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.
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by Joe Cox
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