There are quite a few Ultra HD TVs out there, but when it comes to content, there isn’t much to go around. WD has something that might help, but the bad is it ain’t coming here.
If you own one of those new super spesh 4K Ultra HD TVs, your biggest complaint — aside for how much money you spent on the thing — might be how little content there is available in the television’s native resolution.
Let’s just get this on the table already: UHD TVs have been available for a few years now, and there’s still not much happening when it comes to easy-to-find 4K content.
Netflix has eased some of this, sure, but you’ll need a very fast internet connection to make it happen. That’s not a Netflix issue, mind you, but rather one of the downsides of 4K movies and TV shows from being so big, something that comes part and parcel with the resolution requirements that a 3840×2160 picture brings to the table.
Still, even if you have that high speed access and Netflix’s 4K library, you still don’t have a lot of 4K content available to you.
At least not in Australia.
There is, however, a little more available in America thanks to some of the services popping up, one of which is called “Vidity” and has ties to the Secure Content Storage Association in America. This services aimed to provide 4K movies from the likes of Warner Bros and Fox this year, delivered over a high-speed broadband pipe, something Australia will be lucky to ever get, which explains why it hasn’t seen an announcement here, aside for all of those other perfectly good reasons like movie distribution rights and deals, as well as how we’re usually a little later for streaming services than America.
Some hope might have been from Western Digital, however.
WD (as it is more commonly known these days) has this week launched a version of its “My Passport” USB hard drive designed with 4K UHD videos in mind.
The drive is the My Passport Cinema, and from what we can tell, this is another iteration of the USB 3.0 My Passport drive, but with some 4K content preloaded from the get-go, using the USB 3.0 high-speed connection for those big videos sitting on the drive.
Adding to this, customers using the Vidity service will be able to store the Vidity-purchased 4K content on their drives for playback later, provided the TV has been setup to work with Vidity.
“Movie playback from the My Passport Cinema drive provides consumers a hassle-free, immediate experience of premium-quality 4K UHD content on their TVs,” said Tony Tate, WD’s General Manager and Vice President of Content Storage Solutions in the US.
“The technology on My Passport Cinema also enables consumers to take preloaded 4K UHD content anywhere there is a Vidity-enabled TV. We are committed to furthering the development of products that make consumers’ interaction with their content a greater experience.”
Possibly the best part of the WD 4K-ready TV hard drive is what’s included, and would be useful for Australian customers, with the drive featuring preloaded 4K movies including “The Maze Runner” and “Exodus: Gods and Kings” though other titles are listed for possible inclusion with “X-Men: Days of Future Past”, “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes”, “Let’s Be Cops” “The Wolverine”, “The Other Woman”, and “The Fault in Our Stars”, though this content listing is only available for a limited time and through until June 2016.
There is a catch, however, because there always is.
It’d be great for Australian customers to be able to try this, but we’re told you have to have a Vidity-enabled TV to watch this content, which no TV in Australia currently supports, at least none we’re aware of.
That means even if you could get the hard drive with the content, you probably wouldn’t be able to play it.
Unfortunately, WD’s local arm cements this even further, with a representative for the company telling GadgetGuy that there are no plans for the WD Cinema to be released in this country.
For now, if you have a 4K TV locally, it’s basically Netflix or nothing, but that’ll change soon when the 4K Blu-rays launch, which should be either late this year or early next.