Bravia Core: new 4K HDR streaming service in Blu-ray quality from Sony, IMAX and DTS

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What is Bravia Core, the streaming service unveiled by Sony in partnership with IMAX and DTS which promises quality equivalent to 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray discs?

Who can benefit from it? What content is available? What is the image and sound quality like? How does it work? Is this the end of movie theaters and Blu-ray discs?

Find out in this article!

Sony: a major player in the cinema and consumer audiovisual industry

Sony is a major player in the audio and video electronics market, both for professionals and the general public, whose expertise covers multiple areas such as hi-fi (DAPs, Bluetooth headphones, True Wireless IEMs, portable Bluetooth speakers, portable radios…), home theater (4K Blu-ray players, sound bars…), televisions (OLED TVs, 4K UHD TVs and 8K UHD TVs) and video projection (4K UHD projectors, ultra-short throw projectors and HD projectors).

Sony not only manufactures TVs, Blu-ray players and projectors for consumers, but also produces movies through Sony Pictures Entertainment which are shot with professional Sony cameras!

Sony is also a major company in the cinema sector. Sony’s professional division manufactures extremely high-performance cameras, such as the CineAlta and Venice models, as well as projectors for many cinemas, museums, planetariums, businesses and showrooms around the world.

Sony Pictures Entertainment and its subsidiaries Columbia Pictures and Tri-Star Entertainment produce and distribute many successful films each year. We can mention the movies from the James Bond, Spiderman and Venom and Jumanji sagas, but also Elysium, Greyhound (with Tom Hanks), The Magnificent Seven (Denzel Washington, Chris Pratt…), or the Bad Boys series and the new versions of Ghostbusters.

What could be more obvious when Sony is also interested in streaming and seeks to offer its customers the best possible picture quality on the big screen in their living room thanks to Bravia Core?

Bravia Core: for which audience?

Bravia Core is a streaming platform from Sony Pictures in partnership with IMAX and DTS. This is a promotional offer only available to buyers of a 2021 Sony TV with Bravia XR processor. The Bravia Core service is in fact directly integrated into the most high-end Sony 2021 televisions equipped with a Sony XR processor.

The Sony XR 2021 TVs all provide access to the Sony Bravia Core Blu-ray quality streaming service.

Bravia core: how does it work?

Sony is offering a free 12 or 24 month trial package depending on the Sony XR TV you purchase (see below). You must register and create a Bravia Core account on the eligible TV before February 23, 2024 to benefit from this offer.

Viewing movies that are over 36 months old in the Sony Pictures and Columbia Pictures catalog is included in the subscription plan.

Viewing more recent films is subject to a viewing credit system. 5 or 10 credits are offered with the purchase of the TV depending on the Sony XR range chosen (1 credit = 1 unlocked movie).

Movie credits are valid for 12 months from the time they are added to the Bravia Core account. Movies purchased with credits can be streamed until February 23, 2026. Each Bravia Core account allows you to watch movies on up to 4 TVs.

For the moment, Sony has not said anything about the cost of renewing the subscription or the possibility of buying back film credits and at what price. The firm is probably waiting to evaluate the success of its offer before considering making it permanent…

Bravia Core: compatible Sony 2021 TVs

Here is the list of Sony XR 2021 TV ranges compatible with Bravia Core (marketed in France from the end of March).

Sony BRAVIA XR MASTER Series Z9J (8K LED)

Bravia Core offer: 24 month subscription + 10 movie credits

Full Array LED backlighting, Ultra High Definition 8K, 4K/120 fps compatible, 6ms input lag, wide viewing angles and anti-glare filter, light and color sensor, IMAX Enhanced, DTS, HDR10, Dolby Vision/Atmos, XR Sound Position, Smart TV (Google TV), premium backlit remote control.

Sony BRAVIA XR MASTER Series A90J (4K OLED)

Bravia Core offer: 24 month subscription + 10 movie credits

4K Ultra HD OLED panel, 4K/120 fps compatible, 8.5ms input lag, XR OLED Pro contrast, light and color sensor, IMAX Enhanced, DTS, HDR10, Dolby Vision/Atmos, Acoustic Surface Audio+, Smart TV (Google TV), premium backlit remote control.

Sony BRAVIA XR A80J, A83J, A84J (4K OLED)

Bravia Core offer: 12 month subscription + 5 movie credits

4K Ultra HD OLED panel, 4K/120 fps compatible, 8.5ms input lag, XR OLED contrast, light sensor, IMAX Enhanced, DTS, HDR10, Dolby Vision/Atmos, Acoustic Surface Audio+, Smart TV (Google TV).

Sony BRAVIA XR X95J (4K LED)

Bravia Core offer: 12 month subscription + 5 movie credits

Full Array LED backlighting, Ultra High Definition 4K, 4K/120 fps compatible, 8.5ms input lag, wide viewing angles and anti-glare filter, light sensor, IMAX Enhanced, DTS, HDR10, Dolby Vision/Atmos, XR Sound Position, Smart TV (Google TV), premium backlit remote control.

Sony BRAVIA XR X90J, X92J, X93J and X94J (4K LED)

Bravia Core offer: 12 month subscription + 5 movie credits

Full Array LED backlighting, Ultra High Definition 4K, 4K/120 fps compatible, 8.5ms input lag, light sensor, IMAX Enhanced, DTS, HDR10, Dolby Vision/Atmos, XR Sound Position, Smart TV (Google TV), backlit premium remote control.

Bravia Core: what content?

Sony Pictures France manages the Bravia Core content for France. At least 300 films from the Sony Pictures catalog are included in the Bravia Core offer, including classics and very recent films. Availability of films is subject to French media chronology laws. You will be able to enjoy all films older than 36 months. The more recent films in the catalog are subject to a viewing credit system (1 credit = 1 film).

Bravia Core provides access to at least 300 movies from the Sony Pictures Entertainment, Columbia Pictures and Tri-Star Entertainment catalogs.

With the Studio Access function, Bravia Core also offers bonus content for some movies, such as making-of and behind-the-scenes footage, similar to what is found in the bonus features on Blu-ray discs, but also on Disney+.

Pure Stream: extreme video bitrate for 4K Blu-ray quality

With Bravia Core, Sony announces an image quality comparable to that of 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray discs.

How is this possible? Thanks to Pure Stream technology, which promises a constant speed of at least 30 Mb/s and up to 80 Mb/s. That’s 2 to 5 times more than competing streaming services!

The maximum effective bit rate of the various current streaming services that provide movies and series in 4K HDR with multi-channel audio tracks is much lower:

  • Netflix UHD 4K: 15.2 Mb/s max.
  • Prime Video UHD 4K: 20 to 25 Mb/s max.
  • Disney+ UHD 4K: 35 to 40 Mb/s max.

With a guaranteed constant speed of 80 Mbit/s thanks to Pure Stream technology, Bravia Core defies existing offers. The result should be spectacular and truly equivalent to 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray discs whose maximum bitrate rarely reaches 100 Mb/s.

With a bitrate similar to that of a Blu-ray disc, Bravia Core lets you immerse yourself in the heart of the action with optimal picture quality.

Bravia Core = fiber optic broadband required

All of this is very tempting, but such speeds are not accessible to everyone. Fiber optic Internet access is required with a minimum bandwidth of 43 Mb/s to access Pure Stream at 30 Mb/s (HD 1080p and compressed 4K HDR) and 115 Mb/s to guarantee a constant 80 Mb/s.

To take full advantage of the Bravia Core service on a Sony XR 2021 TV, you need fiber optic broadband.

Beware of conflicts with other residents who are playing online or watching another streaming service at the same time! Not to mention the multiplication of connected objects which, when added together, also drain the available bandwidth.

Investing in a Netgear router makes a lot of sense to manage and assign different bandwidth limits to users!

Of course, if your Internet connection isn’t fast enough, the bandwidth adapts in real time so that you can still enjoy the Bravia Core service with the best possible quality.

Bravia Core: IMAX Enhanced 4K HDR picture and DTS sound

With the Bravia Core service, Sony promises an exceptional 4K Ultra HD experience thanks to the many titles in its catalog that have benefited from an IMAX Enhanced remaster and are accompanied by a DTS 5.1 audio track.

Many titles available on Bravia Core are remastered in IMAX Enhanced for even better picture quality.

Naturally, HDR10 wide dynamic range images are part of the package.

The audio tracks are also available in AAC Stereo as well as in HE AAC 5.1 Surround (high efficiency).

Does Bravia Core spell the end of movie theaters and Blu-ray discs?

Bravia Core is not intended to replace cinema or physical media and Sony Pictures will continue to release movieq in theaters and on Blu-ray/DVD. Bravia Core is above all a promotional offer, a Premium service offered to Sony TV customers.

It is therefore not positioned as a competitor or a successor to theatrical releases or Blu-ray and DVD physical media, but as a complementary service, in keeping with the current circumstances that prevent us from enjoying movies at the theater.

Is Bravia Core a rival for Netflix, Prime Video or Disney+?

There is currently no indication whether the Bravia Core service will remain a promotional offer limited in time and reserved for Sony customers or whether it will be continued and offered to a wider clientele. We can imagine that Sony will take the time to assess its success before deciding.

One thing is for sure: Sony Pictures movies that are available on other streaming platforms like Netflix and Prime Video are still available for now. However, Bravia Core may allow its subscribers to preview films with exclusive bonuses.

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