4K streaming was one of the main new offerings DirecTV put out to draw in customers. Now, the pay-TV provider is promising that it will channelize 4K, and not just the one channel that is set to kick off this month. The satellite TV provider will be providing live 4K telecasts in more than one channel. This being a time when every TV service is trying to get on the 4K wagon, it is plausible that DirecTV will soon bring out multiple 4K channels.
The company surely hopes to lead the way into 4K transition, and has revealed a soon-to-arrive 5K provision. It is bidding to get contracts with all partners currently offering 4K channels. Vice President Phil Goswitz mentioned this bit at an industry conference recently.
Goswitz cited stats where “Forty percent of people are going to have UHD TVs coming out of Christmas and they are going to be looking for something to watch.” As for where DirecTV would apply its efforts, he said that the company’s goal is to get people “tuned to DirecTV and have as much linear live content, especially sports content, as soon as possible.”
4K video is currently available only as an on-demand streaming option. For traditional TV channels, there has been significant inertia in the adoption of this broadcasting format. There are many reasons why stations balk at the idea – 4K requires set-top boxes, as well as getting networks on board to air the telecasts. Which seems pretty much what DirecTV is up to right now.
The satellite giant has not revealed many details except for Goswitz saying the company has a capacity to carry 50 Ultra-HD channel signals to homes, and this is besides the existing HD and SD offerings. They have not named any channels that would be part of the 4K lineup, or how many of them would be turned over to the new viewing format. Also left out was what customers will have to pay for the superior programming they receive.
The 4K movies DirecTV casts come at an extra fee for access, a lot like the way pay-TV services charged for HD channel broadcasts at a time when it was not the norm. DirecTV probably will not be the sole provider financing these 4K channels though. Comcast and Dish Network are heavy at work getting to the same place, and already have 4K set-top boxes in many subscribers’ homes.