TV Answer Man, it’s getting harder to find stuff to watch in 4K. I used to have a bunch of sports on Comcast in 4K but not so much lately. I did some research and it looks like DIRECTV has more 4K sports than anyone. Is that the case? Am I missing anything? — Rich, Chicago.
Rich, I think you’re right. DIRECTV has more live 4K programming than any other TV provider, whether you’re talking cable and satellite or the streaming services.
By example, DIRECTV is the only TV service that’s now offering French Open tennis coverage in 4K. Not Comcast. Not FuboTV. Not Verizon. Not Dish. Not anyone except DIRECTV. The satcaster also offers regional 4K broadcasts of the Denver Nuggets games and Los Angeles Lakers and Dodgers games as well as national 4K events such as NASCAR, the NFL and MLB.
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Until a few months ago, I would have said Comcast is challenging DIRECTV for the title of 4K TV leader, but the nation’s largest cable operator has strangely dramatically reduced its 4K lineup. For instance, Comcast has stopped offering regional Chicago baseball and hockey games in 4K. In addition, the cable operator is not doing the French Open in 4K, which it did last year.
To make matters worse, when I asked Comcast why it’s no longer doing the Chicago games and the French Open in 4K, the company’s PR department either didn’t respond or referred me to another Comcast-owned unit (NBC Sports), which did not respond to my inquiries. That’s very discouraging and suggests Comcast is not anxious these days to talk about 4K for reasons unknown.
Of course, to call DIRECTV the 4K TV leader, at least in the live category, is not as impressive as it sounds. Charter’s Spectrum cable TV service, the second largest cable operator, doesn’t offer anything in 4K. And Dish, Verizon, Optimum and FuboTV offer just a smattering of live events in 4K, mostly from Fox productions.
But despite the decrease in 4K broadcasts from Fox and ESPN due to the Covid pandemic, DIRECTV seems to be going out of its way to deliver anything it can get in the format. If you’re a sports fan with a 4K TV, DIRECTV is your clear choice, assuming you’re okay with two-year customer agreements, of course.
Final note: Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime and some other subscription Video on Demand services offer shows and movies in 4K. And in the case of Netflix, the 4K lineup is very impressive. But we’re talking live 4K here, and specifically, sports in 4K. For that, it’s DIRECTV, folks.
Rich, hope that helps. Happy viewing, and stay safe!
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What data rate does, Direct TV use for 4K telecasts? Is in full 4K mode or upconverted 1080. Good 4k video requires, a data rate of about 40 Megabits a second, in the full 4k unconverted mode to take full advantage of 4k video full capabilities, in video quality. Unless this specification is forfilled there will not be much difference in video quality from 1080 video.
Does the Directv LIve4k channel 105 show Dodger games only in the LA area and black them out elsewhere—-I get a 721 message here in NoCal. Will a subscription to the NFL ticket be required in the fall to watch NFL on the 4K Directv channels? Thanks for any help you can give me–just had it installed this week.