Sony plans to extend access to its 'ULTRA\ 4K movie streaming service to PC users by 2017. As well as providing access to the full ULTRA catalogue of new and back catalogue movies available in 4K resolution and, in some cases, high dynamic range, the roll out of ULTRA to PCs will be accompanied by two key new features: 48-hour rentals and free previews that let customers watch a 10-minute, 4K sample of any film before they have to commit to paying for it.
The rental option (priced at $7.99 for 48 hours of access) is a very welcome move given the slightly eye-watering prices of $29.99 for new releases and $25.99 for library titles you previously had to pay to ‘own’ 4K films on the ULTRA service.
However, the new ULTRA for PC proposition comes with a catch. Namely that the service will only be available on PCs equipped with new 7th-gen Intel Core processors. In other words, that PC you’ve got sat on your desk right now isn’t going to cut it. Even if it’s powerful enough to do 4K.
The new 7th-gen Intel Core PCs use new hardware security technologies in their processors that Sony is convinced makes PC access to their shiny 4K movie goodies pirate proof.
The first 7th-gen Intel Core PCs are set to ship as early as September, with more than 100 suitably equipped PC models expected to be available by Christmas.
Don’t forget, either, that you’ll need at least 20Mbps broadband speed to experience the 4K streams properly, and that the service is also only available in the US at the time of writing.