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Movies Sony Entertainment

Sony's Ultra 4K Streaming Service Launching On April 4; Titles Priced At $30 (variety.com) 148

Janko Roettgers reports for Variety: Sony is launching its 4K movie streaming service called Ultra next month: Consumers will be able to buy movies from the service, and stream to supported Sony 4K TV sets, starting April 4. The new service will offer 4K HDR movies to stream, including extras that have previously been able only on physical discs. Ultra ties into UltraViolet, the cloud locker service backed by Sony. Consumers will be able to upgrade SD and HD quality movies from their UltraViolet cloud locker for $12 to $15, respectively.
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Sony's Ultra 4K Streaming Service Launching On April 4; Titles Priced At $30

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    Has anyone here watched any 4k porn? How did you get aroused with all the high resolution pimples and stretch marks?

  • by Anonymous Coward

    And just how well is this going to work on AT&T DSL?

    • well if you have U-verse no cap. vs comcast caps that will not let you use this.

      • I don't think this has anything to do with caps. I have AT&T DSL and as I mentioned on a previous story today, all I can get out of them is 768kbps. I can *barely* stream SD netflix without too many buffering breaks, no way in hell I'm going to stream a 4k movie.

    • by EvilSS ( 557649 )

      And just how well is this going to work on AT&T DSL?

      Simply put, it won't work at all. I'm stuck with AT&T at my new house and I have the best they can do at 18mb/s. 4K Netflix is a no-go. I can't imagine this will be any different.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Yet another service I can't use due to the Data caps on my internet. Yay.......

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Even without data caps, who wants to be dependent upon an internet connection and waste all of that bandwidth *every single time* you want to watch a movie? I'd rather have physical media.

  • by SuluSulu ( 1039126 ) on Tuesday March 29, 2016 @03:28PM (#51802209) Homepage
    I for one prefer to "own" the copies that I buy. If I'm to buy a digital only copy that I will never actually "own" why should I pay the same price, or even more, as a physical copy? No thank you Sony.
    • I don't give a shit whether I own the copies or not. I care about whether I can access the content and how much content, As such this means Sony backed crap is a no go though. I would much prefer to pay a moerate monthly fee with access to everything. Netflix gets the closest to my ideal just content range holding it back.
      • by Gr8Apes ( 679165 )

        I care about whether I can access the content

        Then generally no streaming provider will suffice as you will never be guaranteed access to any specific content.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    You're not buying the movie, you're licensing it.

    This is a streaming service and should it go away, you will no longer be able to watch the movie you "purchased". You are not allowed to re-sell or format-shift the movie, nor make local backup copies.

    Please tell me why this is worth $30 when I can torrent the same movie and *actually* own it for free?

    • by Etcetera ( 14711 )

      You're not buying the movie, you're licensing it.

      This is a streaming service and should it go away, you will no longer be able to watch the movie you "purchased". You are not allowed to re-sell or format-shift the movie, nor make local backup copies.

      Well, maybe. If 4K comes under the jurisdiction of UltraViolet, then hopefully the licensing will be pushed up through them. That's as close to a "permanent" cross-entity license as one can get these days. In most cases, you're purchasing a license even when you have a physical copy. That's why you're not allowed to use it to show the movie for profit.

      Please tell me why this is worth $30 when I can torrent the same movie and *actually* own it for free?

      Because that's illegal.

      I'm with you in terms of preferring to own a physical copy so that I can continue to watch it when my internet is down and I don't have

      • by Kjella ( 173770 ) on Tuesday March 29, 2016 @04:58PM (#51802949) Homepage

        Well, maybe. If 4K comes under the jurisdiction of UltraViolet, then hopefully the licensing will be pushed up through them. That's as close to a "permanent" cross-entity license as one can get these days. In most cases, you're purchasing a license even when you have a physical copy. That's why you're not allowed to use it to show the movie for profit.

        You're wrong off the bat, that's because it's in copyright law under Exclusive rights in copyrighted works [cornell.edu]:

        (5) in the case of literary, musical, dramatic, and choreographic works, pantomimes, and pictorial, graphic, or sculptural works, including the individual images of a motion picture or other audiovisual work, to display the copyrighted work publicly

        There's nothing wrong with plain old copyright law which means we need to substitute a sale for a license.

        I'm with you in terms of preferring to own a physical copy so that I can continue to watch it when my internet is down and I don't have to rely on a dozen different entities to still exist when I do, but I thought we were past the point where people thought they had a "right" to a movie on their own terms. If you don't want to agree to the copyright holder's terms for the movie, don't retrieve/store/watch it.

        Obviously the consumer shouldn't be able to set their own terms. But I think the liberal idealism that as long as nobody puts a gun to your head it's voluntary and they can put whatever they want in their terms is flawed. We're constantly hit with lengthy boilerplate legalese that nobody reads, nobody understands and if they did they couldn't change them anyway and that nobody takes seriously until they're being fucked over. And sometimes it's just consumer anti-features you're never asked to agree to like that we'll disable the fast forward button when we feel like and not let you play movies from other regions even though they get to shop all over the world for the cheapest labor.

        There's a little bit of what I'm asking for with regard to unconscionable contracts, but really consumers should have far more protection than that from big business. Particularly when they're agreeing on "industry terms" that smells like a cartel dictating terms for all the consumers, since it's not unconscionable if it's common knowledge you'll be fucked over. To use a car analogy, just because you sold me a car doesn't mean you should be able to dictate maintenance and repair, parts, after-market alterations, fuel, where I drive and so on. It's necessary to cut those cords, you built it but it's now my car. And it was your movie, but now I bought a copy.

        Of course they don't want to cut the cord, they don't ever want to really let go just give you a crippled license to use it on their terms, like if your living room was is the same as going to the cinema. Well sorry, they don't get to collect a per seat royalty or add mark-up to any snacks you might be eating in your own home watching their movie. But they would if they could and even if it was technically possible it shouldn't be legally possible. They should be forced at some point to either not sell it at all or really sell it, not more getting to have your cake and eat it too. But that would involve consumers winning against a lobbying industry, so most people will just give the law the finger instead.

      • but I thought we were past the point where people thought they had a "right" to a movie on their own terms.

        Hell no we ain't. I don't see why we are providing a free, govewrnet enforced system (copyright) to these people for them to be able to act in arbitrary ways where they don't uphold their end of the deal. If they want to dictate terms, then they can take the expense of signing contracts with everyone they "license" to.

        If they want to take the option that I'm paying for, then no, arbitrary terms are not

    • That's why I'm okay with something like Netflix. I'm paying less per month than what most other services charge for "owning" the right to stream a movie.

      With Netflix, I'm not paying much but I also know I'm only paying for the right to stream and that titles can be removed at any moment. Although it would be nice if there was more hints and easier ways to know which movies are soon to be removed.

    • This is a streaming service and should it go away, you will no longer be able to watch the movie you "purchased".

      We're talking about Ultraviolet - so it's even worse than that.

      The terms explicitly state that you're buying the right to view the movie, and that right is guaranteed until some specific date after the time of purchase - 3 years , I think it was. After that date, it's no longer guaranteed! They can remove your access and be fully compliant with the license you agreed to at the time of "purchase".

      We have Netflix as our main movie source. On the rare occasions we see a movie we think we'll want to rewatch ove

      • by Straif ( 172656 )

        UV movies have no specific date of expiry; in fact their faq quite specifically states that your rights to a movie do not expire. The only expiry date mentioned by UV is the redemption date of the code included with a disc purchase.

        So you may have only 1-3 years to redeem a UV code but once redeemed it's in your locker for life (with the exception that if it turns out the original provider did not in fact have legal rights to that movie in your jurisdiction).

    • I don't think it's worth $30 either. But in the above, you're technically incorrect on a few points, which is the best kind of incorrect ;-)

      You most certainly CAN format shift the movie and make backup copies. However, this doesn't mean you can transfer to DVD (yet), it just means you can download local copies. These are still DRM'd, and require a custom player, but the movies can be viewed offline - be it on PC or tablet - you don't need to use the copy stored on your retailer's servers.

      In terms of re

  • I thought Ultra Violet was that comic-book shoot-em-up where Millia Jovovovvich shoots anything and everything that moves.

  • by NotDrWho ( 3543773 ) on Tuesday March 29, 2016 @03:37PM (#51802275)

    I knew it wasn't meant for playing 4K games (hell, my $600 videocard can barely handle that).

  • Another reason they are releasing a "4K Playstation", to try and get you into their flashy new streaming service.
    Although no mention of bitrates and if it compares to the UHD discs, price is the same as the disc.

  • You must be joking...

    I bought most of my HD digital copies for less than $8, some for $5.

    If someone at Sony thinks that I'll pay $12 to UPGRADE my HD copies of movies to UHD, they should pass whatever it is they are smoking.

    Maybe if the whole movie was $12 and the upgrade cost was $3, I'd do it, but that's about it.

    Having lived through VHS, DVD, Blu-Ray, and now this, I'm just not going to buy anything again.

    4k is nice, but meh, whatever, 1080p is good enough.

    • Other than the torrent, the ONLY two formats where Han Solo just shoots Greedo are VHS and LaserDisc. Reason enough, to me, to keep some of them around.

      I am, slowly, replacing LaserDiscs as they delaminate, or as I add the title to the in-house streaming collection. Only a couple out of the collection, so far, has delaminated, though.

      • LaserDiscs were always a niche market and I skipped those, but fair enough.

        I suspect UHD Blu-Ray may end up being the same thing. It is way, way too soon after Blu-Ray came out, people are tired of buying the same thing over again every 10 years.

        For new titles, sure, fine, if the price is reasonable. But $30 to buy a digital copy of a UHD movie? Holy crap!

  • Answer $30

    What was Sony Ultra 4K steaming service movie price.

  • 30 bucks per movie and I don't even get a copy to store?

    So what happens when the service goes out of business? I lose everything I've bought?

    Thank you, no.

    • by Straif ( 172656 )

      UV is a joint venture made up of 85 companies that range from film studios to software companies. There is little chance of them shutting down anytime soon. As for Sony, well I'm pretty sure they'll be around for a bit but even if they go bankrupt tomorrow the UV agreement means they have to transfer all their licenses to another UV provider so that existing sales are honored.

    • Re:Seems expensive (Score:5, Informative)

      by EvilSS ( 557649 ) on Tuesday March 29, 2016 @04:33PM (#51802753)

      30 bucks per movie and I don't even get a copy to store?

      So what happens when the service goes out of business? I lose everything I've bought?

      Thank you, no.

      For the same price you can buy the UHD Blu-ray which will also include a digital UV copy (probably only HD but still) and the regular HD Blu-ray copy as well.

  • it's most likely the last resolution increase they're gonna charge people with. 8K for all intents and purposes might never materialize at home 'cause 99% of people out there just won't notice any difference (vs 4K).
    • by ledow ( 319597 )

      You think people bought HD because they could see the resolution, or because large flat-screen LCD TV's came into vogue with new connectors at the same time?

      • It's a chicken and egg problem I'm not going to argue about. One thing is sure: large screen TVs were sold even before HD content became available. As to what propelled what is quite debatable. LCD TV's were exorbitantly expensive when they were first introduced.
      • You think people bought HD because they could see the resolution, or because large flat-screen LCD TV's came into vogue with new connectors at the same time?

        I got a TV that fit the space nicely. It wasn't available in a non 4K format.

    • by Qzukk ( 229616 )

      just won't notice any difference

      Resolution ain't done until I can put it up on the wall and have people think it's a window.

  • by U2xhc2hkb3QgU3Vja3M ( 4212163 ) on Tuesday March 29, 2016 @04:03PM (#51802529)

    Rachael: Do you like our new movie service?
    Deckard: It's streaming?
    Rachael: Of course it is.
    Deckard: Must be expensive.
    Rachael: Very.
    Rachael: I'm Rachael.
    Deckard: Deckard.
    Rachael: It seems you feel our work is not a benefit to the public.
    Deckard: Streaming is like any other service - it's either a good deal or a rip-off. If it's a good deal, it's not my problem.

  • >> Sony

    >> Digital Content Delivery Network

    What could possibly go wrong?
  • > Consumers will be able to upgrade SD and HD quality movies from their UltraViolet cloud locker for $12 to $15, respectively.

    So this is saying that if you have the SD version of a movie, you can upgrade it to 4K for $12. If you have the HD version, you'll have to pay $15 to upgrade it to 4K, even though it is already at a higher definition (and thus closer to the 4K objective) than the SD version.

    That's obviously not the case, and the author who used the word "respectively" to qualify this statement is

  • I can tell you right now that good 4K is going to required 25 Mbps and up of HEVC for on-demand (and ~35 Mbps for live encoded 60p sports content, the bit rate of live 4K cable channels in Korea and Japan).

    If you are only going to be able to stream 15 Mbps, then a 1080p24 image would look far better at that bit rate than a 2160p24 image!

    That is one reason for the existence of Vidity [mgo.com] 4K/HDR download (not streaming) service. The average US Internet connection can not sustain 25 Mbps.

    • by Straif ( 172656 )

      You can also dl UltraViolet movies for later playback; it doesn't not require streaming.

      4K UV movies have been available for a while now on Vudu so I'm not sure exactly why Sony's announcement is even worthy of a /. post.

  • > Consumers will be able to upgrade SD and HD quality movies from their UltraViolet cloud locker for $12 to $15, respectively.

    Looks like pretty good deal, encouraging us to have higher density (HD) than lower (SD)...

    • by SeaFox ( 739806 )

      Not sure if joking or just...

      You realize people can buy full BD copies of those movies they have in SD streaming format now for less than that, right? And they will get better quality from the BD than Sony's overpriced upgrade stream copy.

      Heck, lots of those BDs even come with a code for a new HD UltraViolet copy as well, no prior SD purchase required.

  • $30? Non starter (Score:4, Insightful)

    by erp_consultant ( 2614861 ) on Tuesday March 29, 2016 @04:31PM (#51802731)

    If I'm going to drop $30 on a movie I want to see it on a huge screen with a colossal sound system - in other words in a movie theater. Currently I'm paying about $9 a month for Netflix. I think I'll stay with that.

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      I'd rather see it at home on my big TV and sound system. That way I can control the volume and don't have to put up with asshats commentating the whole way though.

      • So would I. Same goes for sporting events. I can't remember the last time I attended a baseball or football game in person. Much better experience at home, mainly for the reasons you listed.

        But having said that, I could not envision shelling out $30 for a movie. Even if it is in the comfort of my home. I kind of feel the same way about those pay per view events. I suppose if you have some people come over and we all chip in for the cost then it's not so bad. But at least with a movie I'm pretty sure it's go

  • Oh good, yet MORE market fragmentation in the streaming video industry. I miss the good old days when there were three TV channels and no VCRs.

  • by tompaulco ( 629533 ) on Tuesday March 29, 2016 @05:11PM (#51803019) Homepage Journal
    $30 for less than or equal to a single watching of a movie? No. For a physical copy that I can watch whenever I want? No, still too high. But the fact that it is streaming over the internet and may be subject to buffering, disconnects, jitters, bad encoding and all manner of other issues? No way.
    • by Straif ( 172656 )

      It's not single watch, it's just Sony announcing they will be offering their movies in 4k format through their own service connected to UltraViolet.

      You won't even have to use their service to watch them as long as your preferred UV provider offers 4k playback. Most UV services also allow you to just dl your movies for later viewing if buffering is an issue.

  • Consumers will be able to upgrade SD and HD quality movies from their UltraViolet cloud locker for $12 to $15, respectively.

    Yup, that's the new model ... pay, and then pay again, and then pay some more.

    Like them, or hate them, Apple's "Digital Copy" was a one-time download, and didn't have all of this bullshit.

    UltraViolet is pretty much crap, and I refuse to use it. It means I need to sign up with pretty much every studio, let them track everything I do, ask their permission to watch the damned movie, and

    • by Straif ( 172656 )

      Have you even used Ultraviolet?

      UV movies are one time purchases. The upgrade feature is only if you bought a lower quality license and decide to upgrade quality afterwards. For example, I converted a bunch of DVD's to SD UV for $2/disc (instead of paying for HD at $5/disc). If I later decide to convert my $2 SD license to a 4K license I can pay $15 or just not and keep watching in SD. Note: buying the higher quality license gives you access to all the lower levels. Since SD is fine for those older movi

  • $30 for a movie in a format few people can tell the difference, across bandwidth few people have, to watch some lonely set of movies few people want to see?

    How can this not be a success?

  • Always making horrible ideas possible.

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