DirecTV Launches 4K Box

Following up on its introduction of a 4K/Ultra HD service in November 2014, DirecTV has launched a new UHD-capable box called the 4K Genie Mini.

The new device (pictured), about the size of a paperback book and outfitted with Dolby Digital Plus audio decoding, will expand on the number of customers who can watch 4K fare without requiring a DirecTV-ready 4K TV, said DirecTV, which recently completed its merger with AT&T. The new Mini device works in conjunction with the DirecTV Genie HD DVR (model HR34 and above).  According to this Web page (opens in new tab), DirecTV charges $6.50 per month for each receiver and/or Genie Mini/DirecTV Ready TV/device.  

Update: Pricing on the new device varies per customer, but the value of the 4K Genie Mini is $99, a DirecTV spokesperson said. 

All of DirecTV noted that all of its UHD content requires a TV with an HDMI 2.0-compliant interface.

“Customers who want the best picture quality are creating more demand for 4K,” said Henry Derovanessian, senior vice president Consumer Premise Engineering, DirecTV, in a statement. “The new 4K Genie Mini allows us to meet that demand by expanding 4K access to more of our customers nationwide.”

DIRECTV currently offers a menu of 4K UHD movies and documentaries, including The Godfather, Transformers, Braveheart, and Star Trek. The company initially offered UHD fare by linking its Genie HD DVR to 4K TVs from Samsung. DirecTV said it will offer similar support to 4K sets from LG Electronics and Sony and other TV manufacturers “soon.”

DirecTV’s new device launch follows other recent activity in the 4K arena. Earlier this month, Canada’s Videotron rolled out a 4K box made by Samsung. Comcast has launched a 4K streaming app for Samsung TVs, and will soon launch 4K-capable boxes for its X1 platform. Dish Network is nearing the debut of a 4K service that will run on a new UHD-capable Joey box.