheap, however, priced at $30 in 4K with HDR. There is good news for viewers who already own movies from the Sony Pictures Store, though: It’s possible to upgrade HD versions of select films to 4K on Ultra at a lower cost. Sony also has a deal for consumers who purchase eligible 4K UHD TVs with Ultra built in this summer that includes four free movies when they sign up for the streamer. It’s a nice carrot to dangle, especially on top of the “groundbreaking visual experience” the company promised when announcing its new service at CES.

“Consumers are rapidly upgrading their living rooms to 4K, and Sony Pictures Home Entertainment’s new Ultra streaming service will provide a premium viewing experience to satisfy growing demand for 4K movies and television shows,” said Jake Winett, VP of Consumer Services & Advanced Platforms at Sony Pictures Home Entertainment in a press release.

While Ultra is only set to offer movies, the streaming service is compatible with UltraViolet, Sony’s cloud service; therefore, users will be able to link their profiles and stream any Sony Pictures content they’ve bought or redeemed through the Sony Pictures Store, Vudu, and other UltraViolet-compatible retailers. Unfortunately, Ultra won’t have any rentals at launch, unlike Sony’s current Ultra HD downloading service, Playstation Video (aka Video Unlimited). The fact that it does have HDR, however, serves as something of a consolation.

Whether or not Playstation Video will continue to exist once Ultra launches is unclear. We reached out to Sony for comment, but have yet to hear back. We’ll update this piece when we get an answer.

Overall, Sony’s 4K UHD streaming options currently seem somewhat piecemeal, but it is promising to see that the company is working to address the need for such high-quality video content. Here’s hoping for more comprehensive solutions in the future.

Home Theater

Optoma’s all-in-one laser projector gives you 120 inches of 4K for $3,000

All too often, a really big image size for your home theater has meant tons of money for a large TV, or putting up with the compromises of a decent projector. Optoma's new P1 4K laser projector puts an end to that dilemma.
Home Theater

Here’s why you’re not getting Netflix in HD or 4K, and how to fix it

Are you having trouble watching your favorite movies or TV shows on Netflix in HD or 4K? We explain why loading takes so long, why the picture quality fluctuates, and what you can do about it.
Deals

Take a look at the best 4K television deals for January 2019

There's no doubt that a good 4K smart TV is the best way to take your home entertainment setup to the next level to enjoy all your favorite shows, movies, and games in glorious Ultra HD. We've got the best 4K TV deals right here.
Home Theater

Panasonic shows off first 4K OLED with Dolby Vision and HDR10+ at CES 2019

Panasonic has been mostly absent from the American TV market for some time now, but it hasn't been ignoring TVs altogether. Its latest 4K OLED TV is world's first to support both Dolby Vision and HDR10+.
Home Theater

Throw away those EarPods -- we dug up the best headphones in every style

Trolling the internet for hours to find headphones is no way to live. Instead, leverage our expertise and experience to find the best headphones for you. Here are our 10 favorites.
Music

Tidal faces legal jeopardy over fake stream numbers accusation

In another challenging chapter for music subscription service Tidal, Norwegian authorities have begun a formal investigation into charges that the company faked millions of streams for artists such as Kanye West and Beyoncé.
Home Theater

Sony’s 360 Reality Audio is the epic sound revolution you didn’t know you needed

After Sony’s utterly bizarre press conference, I almost missed what was perhaps the most impactful sonic experience at the show. Luckily, I went back to Sony’s booth on the last day of the show, only to have my mind blown.
Home Theater

Need to get rid of an unused Netflix profile? Just follow these simple steps

Need to delete an unwanted profile from your Netflix account? It's easy to do, no matter what kind of equipment you've got. Check out our handy how-to guide for step-by-step instructions.
Home Theater

The seven best TVs you can buy right now, from budget to big screen

Looking for a new television? In an oversaturated market, buying power is at an all-time high, but you'll need to cut through the rough to find a diamond. We're here to help with our picks for the best TVs of 2019.
Computing

Beam up the videos: AirPlay support is coming to VLC player

At CES 2019, the developers of VLC player announced they are adding support for Apple's Airplay feature, allowing consumers to beam video and other content from their iPhone and Android devices to an Apple TV. 
Home Theater

Not chill: Netflix is hiking prices across all its tiers

Netflix has to get the billions of dollars it's spending on new content from somewhere. The streaming giant announced price hikes across the board, raising its monthly rates between $1 and $2 per tier in the next few months.
Home Theater

From the Roku Ultra to the Fire TV Cube, these are the best streaming devices

There are more options for media streamers than ever, so it’s more difficult to pick the best option. But that’s why we're here. Our curated list of the best streaming devices will get you online in no time.
Home Theater

Polk Audio’s Command Bar joins Alexa’s multiroom music party

Polk's Command Bar is a home theater soundbar with Alexa built in. But with a new update, it can also be grouped with Amazon's Echo products and other third-party speakers for a multi-room experience.
Home Theater

Sling TV offers free shows, a la carte subscription channels to Roku users

If you are among a select group of Roku users, Sling TV has added free TV shows and the option to subscribe to individual channels without having to subscribe to the company's base level of channels.