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Sony to use eyeIO compression for 4K viewing on Ultra HD sets

Looking to avoid the chicken-and-egg scenario that plagued the early days of HDTV and attract new customers to the next-generation Ultra HD (4K) TV, Sony Pictures is licensing video compression technology from a company called eyeIO to deliver some of its most popular movies stored on its $699 FMP-X1 4K media player to Sony’s UltraHD TV sets, which will be available this summer.

Besides faster downloading/streaming on bandwidth-constrained connections, eyeIO’s technology also supports the 4K server by requiring less storage space and allowing it to distribute files more efficiently.

EyeIO’s core video technology processes, compresses and encodes the 4K source files into a format that requires significantly less bandwidth, making distribution more efficient and conserving storage space on devices as well as bandwidth costs.

The content encoded at eyeIO’s Palo Alto, CA, headquarters is full 4K UltraHD (3840 x 2160) resolution and includes support for extended color gamut (xvYCC). EyeIO’s certified 4K Ultra HD technology has been improved over the course of the last two years and offers a simplified workflow and ultra-high quality at high speed to improve cost efficiency.

Titles available at launch will include "Bad Teacher," "Battle: Los Angeles," "The Bridge on the River Kwai," "The Karate Kid (2010)," "Salt," "Taxi Driver," "That’s My Boy," "The Amazing Spider-Man," "The Other Guys" and "Total Recall (2012)."

“We are honored to play an integral part in the first commercial, worldwide use of 4K Ultra HD with Sony Pictures,” said Rodolfo Vargas, CEO of eyeIO.

Along with co-founder Vargas is eyeIO co-founder Charles Steinberg, a former CEO of Ampex Corp and former president of the Business and Professional Products Company of Sony Electronics.

“EyeIO’s technology makes it practical to deliver movies to the home in unprecedented 4K quality, and we are proud to partner with them on this groundbreaking launch,” said Chris Cookson, president of Sony Pictures Technologies.

Netflix is another recent licensee of the eyeIO’s compression technology. On Feb. 1, 2012, Netflix announced it will be the first to deploy eyeIO’s compression software for streaming video. Netflix has more than 20 million streaming members in 47 countries.

EyeIO is a privately held startup developing H.264 and H.265 technologies. Its first- and second-generation technology enables cloud-based video engines, on-demand video services and OTT providers to deliver video over today’s Internet infrastructure at reduced costs and higher fidelity.