Telly fans splashing out for Sky's most expensive TV package will soon be able to watch sport, movies and more in retina-searing 4K, as the broadcaster finally details its plans for an "Ultra HD" service.
Sky's Ultra HD, which goes live on 13 August, will let Sky customers watch films such as "Spectre" and "The Revenant", as well as 124 Premier League matches, in 4K. This emerging TV tech pumps up the resolution to a whopping 3,840x2,160 pixels -- that's roughly four times as many as a 1080p full HD display, but you'll only see the benefit if you own a 4K-capable television. Many newer TVs can handle 4K, also known as Ultra HD, but getting a telly with these pixel-pumping powers still comes at a premium.
In fact, price is a key theme with Sky's newest offering. The broadcaster promises there's no extra cost for 4K programming -- but to get those extra pixels you'll need to already be shelling out a bucketload of cash, as Ultra HD will only be offered to customers subscribing to Sky Q Silver, which is the fancier of Sky's two flavours of Sky Q.
Sky Q, which debuted earlier this year, is already a more luxurious and expensive offering than the long-running Sky+, and with Sky Q Silver starting at £56 per month (ramping up to £92 per month once you add on moves and sport packages), Ultra HD will only be for viewers with the deepest pockets. Renting films in 4K will cost more than the HD alternative too -- renting a new movie in Ultra HD will cost £6.99 a pop, while older "Library" titles will be yours to rent for £5.99.
It's hardly 4K for the masses then, but Sky will be the first broadcaster in the UK to offer a serious selection of films, sport and documentaries at this higher resolution. New movie rentals and sports will likely be the main draw, but Sky's also promising older flicks such as "Jerry Maguire" and "The Godfather" in 4K, as well as David Attenborough documentaries and Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon's new series "The Trip to Spain".
Sky's "Ultra HD" service comes hot on the heels of Sky Movies rebranding to Sky Cinema. When the new high-res offering goes live, customers will need to flip through their Sky box's audio visual settings and select the option for 2160p. Sky took the opportunity of detailing its 4K plans to promise a couple of other new tweaks that are "coming soon", namely voice search and a smartphone app.