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DirecTV aims to deliver live 4K broadcasts in early 2016

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Lack of content be damned, DirecTV says it'll be launching live 4K broadcasts early next year. SVP Phil Goswitz revealed the target timeframe at a recent conference in New York. "I think the belief that there are technology challenges is a bit of a misinformed myth," Goswitz said. "Technology throughout the entire ecosystem is ready. But I think content is king; the plane is ready to take off and there is no king on board."

4K TVs are likely to get a huge boost this holiday season thanks to fast-falling prices and retailer promotions. So even with limited content out there, DirecTV wants to beat cable companies at providing customers with 4K channels they can tune to at any time. "Forty percent of people are going to have UHD TVs coming out of Christmas and they are going to be looking for something to watch," Goswitz said.

"Our goal is to have them tuned to DirecTV and have as much linear live content, especially sports content, as soon as possible." Focusing on sports, where 4K adoption has outpaced other entertainment, is probably a smart strategy. DirecTV already offers on-demand movies in 4K if you've got its latest set-top boxes, though there again, content can be somewhat limited. "There are always at least two 4K movies available to watch instantly," reads DirecTV's own 4K FAQ. Rival satellite provider Dish offers a similar video-on-demand 4K service.