Apple Examined Streaming 4K Content from Sony in 2013

Apple Examined Streaming 4K Content from Sony in 2013

Documents from the Sony Data Breach show that Apple requested 4K video content from Sony for the purpose of testing both digital distribution and on-demand streaming.

Apple Examined Streaming 4K Content from Sony in 2013


As divulged by WikiLeaks, a materials access letter (PDF link) from Culver Digital Distribution, an entity associated with Sony Pictures Television, served as a formal agreement for “testing and/or preparing” 4K film and television content for non-exclusive distribution.

The linked document is a materials access letter –  dated Sept. 26, 2013 – from Culver Digital Distribution Inc, a division of Sony Pictures Entertainment, to Apple. The letter was signed by Apple SVP of Internet Software and Services Eddy Cue and Jim Underwood, a former Sony executive, now at Facebook.

Apple was experimenting with 4K digital content, said to be for use in a much-rumored Apple television, although those rumors were put to rest in April. Apple is now said to be working on a new Apple TV set-top box that had been expected to debut at WWDC 2015, but did not make an appearance. 4K content continues to be considered as a likely feature in a future box from Apple.

While 4K UHD content has been available for quite a few years, it has only recently begun to gain traction, following the release of relatively reasonably priced sets from television manufacturers. Sony is a prominent supporter of the 4K format. Content continues to be sparsely available, with some being made available via Netflix and Amazon Prime Video.

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