DirecTV trademark applications signal aspirations for a 4K/Ultra HD Network

directv genie tvYesterday, Fierce Cable reported that DirecTV had filed trademark applications for 4KN, 4KNET, 4KNetwork, 4K Network, and 4K.

To assume as others have that the company will move forward with a 4K/Ultra HD network would seem logical at this juncture. Wit that said, speculation-based stories are always tricky business, so we want to be clear up front: These applications are merely appeals for the rights to certain brand names – names which may never be associated with an actual functioning network. What you can be about 99 percent sure of, however, is that DirecTV is actively interested in creating one.

The company has hinted as much, with spokesman Darris Gringeri quoted 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.” Gringeri also admits that his employer files many trademark applications each year, a process which he says gives the company “flexibility in the future.”

That comment underscores just how many grains of salt you need to season this news with. Big technology companies file thousands of trademark and patent applications every year that never manifest as viable products or services (cough .. Apple .. cough).

We are, however, confident that DirecTV will be dogged in its pursuit of a next-gen network. After all, the company was one of the first in the 3D pool when it launched its n3D network back in 2011.

Obstacles still abound (a paucity of native content being the most salient), but the industry is certainly on its way to 4K …. /Ultra HD.