Working in combination with DirecTV’s 4K Genie HD DVR, the new 4K Genie Mini is a set-top box that brings UHD video content for secondary televisions within a household. Of course, a household would need multiple UHD televisions in order to utilize the new boxes. In addition, the UHD televisions in other rooms will need to be HDCP 2.2 compliant and have HDMI 2.0 ports to watch DirecTV’s ultra high definition video content at 60 frames per second.
Interestingly, one core limitation of the 4K Genie Mini is that only one television at a time will be able to play UHD content in a home. If someone is watching a 4K movie in the living room on the main family TV, it’s impossible to watch another ultra high definition movie in another room, even if it’s recorded on the DVR. Beyond UHD video, the 4K Genie Mini also supports Dolby Digital Plus audio output.
Another issue is that early 4K television models purchased prior to 2015 may not meet the HDCP and HDMI requirements. If an early model is being moved to a secondary room due to a living room replacement, it could be difficult to take advantage of the 4K Genie Mini. Speaking about the new hardware, DirecTV representative Henry Derovanessian said “Customers who want the best picture quality are creating more demand for 4K. The new 4K Genie Mini allows us to meet that demand by expanding 4K access to more of our customers nationwide.”
During May 2015, the company announced two new satellites launched successfully to join DirecTV’s existing fleet. The new hardware was specifically launched to increase the capacity to broadcast HD and 4K Ultra HD channels across the United States. Of course, the volume of 4K content is still somewhat limited to brand new film releases as well as a handful of popular back catalog titles. There are also a variety of 4K nature documentaries available on the service.