Samsung Offers Limited Content for 4K UHD TVs

NEW YORK — Videophiles looking to invest in one of Samsung's new 4K TVs need not worry about content, the company says. The TV manufacturer has plans to produce an Ultra-High Definition Video Pack to ease new 4K TV owners into the world of Ultra HD content — with a whopping five movies, and the promise of more.

Samsung first announced its $300 CY-SUC105H UHD Video Pack at CES 2014, but detailed exactly what it would be capable of at an event in the Guggenheim Museum today (March 20). The UHD video pack is a 1 TB portable hard drive that plugs into a Samsung TV.

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By working alongside 20th Century Fox and Paramount Pictures, Samsung has filled the UHD Video Pack with five feature films: "G.I. Joe: Retaliation," "World War Z," "Night at the Museum," "X-Men Origins: Wolverine" and "The Counselor." The device will also contain a number of short clips and three documentary films. The selection is eclectic, to say the least.

After watching the pre-loaded content, users will be able to clear it off and download new content via the Multimedia Panel on Samsung Smart TVs, though Samsung has said only that the service will go live later this year. The TV maker plans to release a total of 50 pieces of UHD content by the end of 2014. At the New York event, Mike Dunn, the president of 20th Century Fox, announced that more content will be coming from the studio.

Of course, users can also display 4K content from other participating sources, such as Netflix, starting later this year. A slide show at the Samsung event suggested that services like M-Go and Amazon Instant Video would also contribute 4K content to Samsung TVs.

At present, Samsung's major 4K competitor, Sony, seems to offer much more in the UHD space. Its Video Unlimited 4K service currently contains more than 140 movies and TV shows that users can download to its own hard drive player, the $7004K Ultra HD Media Player. The hit TV show "Breaking Bad" headlines Sony's offerings, but movies like "Captain Phillips" and "American Hustle" will soon join it. (Sony, after all, also owns a movie studio.) Sony's Media Player works only with Sony TVs.

Streaming content may ultimately be more important than an individual manufacturer's library. For the moment, though, a lot of 4K's first wave of content will come from Sony and Samsung, and who gets which titles will be a hot issue for consumers.

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Marshall Honorof

Marshall Honorof is a senior editor for Tom's Guide, overseeing the site's coverage of gaming hardware and software. He comes from a science writing background, having studied paleomammalogy, biological anthropology, and the history of science and technology. After hours, you can find him practicing taekwondo or doing deep dives on classic sci-fi.