BBC to broadcast the World Cup in Ultra HD for the first time

The BBC have announced today that they’ll be broadcasting all 29 of BBC One’s World Cup matches in Ultra HD and High Dynamic Range (HDR) as part of an online streaming trial.

Matthew Postgate, BBC Chief Technology & Product Officer, said: “The BBC has brought major live broadcasting breakthroughs to UK audiences throughout the history of the World Cup. From the very first tournament on TV in 1954 and England’s finest hour in 1966, to the first colour World Cup in 1970 and full HD in 2006. Now, with these trials we’re giving audiences yet another taste of the future.”

To take part in the trial, you will need a compatible Ultra HD TV and a high speed internet connection of at least 20Mb/s (40Mb/s if you want the full 3840 pixel resolution). The Ultra HD broadcasts will be available to view on BBC iPlayer, but you’ll need to log on quick – as the trial will only be available to tens of thousands of people to watch on a first-come, first-served basis.

If you have a VR headset, then you can watch the live coverage from that too via the BBC Sport VR – FIFA World Cup Russia 2018 app. It’s coming soon for free on Apple, Android, Gear VR, Oculus Go and PlayStation VR.

VR users will find themselves inside their own private box in a Russian stadium, and if there’s a game on, they can watch it live by heading over to the box’s giant viewing window and looking out onto the pitch. There will be a wide range of live match stats that pop-up from the virtual coffee table, or they can switch their view and choose to sit behind either one of the goals to get up-close to the action. And when there’s no game taking place, fans can watch a daily highlights package and other on-demand content on one of the virtual big screen TVs available in other areas of the private box.

There are now only two weeks to go until the 2018 FIFA World Cup, which will be broadcast on both the BBC and ITV.