DirecTV is slowly but surely paving the way to live 4K

DirecTV struck out in its first two attempts to put a live 4K MLB broadcast in play, but those hiccups are just the latest of many ups and downs for the MVPD as it travels the lonely road to translate 4K into linear content.

For more than a year now, DirecTV has been experimenting with the Ultra HD standard for live broadcasts, and the transition has required a lot of technology upgrades and creativity on the part of the MVPD. DirecTV had to ensure it had enough satellites in the orbit to meet the capacity demands, and then the operator had to make serious adjustments to its mobile unit broadcast workflow, all while learning to deal with the massive amounts of data generated by shooting in 4K.

But with the PGA and now the MLB successfully broadcasting in Ultra HD, DirecTV seems confident that additional live sports and other content will come along for the ride as well.

"We've taken the attitude of 'We've built it and we hope they come,'" John Ward, senior vice president of content operations at DirecTV, told FierceCable.

While it's unsure if other U.S. MSOs will follow DirecTV down the 4K trail, the process thus far for DirecTV detailed in FierceCable's latest special report proves that the MVPD is working hard to lay the foundation.