Originally Posted by DrDon
PBS was very much at the forefront of HD. Ask anyone who watched the legendary PBS demo loop.
I thought it took a long time to get a lot of PBS shows in HD?
MLB can't go 4k nationwide on RSNs as only DSS could carry them, giving them an advantage which would wreck their relationships with terrestrial cable. Won't happen anytime soon. Plus, how will all those RSNs pay for the buildout? Where's the money coming from?
I disagree with the notion about the cable companies. For one, the MSOs don't care that much about pay TV anymore, and in most cases, they really don't care if you switch to DirecTV, because they just charge you more for internet. Further, they could put up one or two 4k channels in each market if they really wanted to. I just don't see that as an issue. However, on your second point, I think cost is what will ultimately stop that from being the case, at least until the cost of the gear comes way down. There isn't a huge business incentive for them to move to 4k, and how many more people are going to watch baseball if it is in 4k versus not in 4k? If they could do MLB.tv in 4k, with direct to consumer sales, maybe, but that would piss off the cable providers more than being on DBS, although with data caps and broadband monopolies, they probably wouldn't care about that either.
Originally Posted by NashGuy
I expect that AT&T's DirecTV satellite service (and its successor, DishDirect, after it merges with DISH) will have a dedicated HBO Max 4K linear channel that features whatever 4K and 4K HDR content that AT&T distributes through their upcoming HBO Max on-demand Netflix-competitor.
I'm not sure *that's* going to happen. Maybe. Right now, I'm hoping SprinT-Mobile gets shot down. More mergers and consolidations are the last thing that we need.
As Dr. Don says, maybe several years down the road, when ATSC 3.0 stations aren't halving their bandwidth with a partner station on the same tower, THEN we'll see the major broadcast networks distributing 4K through their affiliates. Until then, high-quality 1080p HDR is the best we can probably hope for via OTA. Of course, that doesn't mean that ABC, NBC, CBS and Fox can't offer 4K HDR versions of their content, both live and on-demand, through their pay TV distributors, whether MVPDs/vMVPDs (e.g. Comcast Xfinity TV, Charter Spectrum TV, YouTube TV) or their own on-demand platforms (e.g. Hulu, CBS All Access).
That's an interesting take. Not so much the broadcast part, which I don't think will ever happen. I think we'll just see more subchannels to backfill the available bandwidth, or localized feeds, or whatever other junk they can come up with to grind out ad dollars. That being said, the idea of on demand or streaming 4k from the networks is pretty interesting. They would be smart to do it through their streaming services, as pay TV is in such decline right now and the more tech-savvy folks who want 4k likely don't have pay TV.
Originally Posted by DrDon
That was the only point I was trying to make: If setmakers want to increase sales, subsidizing broadcast 4k isn't cost-efficient and likely wouldn't have much impact on sales, at least not enough for a respectable ROI. And, to the topic, it's that money broadcasters and networks will need to justify doing the buildout for 4K.
4k just doesn't matter that much. People who care are already streaming 4k from Netflix and Amazon and a few other sources, and most people don't care. They're better off spending the money on the AI upscaling to upscale HD to 4k and 8k and try to massage over some of the ugliness of cable and OTA over-compression. It's hard to market accurately, but easy to throw a bunch of buzzwords at and make it sound fancy and shiny, and Americans will buy it, because fancy, shiny, bigger number equals better. I don't see a good business case for building out 4k broadcasting for much of anything other than DirecTV's limited events. Over time, as equipment gets cheaper and more widely available, there will be a very slow increase in content, but I just don't see a rush to have a bunch of channels that are in 4k.