So far, 4K resolution was an option only for streaming, but as prices of 4K televisions drop down, TV service providers are starting to rethink their financial strategies concerning live 4K telecasts.
Being one of the most widely used TV service providers, DirecTV confirmed yesterday that it’s planning to roll out a standalone tier dedicated exclusively to 4K content. Currently, the company is testing live Ultra HD content on sports, while its 4K service for the traditional TV is expected to launch sometime in early 2016.
Phil Goswitz, senior VP of video and space communications for the satellite TV operator, said at an industry conference last week:
“Forty percent of people are going to have UHD TVs coming out of Christmas and they are going to be looking for something to watch. Our goal is to have them tuned to DirecTV and have as much linear live content, especially sports content, as soon as possible.”
Mr. Phil’s statement has a certain gravity on the grounds that while 4K content has been available for quite some time on streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime, traditional TV channels are left somewhat behind to the 4K era.
Based on DirecTV’s strategy, the company is attempting to initiate that kind of transaction by planting the seeds with 4K set-top boxes, and then acquiring the actual TV networks to start producing 4K telecasts.
That shall prove to be truly beneficial for the firm, especially considering that ESPN still broadcasts in 720p HD.
“I think technology throughout the entire ecosystem is ready. 40% of people are going to have UHD TVs coming out of Christmas…There are always at least two 4K movies available to watch instantly“, reads DirecTV’s own 4K FAQ.
Also unclear is how much extra DirecTV customers will have to pay for higher-resolution content.
Note that DirecTV already charges a fee for access to its existing 4K movie download service, so the traditional TV enhanced with around the clock 4K content is something that will certainly come at a higher expense. And what’s more, is that depending on the fee, the company’s activity will either skyrocket in success or sink before it makes it to the first thousand customers.
That claim is based on the fact that as the existence of overall 4K content grows on all kinds of streaming services, the demand of 4K content on tradition television – and especially when it comes at high expense – could severely drop.