Sony have just announced a new flagship Blu-ray player with 4K upscaling. As you’d be well aware, almost all of us have 1080p HDTVs. This mean for the large majority of us, we wouldn’t see any benefit from this feature. Looking forward there absolutely will be 4K TVs coming to a living room near you as prices drop to an affordable range.
The BDPSP790 also features a dual-core processor which should address a long running issue with Blu-ray players, startup and load times. As a flagship device, this Blu-ray player is packed with functionality including Wi-Fi to allow the use of a number of IPTV sources.
Included is Sony’s own Video Unlimited and Music Unlimited, but also 3rd party services like ABC iView, SBS on Demand, Channel TEN, Quickflix, MUBI, Crackle. There’s also integration with social media services like Twitter and Facebook, but we’d need to get hands-on to really know if these are something you’d ever use over picking up your phone.
There’s also compatibility with Skype, but requires Sony’s own CMUBR100 Skype Camera. The Sony BDPSP790 Blu-ray player also includes “Media Remote”, that means you can control it with your iPhone, iPod touch, or Android BD app.
All this functionality comes at a cost, as you’d expect for a top of the line device. The BDP-S790 is available in stores or online at www.sonystore.com.au for $429. Given the noteworthy feature of this device is its 4K upscaling, we’re guessing this would be purchased by some really early adopters of 4K with deep pockets, so price isn’t an issue. If you are in the market for a new Blu-ray player its still hard to go past the PS3 for value.
Its important to remember that while upscaling will make Blu-ray content look better on a 4K display, it isn’t native 4K. We still don’t have a 4K distribution format, which means getting true 4k content is basically impossible at this point. Ultimately it is only with connectivity like the 100Mbps available with the NBN that would facilitate the IP-distribution of 4K content. Whether another optical disc format is in our future remains to be seen, time will tell.