DirecTV, Elemental Connect On 4K

Taps Vendor’s File-Based Transcoding Platform
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Elemental Technologies shed more light on the tech-facing aspects of  DirecTV’s recently launched 4K/Ultra HD service, announcing that the satellite giant has selected the vendor’s video processing platform for the offering.

According to Elemental, DirecTV has tapped the Elemental Server, a file-based transcoding platform, to prepare 4K VOD content in the bandwidth-saving HEVC format to customers who are set-up with an Internet-connected Genie HD-DVR (model HR30 and above) and a 2014 Samsung-made 4K TV.

Elemental’s customers also include HBO, the BBC, ESPN, ABC News, CBS Interactive and Comcast, which is preparing to launch a 4K streaming app for Samsung TVs before the end of 2014.

DirecTV, the first U.S.-based MVPD to launch a 4K offering, introduced the service last month, starting off with nearly 30 titles from Paramount Pictures and K2 Communications, including Star Trek (2009), Transformers: Age Of Extinction, Dinosaurs  Alive!, Amistad and Forest Gump. 4K titles, offered initially on a pay-per-view basis, cost between $3.99 to $15.99.

DirecTV is expected to start offering some limited live 4K content as early as 2015. Elemental noted that its software-based infrastructure will enable DirecTV and others to scale 4K to include linear 4K channels and 4K streaming services.

DirecTV’s coming live UHD offering will also hinge on new capacity DirecTV will gain via the launch of two new satellites that are expected to be in orbit within the next 18 months.

The first of those two, a Ka-band bird called DirecTV-14, will be used to host the company’s 4K transmissions,Advanced Television reported

The Ariane 5 rocket that will deliver DirecTV-14 into orbit was originally scheduled to launch on the afternoon of Thursday, Dec. 4, in Kourou, French Guiana, but bad weather has delayed the launch, Spaceflight Now reported Thursday, noting that liftoff could happen on Friday (December 5), at the earliest.