DirecTV Now and Apple TV 4K deal - wth is this in the fine print?

Sill

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Original poster
Nov 14, 2014
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A friend of mine is shopping for the aTV 4k bundle and he found this gem hidden in the fine print. Clicking on the "see details" link on the DirecTV Now bundle page I see this at the top of the popup:


"*4K Apple TV (32 GB): Must prepay first three months of service at full price. Online orders will be shipped via FedEx ground to address provided. Allow 2-3 weeks for delivery. Offer limited to 1 per DIRECTV NOW account; 2 per shipping address. Not combinable with select offers. 4K HD not available with DIRECTV NOW."


I already purchased one of these, and its playing 4K HD just fine from not only DirecTV but a variety of sources. Why would their own disclaimer say that 4K HD isn't available? Does anyone in the AT&T legal department even understand what their subsidiary does?
 

Beachguy

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Nov 23, 2011
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Florida, USA
DirecTV Now does not have any 4K content- it all maxes at 1080P, and much is 720P. It's a replacement for cable, and has those same networks. To watch 4K, you have to have an app which provides content in 4K, such as iTunes (and others.)
 
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Sill

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Original poster
Nov 14, 2014
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DirecTV Now does not have any 4K content- it all maxes at 1080P, and much is 720P. It's a replacement for cable, and has those same networks. To watch 4K, you have to have an app which provides content in 4K, such as iTunes (and others.)
Interesting.

To clarify something - isn't cable generally at 1080i not 1080p, and its the OTA broadcast stuff that usually is more available at 1080p? Or something like that?
 

Dimwhit

macrumors 68000
Apr 10, 2007
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Great deal, by the way. I did it with the 4 months prepaid (at $35/month). I was going to get a 4K ATV anyway, so I got 4 months of DTVNow and the ATV for $40 off. Totally worth it.
 

Mr. Heckles

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Mar 20, 2018
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I did this deal with the Apple TV when direct tv now 1st came out. I’m locked into the go big ($60 a month) for $35 a month, and got an Apple TV
 
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PeterJH3

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Sep 2, 2017
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Atlanta, GA
Are you inquiring about the deal itself? Thing is...a friend of mine wanted a new Apple TV 4K and he saw this deal. He does not have DirecTV nor planned to use it...but 3 months of $35 only adds up to $115. Apple TV 4K 32gb on Apple’s website is $179. He paid the 3 months, received the ATV4K, and then cancelled the service, lol.
 

Mr. Heckles

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Mar 20, 2018
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Are you inquiring about the deal itself? Thing is...a friend of mine wanted a new Apple TV 4K and he saw this deal. He does not have DirecTV nor planned to use it...but 3 months of $35 only adds up to $115. Apple TV 4K 32gb on Apple’s website is $179. He paid the 3 months, received the ATV4K, and then cancelled the service, lol.
I had a few friends do the same.
 

colodane

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Nov 11, 2012
829
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Colorado
I tried this offer last year and got the 4G ATV. Happy with the ATV, but stopped using the DirectTV after the 3 month trial. Layer3 on fiber came available here, so I switched to that. My biggest gripe with DTV at the time was the lack of a DVR.

Purpose of this post is to say that ending your DirectTV service if you don't like it is very easy. Just a couple of clicks on their website - zero hassles. They deserve some accolades for that.
 

Beachguy

macrumors 65816
Nov 23, 2011
1,008
407
Florida, USA
Interesting.

To clarify something - isn't cable generally at 1080i not 1080p, and its the OTA broadcast stuff that usually is more available at 1080p? Or something like that?
OTA is usually 720P because of the need to fit it in the available data stream. Cable is at whatever rate the content provider(s) make available, which is the same for DTV Now. 1080P eats up a nice chunk of bandwidth, and the more that is devoted to the main channel, the less there is for their 1,2,3 etc. subchannels.
 

satcomer

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Feb 19, 2008
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The Finger Lakes Region
OTA is usually 720P because of the need to fit it in the available data stream. Cable is at whatever rate the content provider(s) make available, which is the same for DTV Now. 1080P eats up a nice chunk of bandwidth, and the more that is devoted to the main channel, the less there is for their 1,2,3 etc. subchannels.
At least in America over Air is 1080i!
 
OTA is usually 720P because of the need to fit it in the available data stream.
At least in America over Air is 1080i!
Clarifying: OTA in America is either 720p or 1080i if the content is "HD." Plenty of sub-channels in America are broadcasting at less than HD quality but are still "digital" channels to comply with the analog-to-digital mandate. There are no OTA 1080p broadcasts in America.

And if anyone is interested, there is a little experimentation here and there with 4K OTA, but that's heavy on just testing. Look up ATSC 3.0 for some pretty good info about this (example), but don't hold your breath on how soon the majors are delivering anything in 4K OTA.
 
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Sill

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Original poster
Nov 14, 2014
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Clarifying: OTA in America is either 720p or 1080i if the content is "HD." Plenty of sub-channels in America are broadcasting at less than HD quality but are still "digital" channels to comply with the analog-to-digital mandate. There are no OTA 1080p broadcasts in America.
That flies directly in the face of what I read on AVSForum. Folks there said broadcast is actually one step above cable, in that its progressive instead of interlaced.
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Are you inquiring about the deal itself?
Nope. I have had the DirecTV Now deal for the past couple of months. It was a great deal, still is. We may even keep the service because we're in the beta program for the DVR. Its awkward, but it works.

Right now I'm trying to get a friend interested in the deal - which is even better now - so he can watch his auto races that aren't carried on any of the broadcast networks. Fox Sports has the various races he wants, and not only does DTV carry them, the Apple TV also has an app available. However, he's hung up on the service terminology, namely where does "4K" and "HD" happen. Due to the unfortunate wording of the DTV disclaimer he's convinced that the Apple TV 4K itself can't display HD. Before we even get to that I'm trying to get him to take advantage of the deal at Yamaha on the YAS203 soundbar for $175. He doesn't want it because it doesn't have HDMI. I pointed out that his TV has optical out, which the bar accepts. He refuses to buy because he's worried that down the road when he gets a new tv he'll be lost without an HDMI inout on the sound bar. Showing him the Monoprice HDMI-optical converter didn't work.

He has a head like a lump of granite.
 
I know what I’m talking about on this topic. There used to be a website that would summarize local channels including their resolution. If I can locate it again, I’ll post a link so you can see for yourself.

If you have your TV hooked up OTA and have an “info” screen or overlay when you tune channels, you can quickly see for yourself by just hopping channel-to-channel and pushing an “info”, “display" or similar button.

Generating a list of call letters at antennaweb.org and then checking your channel websites is likely to also show you the format in which they are broadcasting. Hit Wikipedia and look for that info. For example, one key channel in my area is NBC on Channel 5.1 WPTV. If you visit it's Wikipedia page: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WPTV-TV and scroll down to "Digital Channels", you'll see it has it's main channel at 1080i and 3 sub-channels all at 480i. Generally, you can do this same thing for all of your locals and likely get their specific channel resolutions.

Update: Not the website I'm looking for but here's a summary of the major local HD channels and their HD format: https://hd-report.com/hd-channels/local-hd-channels/
 
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PeterJH3

macrumors 6502
Sep 2, 2017
384
568
Atlanta, GA
Right now I'm trying to get a friend interested in the deal - which is even better now - so he can watch his auto races that aren't carried on any of the broadcast networks. Fox Sports has the various races he wants, and not only does DTV carry them, the Apple TV also has an app available. However, he's hung up on the service terminology, namely where does "4K" and "HD" happen. Due to the unfortunate wording of the DTV disclaimer he's convinced that the Apple TV 4K itself can't display HD. Before we even get to that I'm trying to get him to take advantage of the deal at Yamaha on the YAS203 soundbar for $175. He doesn't want it because it doesn't have HDMI. I pointed out that his TV has optical out, which the bar accepts. He refuses to buy because he's worried that down the road when he gets a new tv he'll be lost without an HDMI inout on the sound bar. Showing him the Monoprice HDMI-optical converter didn't work.

He has a head like a lump of granite.
Lol, good grief. Sorry man.
 
Right now I'm trying to get a friend interested in the deal - which is even better now - so he can watch his auto races that aren't carried on any of the broadcast networks. Fox Sports has the various races he wants, and not only does DTV carry them, the Apple TV also has an app available. However, he's hung up on the service terminology, namely where does "4K" and "HD" happen. Due to the unfortunate wording of the DTV disclaimer he's convinced that the Apple TV 4K itself can't display HD. Before we even get to that I'm trying to get him to take advantage of the deal at Yamaha on the YAS203 soundbar for $175. He doesn't want it because it doesn't have HDMI. I pointed out that his TV has optical out, which the bar accepts. He refuses to buy because he's worried that down the road when he gets a new tv he'll be lost without an HDMI inout on the sound bar. Showing him the Monoprice HDMI-optical converter didn't work.

He has a head like a lump of granite.
Your friend may be thinking the RIGHT way about that sound bar. Just because a TV has optical out doesn't mean it will push out Dolby Digital. Most TVs with optical out will receive a Dolby Digital signal (like 5.1) via HDMI and then export it out of optical as only stereo. Not many TVs will push the 5.1 or 7.1 signal out of that jack. Of course, your friend can get around this issue by buying yet another device that splits the sound out of- say- an :apple:TV and send the full DD soundtrack via optical to that kind of sound bar. But the point is: I wouldn't automatically trust that the TV will do this. Sometimes a "deal" is not a deal.

I would think for $175 and/or not that much more, your friend can get a sound bar that has HDMI ARC to cover this issue now and in the future he is imagining. Personally, I'd pay more for HDMI connectivity rather than hoping the optical out will work and/or dealing with the HDMI-optical splitter. The latter works fine but limits the sound bar to the single device unless he switches cables over and over. A true HDMI ARC connection would allow him to connect many sources to the TV and use the full audio capabilities of the sound bar too.

As to the friend's confusion about a 4K:apple:TV not being able to export 1080p, it certainly can... and 720p and SD too. 4K "happens" at the exit point of the :apple:TV IF it's connected to a 4K TV. If it's connected to a 1080p TV, it will export 1080p to that HDTV. Better hardware can always play lesser software.
 
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cwerdna

macrumors 6502
Jan 19, 2005
399
105
SF Bay Area, California
Are you inquiring about the deal itself? Thing is...a friend of mine wanted a new Apple TV 4K and he saw this deal. He does not have DirecTV nor planned to use it...but 3 months of $35 only adds up to $115. Apple TV 4K 32gb on Apple’s website is $179. He paid the 3 months, received the ATV4K, and then cancelled the service, lol.
Actually, it adds up to $105. I signed up last night and my intent is the same.

I figure if I don't like the Apple TV 4K, I can sell it and will lose little or nothing at all.

I don't care about DirecTV Now service. I already am a Comcrap cable TV subscriber and the $35/mo DirecTV Now package is WAY too limited and the DVR's way too limited, as well (20 hours? keeps only for 30 days?) I've been a TiVo user since 2001 and use a 3 TB Bolt Plus now. I have some recordings that I transferred from my TiVo HD that are years old.

If anyone is looking to buy an Apple TV 4th gen or especially the 4K and has never subscribed to DirecTV Now before, this seems like decent deal, esp. on the 4K box.

I also linked my Chase Freedom card to Paypal then paid for DTV Now via Paypal to get the 5% cashback from Chase: https://creditcards.chase.com/freedom/activate.
 
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