Sony’s 4K Movie Streams To Cost $30


Sony is to charge $30 a movie to stream 4K titles directly to its smart TV sets. The service launches next week and is for outright purchases only.

The ULTRA service will initially offer around 40 to 50 movies at $30. There’ll also be some TV shows but pricing hasn’t been revealed yet.

It sounds like Sony is trying to justify the price, with several media outlets using the same comparison between the $30 for the 4K digital purchase and the cost of two people going to the movies (in a big city at least.) That could still be a tough sell considering purchases of recent releases in HD are going for around $15 to $20 on Amazon.

Of course, technically you could argue that the per-pixel price is half as much with Sony’s 4K option, but it’s unlikely most buyers will think that way.

There’s a few breaks on the price however. If you buy a new 4K Sony TV you’ll get four titles free. Any Sony titles in your Ultraviolet collection (the online digital copy that comes with some Blu-ray discs) will be automatically available on the TV set, with plans to extend that to other studios. And any movies you’ve already bought from Sony’s online store can be upgraded to 4K at a discounted price.

Most likely the pricing is partly an early adopter tax and partly an exploitation of the hardware issues. While 4K Blu-Ray discs are also going for around $30, and you’d normally expect at least a slight discount for a streaming edition, it’s still going to work out much cheaper overall for Sony 4K TV owners given they won’t need to buy a new disc player.

That said, at $30, people will want to be very confident that they’ll retain permanent access to the titles and they won’t be withdrawn later on for licensing or other issues.

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