US pay TV operator DirecTV, now owned by AT&T, has launched its first 4K ultra HD set-top box, the 4K Genie Mini.
The box, which DirecTV says is about the “size of a paperback book”, will expand the reach of the operator’s 4K content to subscribers without a DirecTV-ready 4K TV.
DirecTV launched 4K programming in November last year via its Genie HD DVR, a service available to 4K-ready UHD TVs from Samsung, giving access to DirecTV 4K video-on-demand movies. According to the company, the same service will be available soon from TV manufacturers including LG and Sony.
DirecTV launched the Genie Mini Box as a complement to its DirecTV-ready TV distribution strategy, which allows subscribers to receive its signal without the need for a set-top box by buying a TV with DirecTV’s RVU technology embedded in it. RVU makes use of a home server or gateway device to send DirecTV’s signal to a TV elsewhere in the home.
The new device is seen as principally targeting second TV screens in the home that are HDMI 2.0 and HDCP 2.2-compliant.
“Customers who want the best picture quality are creating more demand for 4K,” said Henry Derovanessian, senior vice president Consumer Premise Engineering, DirecTV. “The new 4K Genie Mini allows us to meet that demand by expanding 4K access to more of our customers nationwide.”
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