DirecTV Will Deliver 4K Content by 2016

Although 4K TVs are on the rise, finding 4K-optimized content is a challenge. DirecTV subscribers may find it a bit easier to do so within the next two years, as the company announced a plan to acquire and broadcast 4K programming no later than 2016.

During a second-quarter earnings call on Jul. 31, Mike White, the CEO of DirecTV, explained that the satellite TV provider will put its plans to provide 4K content into play over the next 18 months. The plan requires two brand-new satellites that will be able to provide high-resolution content to customers with 4K TVs.

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DirecTV has not revealed exactly how much or what type of content will be available in 4K. This is at least partially because there is just not much 4K programming available at the moment. Netflix has two shows (Breaking Bad and the House of Cards remake) available in 4K, and Sony has a few dozen movies at the ready, but shows and movies are few and far-between otherwise.

Even so, DirecTV will be one of the first TV providers to make a concerted push toward hosting 4K content. TV manufacturers like Sony and Samsung are currently offering 4K content in proprietary formats and usually for download rather than streaming or broadcast. Even if DirecTV doesn't have much to show in the next two years, it could be much more than its competition.

While January 2016 is the outside date for DirecTV airing 4K shows and movies, the company hopes to get underway sometime in 2015. Keep an eye out for more solid details over the next few months, and expect similar announcements from competitors in the same time frame.

Marshall Honorof is a Staff Writer for Tom's Guide. Contact him at Follow him @marshallhonorof and on Google+. Follow us @tomsguide, on Facebook and on Google+.

Marshall Honorof

Marshall Honorof is a senior editor for Tom's Guide, overseeing the site's coverage of gaming hardware and software. He comes from a science writing background, having studied paleomammalogy, biological anthropology, and the history of science and technology. After hours, you can find him practicing taekwondo or doing deep dives on classic sci-fi.