Sony says "no plans" to bring 4K Media Player to UK

Sony says it has "no plans" to bring the 4K Ultra HD Media Player to the UK or Europe following the launch of the 4K Media Player in the US later this month.

The 4K server, which comes packed with ten 4K films and promises to be kept fully-loaded with Ultra HD content via the Sony Video Unlimited 4K service, is due on sale in the US for $699 on July 15th.

The Sony FMP-X1 box has a 2TB hard disk and will be able to acces 4K movie downloads, available for $7.99 for a 24-hour rental or $30 to buy.

However, speaking at Wimbledon 2013, where Sony showcased its 4K broadcast technology and filmed tennis in 4K for the first time, Paul Gyles, head of home entertainment at Sony, confirmed Sony had "no plans" to bring the 4K server or download service to the UK or Europe, simply stating it was "US only".

Pressed on whether there were content issues in the UK or whether Sony thought there wasn't the demand or network structure, Gyles remained tight-lipped.

Sony was however bullish about its 4K TV line-up, highlighting the success of the Sony 84in 4K TV in the custom install market and the fact that it's first to market with 55in and 65in 4K TVs. (You can read our review of the Sony 65in 4K TV right now.)

Having filmed 4K content at the Confederations Cup football tournament last month, Sony again trialled 4K at Wimbledon. While Sony wouldn't confirm the next 4K live trial, more sport looks likely to be on the agenda. Ashes cricket, anyone?

While clearly 4K content availablility remains an issue, Sony was keen to stress its better placed than any company to offer a complete solution from"lens to the living-room", thanks is camera, production and distribution, through to its 4K digital cinemas and 4K TVs and projectors.

In better news, Sony confirmed it would offer full support to all Sony 4K TV buyers who buy first-gen 4K TVs, should there be any later changes to the 4K TV standard. The issue centres around a potential new 4K video standard, which wouldn't be compatible with existing 4K TVs' HDMI 1.4 inputs.

Gyles said: "Sony 4K sets are future-proofed. Customers are our number one priority and Sony will provide all the necessary solutions to the 4K TV owner to access future 4K content services once they start in respective TV markets."

For now, we'll have to settle for Mastered in 4K Blu-ray titles, anyway...

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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).