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Buy Sony's 4K Ultra HD TV, get a loaner video player loaded with 4K movies

Consumer Reports News: November 29, 2012 12:38 PM

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I'd guess that for most of us, it's the $25,000 price tag standing in the way of owning Sony's new 84-inch XBR-84X900: It's one of the first so-called Ultra HD TVs sporting four times the number of pixels (3840x 2160) as current 1080p (1920x1080) HDTVs. If your budget can handle the price (you lucky dog), but you've been deterred by the lack of 4K content, Sony may have a compelling offer for you: Buy the 4K TV, and the company will lend you a hard-drive video player loaded with native 4K content.

While it's true that the XBR-84X900 set, an LED-backlit LCD TV loaded with features, will "upscale" 1080p content, such as movies from a Blu-ray player, to the TV's native resolution, the picture won't be as sharp as it is when the set is showing true native 4K material. And other than photos, there just isn't a lot of true 4K content for use at home

To help alleviate that drawback, Sony is offering its 4K Ultra HD Video Player, which comes preloaded with a number of native 4K movies and videos, as a bonus loaner to those who buy the TV. The 10 movies included on the video player are all—not surprisingly—from Sony Pictures (or its affiliates, such as Columbia Pictures). They include The Amazing Spider-Man, Total Recall (2012 version), The Karate Kid (2010 version), Salt, Battle Los Angeles, The Other Guys, Bad Teacher, That's My Boy, Taxi Driver, and The Bridge on the River Kwai.

So far there's no word on how long the 4K video player loan will be, or the purchase price of the player if someone wants to buy it. But Sony intimated that the player could be updated with new 4K movies and video titles.

Both Sony and LG Electronics have now announced 4K TVs, and we expect Samsung to follow suit.

James K. Willcox

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