This year, the Masters tournament was broadcast in Ultra HD out of Augusta National Golf Club for the first time. And now, up to 25 games of Major League Baseball’s 2016 season will share in the 4K fun.
“4K” television refers to broadcasting moving images with a horizontal resolution of 4,000 pixels. For comparison’s sake, your formerly awesome HD TV tops out at 1,080 pixels across. The gap between the two is rather gigantic. Baseball fans will be able to see every strike, hit, and home run (as well as the pitchers’ loogies) in unprecedented detail. A 4K broadcast is pretty much the best way to see a ball game without being physically present in the stadium.
Naturally, you’ll need the appropriate setup to make it happen. MLB’s 4K offering is only available to DirecTV customers subscribed to the Ultimate or Premier plans, which cost $40 per month and $90 per month, respectively. You’ll also need AT&T’s $300 DirecTV Genie HD DVR HR54 box. And of course, you’ll need a 4K-compatible television that’s equipped to show you those blistering 4,000 pixels of horizontal resolution. Importantly, only certain models of TVs from LG, Samsung, and Sony are “DirectTV 4K Ready.”
Other 4K-compatible TVs will work, too, but their ports must be HDMI 2.0-compatible, and offer HDCP 2.2 copy protection. For these televisions, you need one last piece of hardware, called the 4K Genie Mini box. Your 4K baseball setup might be expensive, but think of all the money you’re saving by not buying all those hot dogs and beer at the stadium.
The 4K games began this week with the San Francisco Giants at the Los Angeles Dodgers, with more to follow (you can check the MLB’s schedule here). Meanwhile, DirecTV has set up this page aimed at getting more of its customers on board with the newest way for watching the game at home.