September 11, 2018

DIRECTV 4K: What You Need to Know

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4K resolution is the latest trend in TV. Sometimes known as Ultra HD, it refers to programs and TVs that have a higher resolution than High Definition. It has about 4 times the number of pixels onscreen compared to regular HD. This makes for deeper colors and better overall picture quality.

Let's take a closer look at what DIRECTV can offer.

DIRECTV is one of the best providers for 4K content. Unlike other providers, they have dedicated 4K channels to bring you a variety of shows. If you want to show off your new 4K TV to your friends, you can do that by switching to DIRECTV's 4K channels.

Currently DIRECTV has three dedicated 4K TV channels: channel 104, 105, and 106. Channel 104 and 105 are the full-time 4K channels, while 106 is a part-time channel.

Channel 104 features documentaries, travel shows, and original series in 4K. Channel 105 is the pay-per-view channel, with a selection of 4K full-length feature films and short-form documentaries.

Channel 106 features major live sports (when available), but it also has original shows and on-demand movies.

What do I need for DIRECTV 4K?

To watch 4K on DIRECTV, you'll need several things:

  • A DIRECTV 4K Ready TV. These are specific 4K TVs which can connect to the Genie Model HR54 without a receiver. Samsung, LG, and Sony offer DIRECTV 4K Ready TVs.

    You might wonder why this is important - can't you just hook up a regular 4K TV to the Genie Model HR54?

    The short answer is you can - but the Genie Model HR54 doesn't output a 4K signal. You'll need to attach the Genie Mini C61K receiver to receive the 4K signal. The TV also has to have at least one HDMI port which supports HDMI 2.0a and HDCP 2.2, as well as a high-speed HDMI cable to connect it all up.

    However, DIRECTV 4K Ready TVs act like virtual set-top boxes. You can add them as an extra TV in a Genie HD DVR setup. You won't need to get the Genie Mini C61K receiver.

  • DIRECTV's Genie HD DVR (Model HR54 or higher)

  • DIRECTV's SELECT package subscription (or higher)

  • DIRECTV's professional installation

Do take note: DIRECTV charges a $7/month fee for each receiver and/or Genie Mini/DIRECTV Ready TV/Device on your account. If the DIRECTV 4K Ready TV is the only television connected to the DIRECTV service, there will be an extra charge of $7/month. Advanced Receiver Service fee also applies.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is a DIRECTV 4K Ready TV?
    A DIRECTV 4K Ready TV has a technology called "RVU." It basically connects your 4K TV to DIRECTV's Genie HD DVR without using a receiver. It acts like a virtual set-top box and can be used to record programs or watch 4K content.

  • Does the 4K Genie Mini work on all 4K TVs?
    No. Unfortunately, the 4K Genie Mini doesn't work on all 4K TVs. DIRECTV claims that due to copy protection requirements with their content partners, DIRECTV can only show 4K programs on certain models. These 4K TVs must have the latest HDMI 2.0 specification and HDCP 2.2 content security. Additionally, the TV must also have a minimum of 60MHz, or 60 frames per second.

  • How do I upgrade to DIRECTV 4K Ultra HD?
    You'll first need to make sure you have all the equipment, as mentioned above. Once you've got all that, you'll need to have a DIRECTV technician install the service for you.

  • Can I still watch DIRECTV 4K Ultra HD even if I don't have a DIRECTV 4K Ready TV?
    Yes. However, you'll need to connect your 4K TV to a 4K Genie Mini (Model C61K or later). You'll also need a Genie HD DVR (model HR54 or later), and a subscription to DIRECTV's SELECT package or higher.

  • How many 4K movies does DIRECTV have?
    The number of movies varies from week to week. However, if you turn on DIRECTV's "Genie Recommends" feature, you'll always be able to watch at least three 4K movies instantly.

Bottom Line

With three dedicated 4K channels, DIRECTV is one of the best providers of 4K content. However, the requirements for DIRECTV's 4K can be technical. If you're planning to buy a 4K TV for DIRECTV, it's best to check which models are DIRECTV 4K Ready TVs. Even if you plan to use a receiver, it's best to check which models are supported by the 4K Genie Mini.

Once you meet all the requirements, however, DIRECTV rewards you with plenty of 4K content. If 4K is your main concern, DIRECTV is one of the best choices.

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