Published: Sat, June 02, 2018
Electronics | By Kelly Massey

BBC launches Ultra HD and VR trials ahead of World Cup

BBC launches Ultra HD and VR trials ahead of World Cup

Uh-huh. We're not sure anyone will be able to stomach this for long, but the BBC VR World Cup experience will also let you switch view to one immediately behind either of the goals, which could be interesting. Footage will also be played at 50 frames per second rather than the normal 25fps.

The UHD stream will be available from the iPlayer homescreen from as soon as the programme coverage begins until trial capacity is reached for that match. Throw HDR into the mix, which promises more detailed colours and brighter imagery, then this could be the best way to watch 2018's World Cup. To watch the coverage, viewers will need a compatible Ultra HD TV and a high-speed Internet connection.

Good news! You'll be able to watch the World Cup in 4K HDR thanks to the BBC and its iPlayer platform.

The BBC is prepping two technically advanced trials for the upcoming FIFA World Cup: delivering the matches live in virtual reality as well as in Ultra HD (4K) with high dynamic range.

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It will use the Hybrid Log-Gamma version of HDR it invented with Japanese broadcaster, NHK which is claimed to provide improved picture quality not only to HDR Ultra HD devices, but to the vast majority of Standard Dynamic Range Ultra HD devices too.

BBC claims for best experience, users will need 40 megabits per second (Mbit/s) internet connection which may be a problem for most users as most households in the United Kingdom do not have this. For those of you who are football (or, dare I say, soccer) fans, it represents one of the biggest events on the calendar. When users open the app, they'll be virtually transported to a box in a Russian stadium, where they can view a live match and check out stats on the box's coffee table. The experience and data gathered from this trial will help the BBC optimise UHD delivery in the future.

For VR, the BBC recommends a connection of at least a 10Mbit/s.

Minus some totally-not-legal hocus-pocus, the World Cup 2018 VR content will only be available to UK TV license-payers through BBC Sport's official VR app. It will also be available for Gear VR, Oculus Go and PlayStation VR.

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