Q. I read that you are going to buy a 4K TV, your first one, I believe. So, are you going to subscribe to and watch DIRECTV’s new live 4K channel? — Cindy, Los Angeles.
Cindy, you’re right. I recently wrote that I plan to buy Vizio’s P-Series 65-inch 4K TV when it’s available in stores, or online. And, yes, it will be my first 4K set so I’m very curious to see how it looks on a daily basis.
But to answer your question…
To subscribe to DIRECTV’s live 4K channel (and its two non-live 4K channels), you first must upgrade to the company’s HR54 HD DVR, which normally requires a two-year contract with sizable termination penalties.
Then, once you get the box, you’ll need to connect it to a 4K Genie Mini (unless you have a DIRECTV-ready TV, which are far and few between on the shelves these days.). The complications involved in installing a Genie system means the company has to send out a professional and that’s another $50 fee (or more.).
And it gets worse. For the privilege of watching Phil Mickelson drive a tiny sphere or Mike Trout dive for a line drive in four times the resolution, the DIRECTV 4K TV owner must subscribe to one of the satcaster’s two most expensive programming packages, Ultimate or Premier. For the current DIRECTV customer, the Ultimate package starts at $91.99 a month while the Premier comes in at a hefty $144.99 a month.
Can you believe that? What an outrage!
There’s no technical reason for having to subscribe to Ultimate or Premier. You could watch the 4K channel just fine with a different programming package that costs scores of dollars less per month. But DIRECTV has decided that the 4K owner is so hungry for more programming, he or she will gladly be gouged for the cause.
DIRECTV and AT&T executives should be ashamed of themselves.
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