TV Answer Man, NBA TV last year had some games in 4K but I haven’t seen any yet this year. What gives? Have they stopped doing games in 4K? — Scott, Reno, Nevada.
Scott, you’re right. NBA TV, the league’s official channel, broadcast several games in 4K during the 2021-22 season. However, the channel has failed to do any this season, leaving many 4K enthusiasts wondering if it had lost interest in the format.
But NBA TV has just revealed that it will provide the December 12 matchup between the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Clippers in 4K, starting at 10:30 p.m. ET. The game will be played at the Crypto.com arena in Los Angeles.
Update, December 11: The 4K broadcast of the Celtics-Clippers game has been canceled with no explanation given. The TV Answer Man will monitor this situation and report back here if we get more information.
DIRECTV and YouTube TV are expected to carry the 4K broadcast on special 4K channels. They were the only pay TV providers that carried NBA TV’s 4K games last year and that’s likely to continue this season as well.
To watch the game in 4K on DIRECTV, you will need a 4K TV, a DIRECTV 4K-enabled receiver system, and a programming package that includes NBA TV or the NBA League Pass. To watch the game in 4K on YouTube TV, you will need the 4K TV, a 4K-enabled streaming device, and YouTube TV’s 4K add-on plan, which costs $20 a month in addition to the base $64.99 a month base package.
The next NBA TV game set for 4K will be the Phoenix Suns-Los Angeles Clippers matchup on December 15 at 10:30 p.m. ET.
Update #2: It appears that all NBA TV 4K games for December are on hold for now.
Take note that NBA TV is subject to local blackout restrictions whether the game is airing on the 4K channel or the regular HD channel. If the game is airing on a regional sports channel in your area, it will be blacked out on NBA TV, which means you won’t be able to see it in 4K.
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Scott, hope that helps. Happy viewing and stay safe!
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— Phillip Swann