AT&T's DirecTV will produce its first-ever live 4K broadcast next month for golf's Masters Tournament. And it's a bit bigger than that; this'll be the first time US viewers will be able to tune into a live UHD broadcast — period. It'll be available through the satellite provider's dedicated 4K channel, and will show "all four rounds of Tournament play at Amen Corner, a common reference to the 11th, 12th and 13th holes at Augusta National and the backdrop to some of the most exciting moments in golf history," according to AT&T.
We're at the point now where there's a decent amount of on-demand content for 4K TVs, but live broadcasts remain another challenge altogether. We've not yet seen the Oscars or Super Bowl in Ultra HD. In fact, it was only in January that NBA fans in Canada and the UK were able to watch a live game for the first time through Rogers and BT Sport. The challenges of delivering live 4K broadcasts are enormous, requiring modern infrastructure from the production truck all the way to a viewer's home.
In some ways, making all of that happen is slightly easier (albeit still very costly) for satellite-based providers like DirecTV versus Comcast, Time Warner Cable, and more traditional cable operators. To see golf's big event in 4K, you'll need DirecTV's latest Genie HD DVR box and a subscription to either the Ultimate or Premier channel package. DirecTV also plans to use its 4K channel — launching in April — for UHD content "from the Audience Network, documentaries, and more." The Masters Tournament will start broadcasting in 4K on April 7th.