The TV Answer Man!

Update: Can You Record DIRECTV’s 4K Channel?

Q. I am excited to watch DIRECTV’s new 4K channel. But I’m curious about whether you will be able to record shows off it. Can you? And, if so, how many hours of recording can you store on the DVR? — Tom, Los Angeles.

Tom, as you note, DIRECTV next month will launch pay TV’s first live 4K TV channel, which will debut April 7 with coverage of the 2016 Masters Golf Tournament.

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Earlier this week, I wrote that AT&T, the corporate parent of DIRECTV, could not say if you would be able to record and store programming from the new channel on your HD DVR. (To watch the channel, you will need a DIRECTV Genie HR54 HD DVR or above.).

The uncertainty was not too surprising because the size of the file required to transmit a 4K signal is so large that a handful of shows could fill a DVR’s storage capacity rather quickly.

(The HR54 has a storage capacity of 1 terabyte, which is roughly the equivalent of two hours of uncompressed 4K programming. DIRECTV will undoubtedly compress the video, which should add storage time.)

However, Kuriko Wong, a spokeswoman for AT&T, informs me today that “we can confirm that you can record 4K programming. We’ll share the recording capacity details as soon as we can…If the signal goes through the HR54, you can record it.”

That’s good news for you, Tom, and other 4K TV owners who are interested in watching the new live 4K channel. However, the AT&T spokeswoman said the company still isn’t ready to divulge how many hours of 4K programming you will be able to store on your HD DVR.

Will it be in the single digits? Much more? Certainly, DIRECTV will compress the video which should add some storage time, but how much?

I guess we’ll have to wait some more.

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