Will You Subscribe to DIRECTV’s Live 4K Channel?


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…

Absolutely not!

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.

See Samsung’s affordable 40-inch 4K TV
See Vizio’s $399 40-inch 4K TV

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.).

See Samsung’s 65-inch 4K TV. 2016 Model.

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!

See Sony’s 55-inch 4K TV. Under $1,000!

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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7 comments on “Will You Subscribe to DIRECTV’s Live 4K Channel?”

  1. I have Dtv 4k. I love it. LIVE BASEBALL in 4K! Of course you want it. Yes you can record it.

    There is more 4K than I have time for. It is NOT outrageously expensive.

    Have been Dtv customer without break in service for 20 years. Eventually they will streamline the hardware. I have the 2 boxes in one cabinet serving one 4K tv. Our second tv is not 4k. It all works flawlessly. You won’t need to worry about the need for two boxes, whether or not you have 2 4 K tvs.

    Image: For fun I use binoculars on my 65 ” Sony.

    1. How do you Record 4 K, then watch it ?
      I was under the impression you can ONLY watch 4 K Live.
      The Recordings will be just in HD
      What do you get in 4 K ? I thought it is ONLY available on a couple of channels sometimes.
      You don’t think all the Cost associated with 4 K is expensive to watch only a couple of shows ?
      (Min. of 2 Boxes, $ 14.00 / 2nd TV @ another $ 7.00 / the Ultimate package starts at $91.99 a month while the Premier comes in at a hefty $144.99 a month. / DVR, HD, $ 25.00 / Plus maybe a sports fee ?

  2. Phillip,
    You did NOT miss much.
    Completely agree with EVERYTHING you said about DTV / att’s Crazy Policy to watch 4 K
    DIRECTV and AT&T executives should be ashamed of themselves. NO Kidding !!
    Sounds like they want NOTHING to do with 4 K
    I bought a 4 K Sony 49″ XBR TV. The UP Scaling is GREAT.
    I don’t see how they can make the picture any better.
    Liked it so well I Bought another TV. SAME Model.
    Am in NO hurry for 4 K Broadcasting. att will probably come up with another charge for it.
    att is working HARD to destroy DirecTV. Just what was expected from att.
    Look what they did with their LAND Lines. Best Phone System in the World. Now they want to Destroy DirecTV.
    What gives ??
    Their best Plan, (It works perfect) send ALL Customer Service Calls Overseas.
    Wonder what they have up their sleave NEXT to Destroy.
    Hear some chatter about Yahoo.

  3. I agree with you. Right now I have the new Vizio P65-C1 (wonderful set) and a HR-44/4k mini. So, I can download and watch their pay-per-view 4k movies. But to watch their “live” 4k, I’d have to upgrade to the HR-54, and go for a much more expensive package.

    You’d think that they would want as may people as possible to be watching their 4K; instead, they’re trying to make it an elite service. Kinda stupid, huh?

  4. I have DTV’s latest gear and get their 4K content. Caught some of the Rio Olympics in 4K. They have 24/7 documentary shows on one channel, a movie channel (PPV) and occasional sports in 4K. ALL the remaining Notre Dame games are available 4K. On the other side of the coin, I rushed into 4K after seeing the AMAZING loops in Best Buy and other vendors. While 4K is great, IMO, it’s no where near the jump from SD to HD 15 years ago. From “tooling” up and down the Costco TV section, it appears that most of the TVs being sold there are 4K ready. Just as 3D was added to HD sets 5 or more years ago.

    I might add that there is also 4K programming available from Amazon Video, NetFlix and YouTube. I have my LG set hard wired (ethernet) to a fast service (100Mps). While DTV is a sat service, I think they should offer the option to stream 4k content with their Att connection.

    For new subscribers to DTV, I suggest you consider switching your cell service to ATT as there is a bundling savings as well. Also, for new subscribers, there is a 24 month lock on the teaser rate verses a 12 month lock WITHOUT Att wireless. And in addition, if you sign up for DTV via Costco, there is a $300 cash card added to the deal.

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