Comcast launches 4K service with NBC and USA shows

Comcast (NASDAQ: CMCSA) has become the second pay-TV operator to begin offering customers programming in the 4K/Ultra High Definition format.

Starting Thursday, the MSO will provide an on-demand programming app for 2014 Samsung 4K TVs. Right off the bat, the app will let Comcast Xfinity TV users watch current seasons of NBC and USA Network shows in the UHD format. Comcast says its UHD library will continue to expand across networks and studios and remain free to those customers who subscribe to those networks.

The app is available for free download for Xfinity TV customers, via Comcast's SMART Hub, using their standard authentication credentials.

"Our top priority is providing our customers with the best entertainment experiences, so we are excited to give them the opportunity to be among the first to enjoy current seasons of some of the most popular TV shows in pristine Ultra High-Definition," said Matt Strauss, senior VP and general manager of video services for Comcast Cable, in a statement. "Next year, we will not only debut the full Xfinity in UHD catalog across our Xfinity TV Go platforms for all customers to enjoy, but we will begin distributing a new X1 set-top box that will deliver 4K content."

In November, DirecTV (NASDAQ: DTV) became the first pay-TV operator to roll out 4K services by introducing a handful of older Paramount Pictures movie titles and K2 Productions nature documentaries, also for those who have new Samsung 4K televisions.

For more:
- read this Comcast press release

Don't miss FierceCable's "Roadmap to 4K Readiness" breakfast panel at CES, featuring top-level executives from Comcast and Samsung. Register today right here.

Related links:
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Ready or not, 4K is coming … and you need a roadmap
Awareness of 4K up to 57%, Strategy Analytics says
DirecTV: Oh, one more thing, 4K setup will set you back $50
DirecTV's 4K launch highlights include Forrest Gump, nature films