New Sony UHD media player lets you stream 4K Netflix

Consumer Reports

If you own, or are looking to buy, a Sony UHD TV and are looking for more 4K content, Sony's new 4K Ultra HD Media Player (FMP-X10) might interest you. It can not only get downloaded UHD movies but can also stream 4K videos from Netflix.

The player, which arrives in June along with Sony's new UHD TVs, is also an option for those with older Sony UHD TVs looking to update their sets to the latest 4K features those sets lack, such as built-in HEVC decoding, which is required for 4K Netflix streaming.

The new, rectangular media player—which replaces last year's circular FMP-X1 model, which came with about 10 free movies loaded on its hard drive—has several updated features, including a 1TB hard drive for storing movies and TV shows, built-in HEVC (H.265) decoding, plus an HDMI 2.0 output that can play 4K video at 60 frames per second. The hard drive will hold about 20 UHD movies, Sony says. The price for the new player hasn't been announced, but last year's model cost $700.  

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The player can access movies from Video Unlimited 4K, a UHD download service that Sony launched last year, as well as Sony's PlayMemories 4K photo service. The new media player is compatible with any Sony 4K Ultra HD TV, and is ideal for customers looking to upgrade their current 4K TVs to support the latest in 4K technologies. The 4K Media Player with Video Unlimited 4K will be available for purchase this summer.

We're looking forward to getting the new Sony TVs into our labs when they're released sometime in June. We're also hoping to get our hands on this new media server when it becomes available. Although not inexpensive, it does give those with an older Sony UHD TV an upgrade path to several important features, especially HEVC decoding—something that's not an option for those who bought 2013 UHD TVs from several other brands.

—James K. Willcox



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