There has been a firestorm created by this article: New 4K-Capable PS4 And Xbox One Consoles Coming This Year, Predicts Netflix
. What's not understood is that both Microsoft and Sony designed their consoles to be media hubs
and 4K blu-ray players....the current version supports everything needed for 4K streaming and 4K blu-ray with a firmware update. That's a strong statement from me and I'll support it:
1) PS4 is Feature-proved"
means they have a list of coming features with the hardware designed/proved to be able to support those features
2) There is a patent from Sony describing how they might implement 4K blu-ray
and the issue is that older drives can support it
but not reliably. Their fix is to invert the track info on 4 K disks so older drives can't support 4K but 4K drives can still support standard blu-ray. The patent is from 2010 and likely is about the BD-R whitepaper specs to allow BDXL among other things (4 layer Recordable which is harder to read than the coming 3 layer with Panasonic tweak Read only masters). Proof developed here
3) 4K Blu-ray Confirmed, Coming in Late 2015
4) Movie industry requirements for DRM
and HDCP 2.2 follow
5) Tee Level DRM requirements for on-line transactions.
XTV is going to support On-line transactions. This requires the greatest level of security, "TEE level DRM"
6) Game console power regulations
Applies to newer Consoles but speculation on older all wrong.
7) Game consoles to replace cable boxes and the connected home starts in 2014
8) Sony second GPU patent.
Mentioned in the leaked Xbox 720 powerpoint
and in a Microsoft 2 GPU patent
as well as letters to the EU power board.
The PS4 has a custom Panasonic HDMI chip.
Why custom if not to support HDMI 2 and HDCP 2.X. HDCP can take place in the PS4 southbridge where the Trustzone processor and Cadence-Tensilica Xtensa DPU stream processors reside. The HEVC codec in both the XB1, PS4, Kaveri and Carrizo, in fact all codecs, compression and streaming DRM are software based on Xtensa processors. (not officially confirmed)
Xtensa DPU processors will be in new 4K connected Blu-ray players and some handheld chipsets for OpenVX, Codecs, DRM, upscaling, post processing, Gesture and voice recognition. These same features are supported by Xtensa processors in AMD APUs and Game consoles.
If you read the Movie industry requirements for DRM
, it requires a firmware update-able, revocable DRM with watermarking.
Further, encryption from Source to Sink and for streaming DRM, that's Playready into the PS4 southbridge and HDCP 2.X out of the southbridge. Having unencrypted video from southbridge to a HDMI chip would violate best practice and Content provider guidelines. Further TEE level DRM for on-line purchases also requires the GPU (for customer assurance ICONs) to be inside the same SoC with all IO and everything managed by a Trustzone like processor (protected virtual processes). The Xtensa DPU can also be used as a low power GPU.
So a low power GPU for TEE customer assurance icons and watermarking the video is needed in the same IC with the encryption.
A low power GPU is also needed when the PS4 is acting as a Vidipath (DLNA CVP2) client or in nearly all IPTV power modes and app modes except for when playing a game and then there are recommended IDLE power standards. A Low power GPU is not needed for a RUI (DLNA CVP2) server but is needed for a RVU server.
Edit: A GPU is not needed for a RVU client, it's a Pixel accurate picture of the menu that is sent from server to client. A PS3 can only be a RVU client at this time. After Playready certification, work on the PS3 browser to support WebGL, DLNA and other W3C extensions and likely a XMB upgrade to support a browser desktop, it should support everything but power modes.
If Sony designed the PS4 to be a media hub then the above is already supported by the PS4 design. The same applies to a Xbox 360 and PS3 refresh if coming and is the basis of my speculation on how this would be accomplished.
Further as predicted in 2011, the PS4 has a browser desktop with everything loaded in memory to support HTML5 which supports APPs and nearly instant support for TV (DLNA CVP2) streamed from a Media gateway (First DVRs then Cable Modems). I predicted the PS3 would have the same for the same reason but it appears there is a openGL security issue that might be fixed and if so that is still coming.
The above is obvious if you understand how BIG this three network convergence - DLNA CVP2 ecosystem will become.