DirecTV promises live 4K channels in early 2016

2 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

DirecTV to Offer Live 4K in Early 2016.

The satellite pay-TV services giant DirecTV, which also happens to be a part of AT&T, is right now in the process of testing out ultra HD 4K sportscast transmissions via satellite as a run-up to a formal launch of this service at some point in early 2016.DirecTV is already offering a rather limited OTT service of 4K entertainment distribution and has been doing so since late 2014 but the existing service is available to only some consumers and comes with a very limited selection of content.

Speaking at the recent TranSport conference in NY, an event covered by Advanced Television and other media, Goswitz said DirecTV has the technology in place to establish wider-scale distribution of 4K programming, but it lacks the content. An exact start date for DirecTV’s first live 4K content has not been announced yet, but the company is now planning for an early 2016 launch. “Our goal is to have them tuned to DirecTV and have as much linear live content, especially sports content, as soon as possible”. That will change for DirecTV subscribers starting next year, with a new report claiming the company will introduce a live 4K broadcast service in early 2016 Ahead of that launch, DirecTV has been testing 4K broadcasts with Ultra HD sports offerings. We’ve heard this kind of talk from the firm in the past (remember when 2013 was going to be the year of 4k?), but this time it says that plans are in place and there’s actual testing going on right now to make sure high-end content becomes a staple in 2016.

But I think content is king; the plane is ready to take off and there is no king on board. 4K TVs are likely to get a huge boost this holiday season thanks to fast-falling prices and retailer promotions. Why this matters: Although 4K video is already available through on-demand streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime, traditional TV channels have been slower to get on board with live programming.

Roku and TiVo recently came out with updated set-top boxes ready for 4K streaming, but they still have to work with the finite amount of 4K content available. This isn’t DirecTV’s first experiment with 4K—last year, the company launched its own 4K streaming service that featured content from Paramount Pictures and others.

DirecTV already charges a fee for access to its existing 4K movie download service, and many pay-TV providers used to charge a fee for HD channels when standard definition was still the norm. Netflix also charges $2 per month extra for UltraHD video, although it also allows four streams at once, compared to two streams with an HD video plan. With Comcast and Dish Network both offering 4K set-top boxes already, 2016 seems like the year they’ll finally bring some higher-resolution channels online.

In other words, we can assume that DirecTV is now simply ironing out the details and serious about launching their service in the first quarters of next year. So we are moving into working with partners who are enthusiastic about it [4K entertainment content] and we are bringing our check-books. 40% of people are going to have UHD TVs coming out of Christmas…” Now, for us consumers and 4K technology watchers alike, the only thing left to do is wait and see. The current content landscape for 4K movies, programming and live entertainment broadcasts most of all is still strangely and annoyingly sparse, even as 4K UHD TV sales grow almost exponentially in nearly all major electronics markets. With this strange divergence of trends in place, a massive new injection of advanced and possibly even live satellite broadcast content in 4K ultra HD from DirecTV would certainly be welcome news to millions of UHD TV owners in the U.S alone.

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