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DirecTV begins rolling out 4K programming

Early last year, DirecTV registered a slew of 4K-branded trademarks to slap on its eventual UHD content roll out. None of those trademarks bubbled to the public eye, but the content, at least, is finally here: starting this week, customers with the Genie HD DVR will be able to stream 20 movies from Paramount Pictures and K2 Communications in 4K. The list is a mishmash of blockbusters and documentaries but there’s a catch: you can only watch them if you own a Samsung 4K TV.

DirecTV dropped a high-resolution bomb today, announcing that its new 4K TV service will launch Friday on select Samsung 4K/UHD TVs. The service will begin with 19 titles from Paramount Pictures and K2 communications, highlighted by the big-budget visual spectacles Transformers: Age of Extinction, as well 2009’s Star Trek. As expected, DirecTV’s new 4K service will begin with a whisper rather than a roar, requiring a very specific combination of hardware, including DirecTV’s Genie HD DVR, and a Samsung 4K/UHD TV that is certified “DirecTV 4K ready.” Details about which Samsung TVs will be compliant with the new service have yet to be disclosed. The first of its kind in the pay-TV universe, DirecTV’s new video on demand 4K service is something of a testing ground for the company’s planned launch of a handful of live 4K channels, slated for rollout in 2015. The plans for the more robust service next year were disclosed by DirecTV CEO Mike White during the company’s third quarter earnings call, as reported by Multichannel News.

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