Published January 07, 2014
Television makers including Samsung, Sony (SNE) and LG are partnering with streaming video providers to boost the amount of ultra-high definition video content available to consumers.
At the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Samsung announced it will work with Amazon (AMZN), Netflix (NFLX), Comcast’s (CMCSA) Xfinity TV, DirecTV (DTV) and M-GO, a joint venture between Technicolor and DreamWorks Animation.
Samsung said the ultra-HD content will be available on its Smart Hub multimedia service. The electronics giant will also offer TV buyers the option of purchasing a video pack that includes movies from initial partners Paramount Pictures and Fox Home Entertainment, a subsidiary of FOX Business parent 21st Century Fox (FOXA).
Samsung believes there will be roughly 50 movie titles available in ultra-HD, also known as 4K, this year.
Sony and LG also said they are teaming up with Netflix to stream 4K movies and TV shows directly from their TVs. Netflix CEO Reed Hastings, who spoke at a Sony press conference in Las Vegas, said all of the video provider’s original programming will be shot in 4K.
Sony also introduced a new line of its Bravia TVs and said it will add more titles to its Video Unlimited 4K download service, which launched in September.
“It may be cliché to say content is King, but when talking about 4K Ultra HD TV, it reigns over consumer decision-making,” said Mike Lucas, senior vice president of Sony’s home entertainment and sound division.
Amazon made a separate announcement detailing the content that will be available in ultra-HD. The world’s largest online retailer said it is working with Warner Bros., Lions Gate (LGF), 20th Century Fox, Discovery (DISCA) and others.
“Customers are excited about the future of 4K and the next evolution of high resolution video. We’re working with consumer electronics leaders and Hollywood studios to make that a reality,” said Bill Carr, Amazon’s vice president of digital video and music.
Kyungshik Lee, a senior vice president at Samsung’s visual display business, added that 2014 will mark a breakthrough year for ultra-HD as the company pursues “top-of-the-line products” and “great content to fully enjoy the benefits” of 4K.
Shares of Amazon climbed nearly 1% to $396.88 early Tuesday afternoon, while Sony fell eight cents to $17.22. Netflix was trading 5.2% lower after being hit with a downgrade from Morgan Stanley.