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4K coming to PS4, Xbox One and Sky+ this year

Rumour suggest consoles and set-top boxes are heading for Ultra HD

4K televisions are set for a massive boost this year, with a host of consoles and set-top boxes expected to deliver Ultra HD output. Revised versions of the Sony PlayStation 4, the Xbox One and the Sky+ box will all deliver 4K output by this autumn, according to leaked reports.

4K television: all you need to know

The plans to upgrade both of the leading games consoles to 4K were let out of the bag by Netflix, the video-on-demand service that has recently started offering 4K streams to subscribers. The company’s chief product officer, Neil Hunt, reportedly stated at the recent CES technology show that he expected both console makers to add 4K support when they refresh their hardware later this year.

Sony and Microsoft typically refresh the components within their consoles every two years, which means we should see 4K support arrive by the autumn. Both console makers are remaining tight-lipped on their plans for hardware refreshes, no doubt wary of harming sales of the products they currently have on the shelves.

Meanwhile, Sky is heavily tipped to be introducing a 4K version of its Sky+ box in the next few months. The Telegraph reported this week that Sky is bringing forward its next-generation hardware to help it fend off the threat from BT, which has won the rights to show Champions League football from next season. Not only will Sky offer 4K, but it will also offer customers the option to stream any of the shows they’ve recorded on their set-top box to smartphones, tablets and other devices, according to the report.

BT is expected to counter Sky’s move with a shift to 4K broadcasting of sports events itself, presumably also requiring the introduction of a 4K-enabled YouView box. BT currently gives its sports channels away to broadband customers, with a small monthly surcharge for HD channels. BT may view 4K as a way to charge an additional premium for those channels, helping the company to recoup the £897 million it paid for the rights to the Champions League football.

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