REDRAY Hands-On: A Giant Black Death Star Full Of Beauty

The only problem with 4K TV, other than being too expensive for anyone who isn't a Prince William, is that there's no good way to get 4K stuff to watch. Right? RED is selling a super-HD streaming box that says otherwise.

The Redray — and I'm not going to spell it in all-caps anymore because I hate that — is a dedicated deck for 4K movies. It's packing a 1TB hard drive inside, plus an SD port and USB 2.0 (ugh) for loading up video on that big sucker. You'll also be able to download films from a cloud service called Odemax, which I've never heard of, and won't tell us what movies will be available.

So, on paper it's not that great. But on a Toshiba 4K display, the box beats its paper rep: even compressed way down in file size, the movies look phenomenal. And that compression bit is crucial: native 4K video is enormously, ludicrously giant. Nobody will be able to download them for a long time, and they won't fit on any disc. So knowing that shrinking them to 2.5 MB/sec doesn't ruin the footage — far from it! — is terrific news. Every single scene looked phenomenal, without any noticeable artifacting or video blemishes. So, if RED can solidify a less ambiguous means of buying (or renting!) 4K files, this thing could make owning a 4K set, someday, less painful. At least when (or if) it ever comes down from a pro-only price of $US1450. [Redray]

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