It looks like there’s finally some light at the end of the 4K content tunnel. DirecTV is set to offer 4K resolution on-demand video by the end of the year, as well as live 4K streaming next year or by early 2016. The company’s president and CEO Mike White delivered the news via a second-quarter earnings call Thursday. The satellite service provider has been working on integrating the Ultra HD resolution into its repertoire for quite some time, with plans to upgrade to the higher resolution dating as far back as early 2012.
White also announced that the company will launch two new satellites over the next 18 months as a means to expand DirecTV’s capacity to offer more services, according to a report from Multichannel News. White emphasized the fact that DirecTV should be able to begin offering 4K VOD before the satellites are in place, indicating that the two new orbiters could potentially be intended to help enable DirecTV to follow through with the live 4K streaming end of its commitment.
Specifics aside, yesterday’s announcement almost comes off as a bit understated when you consider that up to now, any news about 4K, or Ultra HD resolution TVs and other hardware was overshadowed by the utter lack of a substantial source for 4K resolution content to actually watch on these sparkling new creations. However, an increasingly rapid rate of 4K content has been rolled out this year, and the trend seems to be continuing to pick up steam.
The label “Ultra HD” was barely on the average customer’s radar just a few years ago, and it’s really just now penetrating the public’s consciousness, with exposure on a massive level from events such as Sony’s 4K showcase of the World Cup earlier this summer. A DirecTV spokesman was quoted in February 2013 as saying “4K is something we’re thinking about, but we’re only in the exploratory stages. The technology is many years away at this point.” Here we are just 17 months later and not only is the technology here to stay, but DirecTV is mere months away being able to offer up 4K content whenever a customer calls for it.
Of course, just how much 4K content DirecTV will offer is still unknown. But today’s news is a shot in the arm for the industry on both sides of the equation. As UHD/4K TVs continue to drop in price, the availability of things to actually, you know, watch will set the stage for just how fast the hardware ends up in living rooms. And DirecTV appears to have a nice headstart on its rivals as the 4K provider of choice.
Available at: DirecTV