AT&T DIRECTV First U.S. TV Provider with Live 4K HDR Sports Broadcasts

AT&T DIRECTV are now the first U.S. pay-TV provider of live 4K High Dynamic Range (HDR) sports and music broadcasts according to a press release this week. Last year, the company broadcast 13 NBA games with the high quality video along with the ability to watch a Denver Nuggets/Utah Jazz game in 4K Ultra HD.

The NBA was actually the first professional American sports league to capture a game in 4K–a Knicks/Bucks game during the Global Games in London game in January 2015. AT&T DIRECTV plans to broadcast 13 NBA games in 4K HDR this season in addition to other events like the Rose Parade and Brian Setzer Orchestra’s “Christmas Rocks!” concert on December 18.

Not to be confused with standard 4K and UHD, HDR is the latest 4K technology available for viewing with high-end televisions, which heightens the dynamic range and contrast of video footage, which makes it hyper-realistic like watching a game or film like it was on the other side of a window. The blacks are blacker and the whites are whiter, offering better detail in all aspects of shadows and highlights.

4K has quadruple the pixels of standard HD television, and the upgraded picture quality should make for greater viewing, especially the motion of sports and other action with 60 frames per second. DIRECTV currently has three 4K-dedicated channels on television and was also the first to broadcast The Masters in 4K UHD live (previous 4K golf broadcasts were pre-recorded).

Of course, audiences will need 4K HDR compatible equipment (such as a Genie HD DVR model HR54) and a viewing package (DIRECTV XTRA or one of the 4K TV Sports packages). AT&T DIRECTV states that regular 4K television can still view 4k footage without the UHD addition.

For more, check out the full release below.

4K Live Event Programming Leader Brings Most Immersive Live Viewing Experience to Customers, Adds 13 NBA Games and GirsF NHL Game.

HDR Enhances Every Pixel, Adds Depth, Greater Detail to Brightest and Darkest Images.

Imagine the reflection of freshly groomed ice as your favorite hockey players skate out for the first time. Now imagine the bright lights of the basketball arena as they light up the court like a Broadway stage. And think of the glistening sweat of your favorite musician as they perform in front of thousands of fans…

Imagination becomes reality from the comfort of your couch as AT&T* DIRECTV becomes the first U.S. pay-TV provider to broadcast LIVE in 4K HDR with a full slate of sports, music and events.

The Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Vegas Golden Knights airing Dec. 14 at 10 p.m. ET will be the first event to air live in stunning 4K HDR, via a simulcast of NHL Network.

AT&T DIRECTV will also broadcast 13 NBA games in 4K HDR this season. Last season, AT&T and NBA TV, jointly managed by the NBA and Turner Sports, provided fans in the U.S. with the opportunity to watch a live NBA game in 4K Ultra HD (UHD) for the first time, when DIRECTV distributed NBA TV’s telecast of the Denver Nuggets vs. the Utah Jazz game on Saturday, Dec. 3, 2016. The NBA was the first U.S. professional sports league to capture a game in 4K in January 2015, when the New York Knicks played the Milwaukee Bucks during NBA Global Games London.

The slate of live 4K HDRwill feature:

  • The Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Vegas Golden Knights2 on Dec. 14 at 10 p.m. ET simulcast of NHL Network.
  • The Brian Setzer Orchestra’s 14th annual “Christmas Rocks!” concert Live from the Granada Theatre in Santa Barbara, Calif. on Monday, Dec. 18 at 8 p.m. PT simulcast of AXS TV.
  • The Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Milwaukee Bucks on Dec. 19 at 8 p.m. from NBA TV3
  • Women’s college basketball University of Connecticut vs. Duquesne on Dec. 22 at 7 p.m. ET simulcasts of SNY.
  • The Toronto Raptors vs. Oklahoma City Thunder on Dec. 27 at 8 p.m. ET from NBA TV.
  • The annual Rose Parade. Live from Los Angeles on Jan. 1 at 11:00 am ET simulcasts of HGTV.
  • Plus more of the best NBA TV games throughout the regular season!

4K offers 4x as many pixels as High Definition (HD). The new live 4K HDR broadcasts will combine technologies that enhance a variety of elements of picture quality.

What does HDR look like?

HDR adds better contrast. And wide color gamut (WCG) makes the colors on your TV more closely match what you see in real life. The 10 bit color depth shows a smoother gradation in color. For example, the gradients of a sunset will appear smooth rather than banded.

And at 60 frames a second, motion will be more fluid. You’ll see greater clarity with every play in a game.

AT&T offered the first-ever live 4K Ultra High Definition (UHD) broadcast in the United States in 2016 at The Masters and continues to lead in live events and sports and has aired more than 700 hours of live programming from college football, NBA, MLB, the Olympics and more.

DIRECTV hosts three fully dedicated 4K TV channels (104, 106 and PPV channel 105) with both live and previously recorded documentaries, concerts, series and pay-per-view events.

1Limited programming available.To watch content in 4K HDR, 4K HDR compatible equipment, minimum programming (SELECT Package or higher), 4K account authorization and professional installation required. NBA games are included for subscribers of NBA TV.  NHL are included in our DIRECTV XTRA Package and above base packages.  SNY is included in DIRECTV Premier Package and Sports Pack.  If 4K TV does not support HDR, games will be viewable in standard 4K.  Other conditions apply.

2The Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Vegas Golden Knights 4K HDR telecast and simulcast on NHL Network will be blacked out in the Pittsburgh and Las Vegas regions. The regular telecast of the game will be available in both teams’ markets on the local RSNs.

3NBA games on NBA TV, from NBA TV, the league’s 24-hour television network jointly managed by the NBA and Turner Sports.