Sony leads with in-home 4K videos, Netflix partnership

The Japanese conglomerate unveils a slew of new gadgets at CES, including a tennis racket sensor, but kicks off its event with a focus on media content.

Donna Tam Staff Writer / News
Donna Tam covers Amazon and other fun stuff for CNET News. She is a San Francisco native who enjoys feasting, merrymaking, checking her Gmail and reading her Kindle.
Donna Tam
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Sony's new 4K televisions on stage at CES 2014. Sarah Tew/CNET

Sony delivered a long and varied list of gadgets, including a tennis racket sensor and a new wearable tech, on Monday, but kicked off its hour-long showcase by focusing on what it knows best -- home entertainment.

Sony kicked off with an opening video of its "milestones" from 2013, flashing the footage on the screens encircling the curved room. Sony President Mike Fasulo started things off by saying that Sony will be the first to offer a 4K video in-home download service, featuring more than 140 titles. He announced a partnership with online streaming-service Netflix, bringing Netflix CEO Reed Hastings on stage to talk about the availability of 4K content. He said people will be able to watch the Breaking Bad series in 4K, as well as Netflix's own House of Cards, Season Two.

"There will be a lot of content," Hastings told the packed auditorium at the 2014 International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. "It's a chance for the Internet to really shine."

Fasulo said more content is coming, including fashions shows, movies, and the World Cup.

Sony's new devices -- which included a new $2,000 4K video camera, the FDR-AX100, a new addition to its ILCE line, the Alpha A5000 and three separate lines of 4K televisions -- highlight the focus on this content.

The company didn't leave out home audio. Sony announced new home audio product lineups, including new AV receivers, Blu-ray home theater systems, portable devices, high-res capable speakers, and headphones.

Following Fasulo's presentation, Sony's President of Mobile Kuni Suzuki showcased a bunch of recreational technology, including a new FitBit-like wearable health tracker called the Core; the Walkman W series, a waterproof media player that sets your laps to music; its GoPro-like mountable Action Cam; the HMZ-T3Q, a 3D head-mounted viewer that lets the wearer watch a virtual screen that's larger than 700 inches; and the Sony tennis sensor, which attaches to your racket to record data and sends it to your smartphone.

Suzuki rounded out the event with Sony's new Sony Xperia Z1 S smartphone.

CNET's live coverage of Sony's CES 2014 press conference

Though a household name in consumer electronics, Sony has played second fiddle to Korean competitor Samsung at CES in recent years. Last year, Sony did a splashy demo of a prototype 4K OLED TV that left many attendees in awe, though the relationship between one-time partners Sony and Panasonic on the OLED panels is apparently now on the rocks. This time around, the Japanese conglomerate is hoping for a solid showing by serving up a slew of product announcements spanning a variety of categories.

Update, 6:07 p.m. PT: Added more information from event.