Sony Bundles Ultra HD Video Player With 4K Ultra HD TVs As A 'Loan'

By Alexandra Burlacu | Dec 03, 2012 10:39 AM EST

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In its latest bid to woo more customers, Sony is now bundling an Ultra HD video player with its $25,000 4K Ultra High Definition TV.

Lucky customers who can afford the "4K Ultra HD Home Experience" bundle will not only get access to high-resolution content, but will also receive and Xperia Tablet S that serves as a remote control.

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"We know there are limitations with broadband and the typical size of a movie that's in 4K," said Sony Electronics Chief Operating Officer (COO) Phil Molyneux, according to the Associated Press (AP). "I think this is an extremely good first step to ensure that consumers can have and enjoy the 4K experience in their home."

"Sony is committed to delivering the finest 4K Ultra HD entertainment experiences to customers," added Sony Electronics Senior VP Mike Lucas, according to the press release. "The launch of the 4K Ultra HD Home Experience is another world first for Sony, and will wow consumers with 4K Ultra HD content. It's a proof point of our leadership in all things 4K, and the first step in creating a full, complete 4K Ultra HD solution for the home."

Sony is preloading the video player with a gallery of 4K video shorts, as well as 10 full-length movies presented in native 4K. The full-length feature films include "The Amazing Spiderman," "The Other Guys," "Taxi Driver," and "The Bridge on the River Kwai." The video player is exclusively available for customers who purchase Sony's 4K LED TV.

The press release announcing the bundle does, however, have an intriguing mention: Sony said the video player is a bonus "loaned" exclusively to those who buy the TV. Does that mean that buyers who receive the video player have to return it or pay for it at some point?

"The loan is a free lease program with our customers and is just the first step in the rapidly evolving processes to deliver 4K content to the home. It's been provided as a value-add to its customers because Sony felt that consumers needed a solution now rather than later. Currently, the loan period is open-ended," a Sony spokesperson told CNET. It doesn't quite answer the question now, does it?

CNET asked for more details regarding this "loan process," and learned from another company spokesperson that Sony doesn't plan to barge into people's home at some point and take back the video players. Instead, the loan is reportedly more about the content than the actual hardware. The spokesperson reiterated that Sony has no timeline for the loan program.

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