By Phillip Swann
The TV Answer Man –@tvanswerman

TV Answer Man, I read a couple articles that DIRECTV Stream and the new Internet part of DIRECTV will have 4K programming this year. But I haven’t seen this at your site which I trust, especially on 4K stories. Do you know what is going on? — Todd, Springdale, Arkansas.

Todd, I have read the same reports that quote unnamed DIRECTV officials as saying that DIRECTV Stream and DIRECTV’s new streaming service (known as DIRECTV by Internet with the new Gemini set-top) will add 4K programming in 2023. The stories do not offer a specific launch date or launch month or even a launch season. It’s a ‘trust us, it’s going to happen’ report.

Now, it might happen. DIRECTV’s streaming business has sputtered over the last few years due to rising prices and increased competition and it certainly could use a shiny new feature to attract more subscribers. Fubo and YouTube TV are currently the only live streaming services that offer 4K programming.

But before 4K fans celebrate, let me give you a little history on DIRECTV, streaming and 4K.

AT&T, which wholly owned DIRECTV in 2016 (and still has a 70 percent stake), launched DIRECTV Now on November 30, 2016. This was intended to be the company’s streaming alternative to DIRECTV’s satellite business.

DIRECTV Now, which changed its name to AT&T Now before changing again to DIRECTV Stream, did not offer 4K at launch. But AT&T issued a press release a year later saying that the live streaming service would soon offer 4K.

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This was December 2017, almost six years ago. Yes, AT&T first said DIRECTV streaming would add 4K programming almost six years ago.

Don’t believe me? Read the AT&T press release from December 2017:

“The new year is around the corner and we’re bringing our stream-ers  even more exciting features next year (including) 4K Ultra High Definition (UHD) quality video,” the company stated.

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Company executives later said it would be ‘early 2018’ when it would introduce 4K on DIRECTV Now, and, sometime after that, they said it would be the spring of 2018.

Over the years, there have been other vague promises that 4K is coming, that it’s only a matter of time. But it’s now April 2023 and DIRECTV’s streaming services, whether it’s DIRECTV Stream, or the new DIRECTV by Internet, still do not have 4K.

As I said before, it might happen this time. But until DIRECTV offers a launch date, or even a launch month, allow me to curb my enthusiasm.

Happy viewing and stay safe!

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Have a question about new TV technologies? Send it to The TV Answer Man at Please include your first name and hometown in your message.

— Phillip Swann