DirecTV's 4K launch highlights include Forrest Gump, nature films

Movie packages for emerging technologies with really low adoption levels are like a box of chocolates ...

DirecTV (NASDAQ: DTV) on Friday became the first U.S. pay-TV operator to offer 4K/Ultra HD programming, delivering a seemingly random set of Paramount theatrical titles and K2 Productions nature documentaries to subscribers equipped with Genie DVRs and Samsung 4K televisions.

Included in the bounty: Paramount Oscar-winning Tom Hanks classic Forrest Gump, the studio's 2009 Chris Pine-led reboot of Star Trek, and the latest Transformers installment, Age of Extinction. Nature films Dolphins, Yellowstone and Coral Reef Adventure are also among the content available for 4K VOD viewing.

"For more than 20 years, DirecTV has been changing the way people watch TV as the first to move the industry from analog to digital to HD and now the ultimate TV experience with 4K TV," said Romulo Pontual, executive VP and CTO, DirecTV. "The picture quality and depth of detail that 4K provides is nothing short of remarkable and we will continue to expand our 4K lineup as consumer demand grows and evolves."

DirecTV president and CEO Mike White said during the company's third-quarter earnings report last week that more 4K programming from DirecTV will become available when a new satellite being launched in December comes online in the first quarter of 2015.

DirecTV's 4K launch comes as research company Parks Associates releases new data on the ultra-high-definition format.

According to Parks:

> More than 46 million homes worldwide will subscribe to a 4K pay-TV service by 2018.

> 4K TVs will deploy more quickly than HDTV, which took 15 years to penetrate into 82 percent of broadband households.

> 4K TVs will reach mass-market pricing within three years.

> 4K TVs will be deployed in 80 percent of households in 10-12 years.

For more:
- read this DirecTV 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.

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