DirecTV to be ready for 4K VOD later this year, CEO says

DirecTV (NASDAQ: DTV) will be set up to deliver 4K VOD by the end of this year and will be ready to render live 4K video as soon as 2015, according to the company's president and CEO, Mike White.

Speaking to investors yesterday during the satellite operator's second quarter earnings report, White said DirecTV is still trying to secure 4K content, but remains on track to start live 4K programming no later than 2016. "We expect in 2015 or 2016 to be able to stream live [4K] content," he noted.

To help it execute its 4K/Ultra HD plans, the El Segundo, Calif.-based company is awaiting the launch of two satellites, slated to blast off in the next 18 months. "As we get these satellites up in the air, that will unlock the incremental capacity we need," White noted.

White said last year that DirecTV intends to be the first U.S. pay-TV operator to launch 4K service, noting he expected the format to start having a "material impact" on the company's bottom line by around 2016.

"We'll continue to innovate, and we hope to be there first with the best experience, the best sound and the best picture, as we always have, and that's our commitment," he told investors in November.

So far, Netflix has been the only U.S. programmer to step up with even a small slate of 4K programming for the limited number of 4K/Ultra HD-capable TV sets deployed domestically. But Comcast (NASDAQ: CMCSA) has committed to launching 4K VOD viewing later this year.

For more:
- hear this DirecTV Q2 earnings conference call
- see this Seeking Alpha transcript

Related articles:
DirecTV sees 4K TV having 'material impact' by 2016
Study finds only 17% of U.S. broadband users are aware of 4K
Netflix gives 'Breaking Bad' the 4K treatment