AT&T to Serve Up 4K Volleyball

AT&T/DirecTV will add more live 4K sports fare to the mix heading into the weekend by delivering coverage of The World Series of Beach Volleyball in the pixel-packed format from Long Beach, Calif.

Here’s the 4K tournament coverage DirecTV has on tap (on channel 106):

-Friday, Aug. 26 from 8:30 p.m. – 10:30 p.m. ET: Women’s quarter finals #1 and #2

-Saturday, Aug. 27 from 3:00 p.m. -4:30 p.m. ET: Women’s semi-finals #1

-Saturday, Aug. 27 from 7:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.: Women’s semi-finals #1, and men’s semi-finals #1

-Sunday, Aug. 28 from 4:30 p.m. – 6 p.m.: Women’s finals

-Sunday, Aug. 28 from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. – Men’s finals  

DirecTV, now part of AT&T, launched three dedicated 4K channels last year.

John Ward, senior VP of content operations at AT&T, used this blog post to shed more light on the company’s 4K activities and why he thinks the format helps to tell a “better story.”

DirecTV, he said, has broadcast more than 500 hours of sports in 4K, most of it live, thanks to coverage of events such as The Masters, UFC bouts, some of NBC’s coverage from the Summer Games in Rio (provided on a one-day delay), and several MLB matchups.

Ward also shared some technical factoids about 4K, noting that an hour of video in that format equals 400 to 500 gigabytes, and that the company uses a mix of fiber and satellite transmission technologies from each event to deliver video in IP with encode bit rates of up to Mbps. AT&T, he added, also deploys eight to 14 4K camas to each event, depending on its size.

 An average baseball game in 4K can soak up about 2 terabytes of storage, or about 500 GBs per hour, he said.