Are you a frustrated Samsung customer? Annoyed by the lack of 4K content outside of Netflix? Well, DirecTV has your back, sorta. DirecTV (NASDAQ: DTV) is partnering up with Samsung (KRX: 005930) to release a bunch of UHD content for any and all Samsung 4K TVs released in 2014. These TVs already have DirecTV built into them and do not require a receiver be directly connected to them in order for them to receive TV service.
The real big deal here is not the built-in DirecTV service, which has been available for quite some time, but rather the fact that now DirecTV will be serving 4K video through their DirecTV Genie HD DVR devices to Samsung TVs in glorious 4K. This service currently only offers 19 films to consumers in UHD. Many of the films are remastered in 4K, but that doesn’t change the fact that Samsung’s 4K portfolio was close to nil when they launched these 4K TVs. Sony was the only place you could really get access to a sizable library of 4K content as Samsung only included 5 movies in their Samsung UHD Video Pack on a 1TB hard drive with their curved UHD TVs earlier this year.
Thankfully for Samsung owners, Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) already offers a pretty sizable library of 4K content including both House of Cards and Breaking Bad as well as a few remastered movies and nature films. The expectation is that Netflix’s library will continue to increase in order to stay competitive with all other streaming services and Amazon who will inevitably do the same. If you consider how fast 4K is gaining adoption, there’s a very good chance that if cable providers don’t get on the 4K bandwagon quickly they will be left behind by the streaming providers that are finding a way to deliver 4K to consumers quickly and effectively. There is already talk of Comcast’s 4K video service, which will also supposedly launch on Samsung first, but it remains to be seen if that will use Comcast internet service or Comcast cable service.
The 4K content wars are heating up, but most of the studios and Blu-Ray are still missing. The studios are missing a huge opportunity to capitalize on the high price of 4K TVs and use that to their advantage to charge higher prices for 4K mastered content. The biggest problem is that Hollywood seems uninterested in launching 4K content even though the market is starving for it globally. So, as a result, a lot of older content is getting remastered. And the interesting thing is, if you look at the newer content that is doing well and already 4K ready like Breaking Bad or House of Cards that is because both productions took production into their own hands and did things their own way. As a result, both of them shot their entire productions in 4K and are the premiere content for Netflix 4K.