The Ultra HD trial will see all 29 of BBC One’s World Cup matches available in Ultra HD and High Dynamic Range (HDR) on BBC iPlayer. It will be available to ‘tens of thousands’ of viewers on a first-come, first served basis.
The BBC will use the Hybrid Log-Gamma version of HDR it invented with Japanese broadcaster, NHK. It provides improved picture quality not only to HDR Ultra HD devices, but to the vast majority of Standard Dynamic Range Ultra HD devices as well.
In addition to Ultra HD, the BBC is also experimenting with Virtual Reality.
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.”
The BBC’s first VR World Cup will be provided alongside the 33 BBC matches from Russia through the dedicated BBC Sport VR – FIFA World Cup Russia 2018 app. It will be available free on Apple, Android, Gear VR, Oculus Go and PlayStation VR.
Anyone with a smartphone or compatible VR headset can open the app and find themselves inside their very own luxury private box in a Russian stadium.
From here, audiences can access a 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.
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.
The BBC is sharing coverage of the World Cup with ITV.