BBC World Cup in 4K – huge UHD test

2018-world-cup-4kThe BBC has confirmed that it will make all of its FIFA Russia World Cup games available in UHD HDR via iPlayer. It will also offer VR experiences for every BBC game too.

Today’s confirmation comes after recent 4K trials of Rugby League and the FA Cup final matches.

The Ultra HD stream will appear on the iPlayer home screen when coverage begins, and remain there until it’s fully subscribed. This will be the biggest 4K test that the Beeb has undertaken. For all intents and purposes, this will be a proof of concept for their upcoming live 4K coverage roll-out.

First come, first served

2018-world-cup-4kThe number of UHD streams will be limited, and available to viewers on a first come, first served basis. However, the BBC says its trial will support tens of thousands of viewers.

Auntie Beeb recommends a broadband speed of 40Mbps for free-flowing 4K.

There will be a fall-back stream for 20 Mbps connections, which will offer a better than HD resolution of 2560p. The broadcaster will also offer HD in HDR, at 720p and 1080p resolutions. HLG Hybrid Log-gamma will be used, which has been created in conjunction with the Japanese broadcaster NHK, offering broadcast compatibility with non-HDR 4K sets.

As an added benefit, footage will be played at 50 frames per second rather than the normal 25fps.

VR World Cup

The BBC will also make available the same matches in VR, via the BBC Sport VR FIFA World Cup Russia 2018 app.

This will hand you the games from a “virtual private box”, or from behind each goal. Stats and highlight packages will also be on hand.

The app will be available on PlayStation VR, Apple, Android, Gear VR and Oculus Go and PlayStation VR. The BBC recommends an internet connection of at least 10Mbps for its VR experience.