Sony's new Bravia CORE streaming service goes big on IMAX Enhanced movies

Sony Bravia CORE
(Image credit: Sony Pictures Entertainment)

Sony is launching a high-bitrate video streaming service alongside its 2021 Bravia TVs. It's called Sony Bravia CORE (the 'CORE' stands for 'Centre of Real Entertainment') and it exists to offer the latest box office films to Sony 2021 TV owners at bitrates beyond those of many 4K Blu-ray discs.

CORE – a collaboration with Sony Pictures Entertainment – will offer hundreds of classic titles and brand-spanking new box office release, as well as the largest IMAX Enhanced catalogue available on any current service.

The platform is the first in the industry to leverage Pure Stream technology, which Sony claims delivers near-lossless content at an equivalent of up to 80Mbps. That's far in excess of the 25-30Mbps that other industry players, such as Netflix, operate at with their premium 4K content – meaning undoubtedly high quality pictures but, yes, big internet demand. In fact, to access the highest quality, you'll need a minimum internet speed of 115Mbps.

This is something of a soft launch, however, as Bravia CORE will only be available to owners of the just-launched 2021 Sony Bravia XR TVs, specifically the Z9J, A90J, A80J, X95J and X90J.

Owners of the first two TV models listed (Z9J and A90J) will get access to the service for 24 months and receive 10 credits to exchange for fresh-from-the-cinema movies that can otherwise be streamed on a pay-as-you-go basis. Buyers of the other three  XR models (80J, X95J and X90J) get five credits and only 12 months to stream any purchased movies as many times as they like.

It seems Bravia CORE is just a toe in the water for Sony for now. The company currently has no plans to extend the service beyond the two-year timeframe. That said, should it prove successful, making it a more permanent and perhaps more widely accessible service will surely be on the agenda.

Until then, it's another good reason to consider a Sony TV for 2021. We look forward to putting both Sony's TV hardware and this service through their paces later in the year.


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Dan Sung

Dan is a staff writer at What Hi-Fi? and his job is with product reviews as well as news, feature and advice articles too. He works across both the hi-fi and AV parts of the site and magazine and has a particular interest in home cinema. Dan joined What Hi-Fi? in 2019 and has worked in tech journalism for over a decade, writing for Tech Digest, Pocket-lint, MSN Tech and Wareable as well as freelancing for T3, Metro and the Independent. Dan has a keen interest in playing and watching football. He has also written about it for the Observer and FourFourTwo and ghost authored John Toshack's autobiography, Toshack's Way.