Sony to launch 4K streaming service on April 4, presents yet more Ultra HD competition for pay-TV

Making an aggressive move into a home entertainment market bereft of 4K content, Sony said its "Ultra" movie streaming service will launch April 4.

Ultra is a joint collaboration between Sony Pictures Home Entertainment and Sony Electronics, offering owners of Sony 4K Ultra HD TVs the chance to download, for $30 a pop, recent theatrical releases like ConcussionThe Night Before and The Walk, as well as library titles including Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon and Ghostbusters in the 4K/Ultra HD format. 

Many of the films being released through the service also support high dynamic range (HDR). 

"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, consumer services & advanced platforms at Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.

The service is in direct competition with 4K services offered by DirecTV (NYSE: T) and Comcast (NASDAQ: CMCSA), which offer little more at this point than the ability to respectively download limited 4K film libraries from Paramount Pictures and Universal Pictures. 

Purchasers of Ultra TV sets will receive their first four Ultra films for free. The Ultra service is compatible with the UltraViolet digital locker initiative. This gives customers who have stored their HD titles in UltraViolet the ability to upgrade their existing library at a discounted price. 

For more:
- read this Sony press release

Related articles:
Sony's revised Vue gets high marks from tech press, but some analysts 'still skeptical'
Sony to launch 4K streaming service in the U.S.

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