DirecTV Now unveiled an incentive for new subscribers: a free Amazon Fire TV box. The freebie is an indication that DirecTV Now may be preparing to add 4K channels.
You often see streaming sticks given away as promotional offers like this. Streaming sticks are small, cheap and convenient. Their performance, however, can leave you wanting.
A low-powered streaming stick has no problem handling 720p and 1080p content. The transition to 4K streaming, however, could make many stick-sized streaming devices obsolete.
A Freebie for the Future
DirecTV Now’s pop-up disclaimer is careful to say “4k HD not avail. w/DIRECTV NOW.” Yet this is where the DirecTV Now deal gets interesting.
Parent company AT&T is hanging its future on DirecTV Now. To that end, AT&T is doing a top-to-bottom overhaul to create a “next-gen” DirecTV Now. 4K streaming is one of the top next-gen features DirecTV Now subscribers will get this year.
Unlike the Fire TV Stick, Amazon’s slightly larger and more capable Fire TV box supports 4K content at frame rates up to 60 frames per second.
By giving away the more expensive Amazon device, DirecTV Now ensures it has subscribers that will be able to take advantage of its new 4K streaming feature.
The promotion requires you to pay for the first two months of DirecTV Now up front. If you get the least expensive subscription, that means an up-front payment of $70. Your Fire TV box arrives a couple of weeks later.
Chris Casper is a former tech industry product manager who escaped from California for New Mexico. Now he writes about science and tech while searching for the perfect green chile sauce.