DirecTV Tees Up Three 4K Channels

DirecTV’s foray into live 4K will tee off tomorrow with partial coverage of the Masters tournament at Augusta National Golf Club, but details surfaced online show that the satellite TV giant has a bit more in store when it comes to Ultra HD.

Per an FAQ about DirecTV’s 4K efforts, spotted by TV Predictions, DirecTV will start off with three channels dedicated to the pixel-packed format:

-Channel 104: a full-time channel with mix of 4K fare, including nature documentaries and original content from the DirecTV/AT&T Audience Network.

-Channel 105: a full-time pay-per-view movie channel with full-length features and short-form documentaries.

-Channel 106: An event channel with free 4K live events, including this week’s Master’s coverage, as well as pay-per-view events.

What’s not as clear is if all three are launching this week. AT&T has been asked to confirm the launch timing. But DirecTV has previously announced details around the 4K Masters coverage. It will offer all four rounds of tournament play (April 7-10, from 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET) in the new format but limit 4K coverage to “Amen Corner” – Augusta’s 11th, 12th and 13th holes.

Update: DirecTV's new 4K Ultra HD channels will go live April 7 to qualified subscribers (see below for more on that). 

The FAQ also provides a bit more detail on the technical requirements and financial commitment needed by subs who want to open that 4K spigot.

On the device side, they’ll need a Genie HD DVR (model HR54) or later and a 4K Genie Mini if they do not own a “DirecTV Ready” 4K TV. They’ll also need to spring for a professional install, which runs $50, and must be on the provider’s Ultimate or Premiere package.

Also of note: subscribers can view only one 4K channel or VOD program in the format at once; however, they can playback a program recorded from a 4K channel while recording another, and can watch a recorded 4K VOD title on a second 4K TV at the same time.

Outside the 4K sphere, AT&T also said DirecTV and U-verse TV will offer three extra feeds of golf tournament coverage via the “Masters Experience” – a mosaic channel that will also feature a running leaderboard of live tee times, scoring, and leaders’ locations on the course.