The 2016 Masters tournament will be broadcast in full-blown 4K video for the first time in the golf event’s historic tradition. This means that you can watch the Masters from your home in a quality so clear that you might as well start counting the dimples in the golf balls and finding patches of grass where the Augusta National landscapers missed a trim.
But you’ll only get to do so if you own the right technology.
For the uninitiated, “4K” is a term for video that has a horizontal resolution of 4,000 pixels. The image quality makes your 1080p HD TV look like last year’s fashion, and people are adopting the technology faster than they did HD TV. 4K televisions have been commercially available since 2003, and they have only gotten more affordable and more widespread. They represent the latest paradigm of “watching stuff at home.”
What you’ll need to make it happen:
This isn’t as easy as just buying a 4K television and kicking back on the couch. If you’re going to view this exclusive golf event at home, you must have AT&T’s $300 DirecTV Genie HD DVR HR54 box and a subscription to DirecTV at either the Ultimate or Premier plan rates ($40/month and $90/month, respectively).
You’ll also need a 4K-compatible television, but keep in mind that only certain models of TVs from LG, Samsung, and Sony are “DirectTV 4K Ready.” Other 4K televisions will work too, but their ports must be HDMI 2.0-compatible with HDCP 2.2 copy protection. If your television fits that bill, you’ll need another piece of hardware to bring it all together, called the 4K Genie Mini box.
Watching this event from your house might not be the most affordable thing in the world, but hey, it’s still probably cheaper than traveling there to watch it live — if you can find tickets in the first place.