Satellite provider also expects to provide 4K live streaming once two more birds are in orbit, but many questions remain.
While UHD/4K TVs seem to be selling quite well, the lack of native UHD/4K content is a big stumbling block on the road to widespread adoption. But according to a recent article on the Multichannel News site
and elsewhere, that obstacle may soon be removed—or at least diminished—now that DirecTV has announced it will be ready to deliver UHD/4K video-on-demand (VOD) titles by the end of the year, with live streaming to follow next year or early 2016.
The announcement was made by DirecTV president and CEO Mike White during a conference call to discuss the company's second-quarter earnings. "We're working to secure some [4K] content," White is quoted as saying in the Multichannel News article. "We expect certainly in 2015 or early 2016 to be able to stream live content." That live content will depend on two new satellites that are scheduled to be deployed in the next 18 months, but the VOD content can apparently be delivered before then.
Of course, many questions remain. I can only assume that the initial content will use the BT.709 color gamut, 4:2:0 color subsampling, and 8-bit dynamic range. Also, I assume it will be encoded with HEVC/H.265, though that will require a new receiver in the home. What content will be available? How much will it cost subscribers? And assuming a very high level of compression, will it look that much better than current HD content? As the Lord Marshall says in The Chronicles of Riddick, "These are the things I need to know."
Time to turn on the speculator. What are your thoughts about this news?
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