DirecTV Is Slowly Realizing The Live 4K Goal

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DirecTV started out trying to put the 4K MLB broadcast and met with small hitches in the first two attempts. These are the latest in a string of ups and down the MVPD has been going through, trying to pioneer 4K translation into linear content. However, it is certainly not for nothing that they are so evidently sticking to the plan.

For over a year now, the company has been trying out ways to get Ultra HD into standard live broadcast viewing, and the intended move has claimed plenty of tech upgrades and creativity on their part. First, the provider had to make sure there were enough satellites up and casting, to meet the capacity requirements. After that came the matter of calibrating its mobile unit broadcast workflow.

In the meantime, there has been the very tangible need to deal with heaps of data created when someone shoots video in 4K. Still, both the PGA and the MLB are now broadcasting in the new format, and that seems to have emboldened the provider to start adding additional live sports as well as other content.

Senior VP John Ward says they are all in no matter what. “We’ve taken the attitude of ‘We’ve built it and we hope they come,” he said in a recent press conference. While it is still unclear if other MSOs in the country will take the same path, right now the process employed DirecTV shows the company is hard at work to laying the base for the new technology.

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AT&T moving into linear 4K broadcasting through DirecTV has been fraught with hindrances, including having to cancel the first two of 25 scheduled MLB broadcasts owing to technical glitches. The first was laid off because there were problems with a third-party production truck, while the second was blocked when early testing showed the signals were unacceptable. Still, tech is one area where first-movers often have to deal with slings and arrows.

Hopefully, AT&T will improve the ways it chooses to bring the new viewing format to consumers. Another thing they have lined up is the launch of three dedicated 4K channels, showing films, documentaries and live events. AT&T is also busy lining up new DirecTV streaming offerings later in the year, which means bringing more content to its mobile platforms.

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