THE BBC and Sky have confirmed that UHD tests will be coming to the platform in time for Wimbledon.
The Beeb began testing live UHD (4K) pictures with HDR with this year's World Cup. Viewers with compatible sets (from a pre-approved list) are able to view any matches being hosted by the BBC (as opposed to ITV) on a first-come-first-served basis, with "tens of thousands" of streams available under a limited capacity roll out.
Now, the BBC has confirmed that it will continue the trial with Wimbledon, the traditional home of experimental live broadcasts. Wimbledon has been the subject of early HD (1080i) broadcasts as well as a groundbreaking ‘red button' interactive service with multi-screens, stats and alternative commentary.
The Wimbledon UHD streams will be available on the same basis as the World Cup, with one important change. For the first time, Sky Q viewers with the 2TB box will also be able to watch in 4K via a toggle that pops up when tuning into a match on BBC One/Two in SD or HD.
This service will only be on Sky Q for the semi-finals and and finals, however, with earlier rounds in UHD limited to iPlayer only, and then only to the Centre Court.
Auntie told INQie: "Our Ultra HD trial is available on over 700 devices that use the standard version of BBC iPlayer and stream content over the open Internet. Due to the nature of the trial, this does not include all possible platforms and we're still working with those that aren't yet supported.
"This trial helps us increase the number of supported platforms for future events. For Wimbledon, we are broadening our trial Ultra HD coverage out to include licence fee payers who are Sky customers."
For those new to the jargon, 4K and UHD are largely interchangeable terms, but purists prefer the latter because at 3,840 horizontal lines, the former isn't strictly accurate under some definitions.
To add to the confusion, there's also HDR to consider. HDR and UHD pictures are the same, but the High Dynamic Range means that blacks are blacker and whites are whiter, and that, many people believe, makes for a clearer picture than the increased definition.
The BBC trials use a version of HDR designed in conjunction with Japanese national broadcaster NHK.
Elsewhere, there'll be up to 16 HD streams available on the BBC Sport website and apps and the return of the full red button service on TVs with an internet connection. µ
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