Sony 4K Media Player brings Netflix 4K streaming to 2012/13 4K TVs

Sony FMP-X5

Sony has announced a new 4K Media Player, which will bring HEVC (H.265) support, and therefore support for Netflix 4K streaming, to older, previously incompatible, Sony 4K TVs.

The FMP-X5 streaming box is compatible with the Sony Bravia KDL-84X9005, KD-65X9005A and KD-55X9005A, the three Ultra HD TVs released by Sony in 2012 and 2013. Connection comes via HDMI.

The Sony FMP-X5 will go on sale in August for £350 in the UK (€399 in Europe), and will be available to buy directly from Sony online.

It will only work with Sony 4K TVs, so won't act as a generic 4K streaming box for any other 4K TV on the market.

All the new Sony 2014 4K TVs support the HEVC codec, meaning the KD-X9500B, X9000B and X8500B don't require a separate box.

quipped with the new decoder, all 4K BRAVIA televisions can now play content encoded with the High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC) video codec. HEVC is becoming increasingly popular among the video streaming industry and being used in services such as Netflix. HEVC/H.265 has a better coding efficiency than that of H.264/MPEG-4 AVC, it makes HEVC ideal for online streaming of 4K video, requiring less bandwidth to deliver stunning-quality 4K images.

HEVC support is already featured as standard with all 2014 BRAVIA 4K TV models, including KD-X9500B/X9000B/X8500B, that do not require this decoder to play HEVC content

HEVC is becoming increasingly popular in the video streaming industry and is being used by services such as Netflix, which recently launched its 4K service in the UK.

HEVC/H.265 is a more efficient codec than H.264/MPEG-4 AVC, so requires less bandwidth in order to deliver 4K video.

The FMP-X5 box sits alongside the recently launched Sony FMP-X10 player, though the X10 hasn't been confirmed for the UK.

The Sony FMP-X1 box was the first Sony 4K streaming box to be revealed, and it has subsequently gone on sale in the US but not in the UK.

MORE: Ultra HD 4K TV news, reviews and everything you need to know

by Joe Cox

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Joe Cox
Content Director

Joe is the Content Director for What Hi-Fi? and Future’s Product Testing, having previously been the Global Editor-in-Chief of What Hi-Fi?. He has worked on What Hi-Fi? across the print magazine and website for almost 20 years, writing news, reviews and features on everything from turntables to TVs, headphones to hi-fi separates. He has covered product launch events across the world, from Apple to Technics, Sony and Samsung; reported from CES, the Bristol Show, and Munich High End for many years; and written for sites such as the BBC, Stuff, and the Guardian. In his spare time, he enjoys expanding his vinyl collection and cycling (not at the same time).