DirecTV has burst the 4K bubble, breaking out three live 4K Ultra HD channels last week for the first live 4K broadcast of The Masters in the U.S. Now, sports fans will soon see the first 4K UHD broadcast of another popular sport on DirecTV: Major League Baseball has reached a deal with the AT&T subsidiary that will bring up to 25 network showcase games to DirecTV subscribers in the crystalline UHD format.
Fans won’t have to wait long for broadcasts to begin; the April 15 match-up between the San Francisco Giants and the Los Angeles Dodgers will mark the first-ever live 4K UHD MLB telecast stateside. And while baseball may have been supplanted by the all-mighty NFL as America’s favorite sport (if not it’s favorite “pastime”), make no mistake, DirecTV is making history here that is sure to have far-reaching effects in the nascent era of 4K broadcasts.
With its clearer picture and richer detail, 4K UHD is ideally suited for sports fans. The advent of high-definition broadcasts a decade ago brought live sports into the home like it had never been seen before. And while 4K resolution may not offer the same striking contrast we saw between standard definition and HD broadcasts, it’s certain to blow some minds as every gleaming detail is brought to light by the latest clan of 4K Ultra HD TVs.
To see the number of live telecasts increasing provides a good indication that the trend will continue to ramp up at an increasing pace as the technology catches on. The number of 4K UHD TVs sold in the U.S. so far is still relatively small (6.3 million shipped stateside last year, according to research firm IHS, reports Variety), but growth is ongoing. Many major manufacturers will no longer sell new HD TVs, and a wider range of content will help push consumers over the edge to break into the new resolution.
To catch the new broadcasts you’ll need a manufacturer-certified DirecTV 4K Ready TV (listed here) or a compatible 4K TV (meaning any model with HDMI 2.0 and HDCP 2.2 support) connected to the latest 4K Genie Mini, along with the latest Genie HD DVR (HR54). On top of that, you’ll also need to subscribe to either DirecTV’s Ultimate or Premier packages.
“The 4K UHD experience on DIRECTV will bring America’s pastime to life like never before in the convenience of the living room,” said Dan York, chief content officer of AT&T Entertainment Group, in a statement. “As a leader in sports programming, we’re continuing to deliver more live events in 4K UHD and finding new ways to entertain our customers.”
DirecTV’s first broadcast of MLB in 4K Ultra HD hits home April 15.