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Sony’s “Ultra” streaming 4K movie service will include rental option and be accessible to 4K PCs

by on August 31, 2016

Stephan Jukic – August 31, 2016

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment unveiled their “Ultra” 4K movie streaming service for select Sony 4k TV models in April of 2016 and while the new source of 4K home entertainment content wasn’t without its flaws or annoying restrictions, it was at least yet another source of high quality first-run movie choices which came in not only 4K UHD resolution but also high dynamic range for the Sony TVs on which it worked.

Now however, the company is addressing some of Ultra’s previous limitations and expanding the service to a new level with the development of a rental option (instead of just buying available movies at often steep prices) and the ability to stream content from the service to supported PCs as well.

This at least is what Sony has announced as of this past Tuesday and the roll-out of the new Ultra options for 48 hour rental and PC streaming will go into effect as of early 2017.

Upon its April, 2016 launch, Sony’s Ultra service offered a number of popular Hollywood movie titles including films like “Concussion” with Will Smith, “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”, and older titles like the original “Ghostbusters” (presumably they’ll also include the 2016 remake since the movie was financed by Sony). In other words, Ultra is somewhat limited in its selection and also limited in how it can be used by consumers since only 2016 Sony 4K TVs can play the service and movies can only be purchased instead of rented, for prices that start at $25.99 and go up to $29.99 for HDR titles.

The new rental option for 2017 will allow users of Ultra to enjoy their movie selections for “just” $7.99 each for 48 hours and Sony will also be introducing 10 minute previews of their film selections for doubtful users.

Sony's "Ultra" 4K content service only works with 2016 Sony 4K TVs for now

Sony’s “Ultra” 4K content service only works with 2016 Sony 4K TVs for now

As for the PC display compatibility, Sony is teaming up with Intel to develop technology for making 4K video streaming from Ultra to select PCs possible. This is another feature for 2017 and it will ride only on PCs with Intel’s new Kaby Lake 7th generation Intel Core processors which are expected for desktop machines in late 2016 or early 2017.

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