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DirecTV Has Major Live 4K HDR Sportscasts Locked In For 2018

by on January 1, 2018
Stephan Jukic – January 1, 2018

Sports events are going to get a major boost towards better than ever realism and in-your-face vibrancy for 2018 thanks to the efforts of companies that are actively promoting live streaming of major sportscasts in full 4K resolution with the bonus of high dynamic range integration. Chief among these companies for 2018 is without a doubt DirecTV, whose roster of planned live 4K HDR sports for this New Year is getting bigger all the time.

The initial run of consumer market sportscasts debuted earlier in the year and the company has been doing both consumer and trial 4K broadcasts since 2016 but the latest schedule for 2018 events debuted as of December 14th and kicked off with a simulcast of a NHL Network game between the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Las Vegas Golden Knights. This broadcast was fed out to DirecTV subscribers in full 4K resolution, wide color gamut and at a solid 60 frames per second, making it into something that goes well beyond the vibrancy created by any ordinary 1080p HD sportscast.

Now, for the rest of their live 4K HDR sports roster, DirecTV is currently planning 13 NBA matches, starting with the Cleveland Cavaliers-Milwaukee Bucks and Toronto Raptors-Oklahoma City Thunder games from NBA TV for the month of January. Beyond this, the AT&T-owned broadcaster will be delivering a pile of Major League Baseball Network games for next season in 4K HDR and other sportscasts are sure to follow these.

According to John Ward, AT&T SVP for Content Operations, speaking at the recent SVG Summit:

“I’ve been crazy interested in the different lighting that’s at these baseball stadiums — in particular, Fenway Park. For whatever reason, I think the games at Fenway Park look absolutely amazing in 4K, so I can’t and see what those look like in HDR.”

You can also watch the whole video here, in which Ward and other tech executives break down 4K HDR for broadcast media:

The other major sports events that are slated to follow the NBA, NHL and MLB broadcasts include soccer matches, UFC fights and NASCAR racing events as well.

Of course, to view all of these exciting matches with the massive picture quality enhancements of high dynamic range and 4K ultra HD resolution, viewers will need to subscribe to one of DirecTV’s 4K UHD plans and also need to own the right kind of HDR UHD TV, such as one of the budget and premium models we rank here on our TV page.

Those of you who are already active fans of 4K HDR entertainment and have the home theater system to support it in place should have plenty to look forward to for the rest of 2018. As War mentioned during his SVG Summit comments, “That ultimately is where I see it going. I think 2018 will be a big year for HDR, at least I’m hopeful of that”.

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  • Ted Kyclydes
    January 2, 2018 at 11:49 am

    1080p? Optimum only broadcast’s ESPN1 & 2 in 720, including NBC sports, CBS Sports and Fox sports. I wish we could watch sports in 1080p


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