DirectTV, now part of AT&T, has confirmed it will begin airing live Ultra HD (4K resolution) broadcasting during the first quarter of 2016. Their plans for UHD (Ultra HD) is currently to offer up to 50 new channels but its not known yet what these channels are but we are assuming most of them will be sports related in the beginning.
Currently only above 40% of consumers will even have Ultra HD (4K) HDTV’s by 2016, with a large chunk of those being bought this holiday season thanks to the lower prices this year of these TV’s.
“I think the belief that there are technology challenges is a bit of a misinformed myth. I think technology throughout the entire ecosystem is ready. But I think content is king; the plane is ready to take off and there is no king on board.” said Phil Goswitz of DirecTV during a press conference.
“4K TVs are likely to get a huge boost this holiday season thanks to fast-falling prices and retailer promotions. So even with limited content out there, DirecTV wants to beat cable companies at providing customers with 4K channels they can tune to at any time. “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. So we are moving into working with partners who are enthusiastic about it and we are bringing our cheque-books. Forty per cent of people are going to have UHD TVs coming out of Christmas and they are going to be looking for something to watch. Our goal is to have them tuned to DirecTV and have as much linear live content, especially sports content, as soon as possible.”
With the move into the UHD space for DirecTV, we’ll soon see some major upgrades in hardware. The current DVR offerings from DirecTV could quickly fill to capacity with UHD content, as the streams will be much larger than regular HD. The transmission rates will also be of 30Mb/sec so being able to record up to seven shows at one time, today may have limitations with UHD.
Regardless, consumers with UHD TV’s definitely want UHD content as they have already bought into the technology and HD will eventually fall to the waist side of UHD in the coming years.