This week, almost out of the blue, a service claiming to be able to deliver 4K Ultra HD video content has appeared in America, promising movies in that UHD quality that Blu-ray won’t likely deliver until next year at the earliest.
It’s called “Vidity”, and while the webpage for the service doesn’t give much away, it does suggest the service is talking with companies such as Warner Bros. and 20th Century Fox, and readying their respective 4K movies for delivery on platforms capable of handling a 4K flick.
Launched by America’s Secure Content Storage Association (SCSA), it’s a service aimed at offering 4K movies and high-dynamic range (HDR) support and no need to login to a specific service in order to play movies back. While information hasn’t been released on how you’ll get the movies, the expectation is that they will be downloadable and stored on any device that can keep the file.
Interestingly, Vidity lists SanDisk and WD on its page, two companies that are part of the SCSA, which could suggest a partnership for approved drives made for the 4K format.
As for content, we’re not sure what it will be offering, but given how the only film still being shown right now is of “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes”, we’d say it’s a good bet that the second part of the reboot of “Planet of the Apes” will be on the list of films.
We’ve sent off a request to Vidity to find out if/when the service will be launching in Australia, but even if it does, we can’t imagine the video downloads will be particularly friendly to the average Australian internet connection.
Currently, 4K movies are expected to take up anywhere between 15GB and 80GB, depending on the compression technologies used. With the National Broadband Network still not a super useful thing for most of Australia, and some not particularly fast speeds pushed out of the current incarnation, the time needed to download one of these movies would be pretty significant for anyone living in this country.
In fact, right now one of the only ways to consume 4K Ultra HD content if you have a compatible TV is to use a 4K subscription to Netflix, which delivers a few movies and TV shows in the 3840×2160 resolution, though does require a fairly speedy internet connection itself.
When the NBN is deployed for more people, however, and the speeds are raised, expect the burden to be eased, and 4K video downloads to be something you can actually get, handy for those people with the TVs.
Until then, however, and Ultra HD Blu-rays might be the thing worth waiting for, even if Vidity is an accessible service locally, which we’re not even sure if it will be.