June 3, 2018

Can't wait to watch the World Cup in 4K, HDR, and VIRTUAL REALITY streaming

BBC has confirmed it will show 29 World Cup 2018 football matches live in 4K and HDR as well as in virtual reality.

BBC iPlayer

The BBC has committed to disclosure 29 of the World Cup 2018 matches live in 4K UHD as well as HDR but not only that, it'll be sharing coverage in VR too.

The BBC iPlayer will be used to stream the content over the internet so those with a 4K and HDR enabled TV can enjoy the games at the highest quality that FIFA offers.

There is a catch. The BBC will only be able to deliver the games to a certain number of viewers. That means you'll need to get in early if you want to watch at full quality.

The BBC says the high-quality content will be available to "tens of thousands" of people, but on a first come first served basis.

You will require a decent internet connection to enjoy the full experience as anything too slow will be automatically presented with a lower quality version.

The BBC said: "For the full 3840 pixels Ultra HD, you'll need at least a 40Mbit/s connection. If your connection is 20Mbit/s and above, you'll be presented with 2560 pixel Ultra HD. All footage will be shown at 50 frames per second." A wired TV connection, over Wi-Fi, is also recommended for maximum quality.

The BBC did previously trial a UHD and HDR live sports event with a single rugby game streamed to the iPlayer Beta.

While the broadcast is called HDR, for high dynamic range, it actually uses a BBC specific format called HLG, Hybrid Log Gamma. It's essentially the same but optimized for broadcast.

The HDR quality will not only work on most HDR TVs but should also work on standard dynamic range UHD TVs too. You won't see the same range but it should push whatever TV it is to its limit for quality.

The BBC says this will be useful for future live broadcasts: "The experience and data gathered from this trial will help the BBC to optimize UHD delivery in the future. The trial also helps the BBC and wider industry prepare for a time when delivering such large-scale events in such high quality, for larger audiences, over the open Internet is normal."

The BBC is also broadcasting the World Cup in virtual reality for 33 of the matches via the BBC Sports VR - FIFA World Cup Russia 2018 app.

This free app will be available "soon" on iOS, Android, Gear VR, Oculus Go and PlayStation VR.
The VR experience will be like watching the game from your own private box at the stadium.
There is also a virtual coffee table where you can choose to stay seated or move behind one of the goals for close-up action. There is also a virtual TV for when games aren't on which shows highlights.

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