back to article Select few to watch World Cup in 4K high dynamic range colour on BBC iPlayer

Football fans will be able to watch England's World Cup disappointments in full 4K resolution and high dynamic range colour glory, thanks to a trial on the BBC's iPlayer. The only kicker is folk will need to have at least 40Mbps – something Auntie itself has admitted is accessible to a minority. All 29 of BBC One's World Cup …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    More chance of England winning the world cup than iPlayer streaming 4k and actually working.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      No need to worry if your TV's more than a year or two old or not on a select list, because it won't work anyway. Good old Beeb, inventing a new "standard" that only a minority of HDR TVs can actually use.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Interesting, they've opted for 8 bit as opposed to 10/12 according to that list.

      2. Solarflare
        Angel

        Surprisingly, my TV is on that list. I also have fast enough broadband to handle it. Provided I can be arsed, i can enjoy watching us crash out in the group stages in crisp 4K.

      3. Mage Silver badge

        Re: Select List?

        Those may be technically be all UHD screens, but some are nearly junk. How many are badges stuck on by marketing companies to the cheapest kit they could source that ticked boxes on the marketing?

        Also no way am I ever connecting ANYTHING running Android TV to the Internet! Certainly not my Sony 4K TV.

      4. commonsense

        You realise that the BBC/NHK HDR standard was developed because the other common ones (HDR10, Dolby Vision) don't support broadcast television, needing the entire content to be encoded in one go. And that HLG is the only one that's backwards compatible with normal TVs. But don't let the facts get in the way of a good rant.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Yeah...

    ...overpaid primadona's falling over pretending to be hurt....all in 4K HDR

    At least with something like F1, movement is fast, the cars are usually colourful and the scenery often brilliant.

    When's the next Planet Earth?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Yeah...

      Oh, they ruined F1 now too. Well, they are tempted to. The electric car version has audience votes to choose which contestant to boost... does that sound fair?

      Give it a couple of years and they will have put that into F1 too.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Yeah...

        Oh, they ruined F1 now too. Well, they are tempted to.

        If Wikipedia are correct, its now owned by Liberty Global, the shitty corporation that owns Virgin Media. I'm surprised that they haven't managed to ruin it yet, but give them time. I'm betting they'll sell it on to the owners of Indycar, and all F1 tracks will be changed to ovals with banked bends. That'll be even more yawnworthy than F1 is now

        The electric car version has audience votes to choose which contestant to boost... does that sound fair?

        At least the public are so disinterested that partners, kids and friends of those involved should get free tickets for every race. So bring along enough family, and that's the boost sorted.

        1. Really Anonymous Coward

          Re: Yeah...

          "if Wikipedia are correct..."

          F1 was purchased by Liberty Media (now renamed Formula One Group).

          Liberty Global owns Virgin Media, CWC, UPC, bits of ITV.

          Liberty Media and Liberty Global aren't the same company, but they are both run by John Malone.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Liberty Bell

            Cue Monty Python.

            No expects the Spanish Inquisition.

            [or getting 350Mbps on an "up to 350Mbps" deal].

        2. plrndl
          FAIL

          Re: Yeah...

          Judging by current performance, Liberty will take F1 down-market until the sponsors quit, then sell it at a huge loss.

          Ferrari and friends will start a new series.

  3. Blockchain commentard Silver badge

    24 blokes on the field? Not into footie but even I know there is 11 people per team !!!!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      22 players, 2 linesmen and a ref.

      Thats 25.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        are the linesman technically not on the field?

        Maybe it's our cunning plan of trying to win?

        1. MonkeyBob

          22 players, 1 ref and a team manager "discussing" a finer point of a tackle/goal or whatever.

          1. greenawayr

            22 players, 1 ref, 2 linesman, 2 numpties stood behind the penalty area with a stick getting paid for absolutely nothing and few Russian activists who managed to break through the security to protest about Russia's human rights issues before being marched off the field, never to be seen again.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I was offered the chance to watch a demo of this new fangled HLG stuff showing some Planet Earth II footage earlier this year. It looks eye-meltingly good. I do wonder how well that will transfer to fast paced, flat action as you get in sport. Hardly cinematic.

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      "I was offered the chance to watch a demo of this new fangled HLG stuff showing some Planet Earth II footage earlier this year. It looks eye-meltingly good. I do wonder how well that will transfer to fast paced, flat action as you get in sport. Hardly cinematic."

      So did digital TV when it was launched. Now, some channels are using such a shitty bitrate it looks more blocky than Youtube!

  5. JimmyPage Silver badge
    Unhappy

    100Mbs VM customer here ....

    Shame I can't stand sport.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: 100Mbs VM customer here ....

      Don't worry, I'm sure VM's contention of 100,000:1 will stop it working anyway.

      PS want a free speed boost. Yours just for another £5 a month, due in 3 months from now.

    2. Symon Silver badge
      Pint

      Re: 100Mbs VM customer here ....

      @JimmyPage, I think your neighbour loves it though. Port Vale, ISTR?

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's coming home

    It's coming home

    Footballs *buffering*

  7. ISYS

    Be careful

    If you accidentally brush past the TV whilst getting a drink, all the players will fall over.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Be careful

      That sir is the TV at a jaunty angle after you knocked it off the table. I strongly suggest manually repositioning your televisual device.

      If that doesn't work then I regret to inform you that your chair is currently missing two legs.

  8. Christopher Rogers

    Sportsball!

  9. Dr_N Silver badge

    4K?

    Pfft. Where's my 8K ?!

    1. James 51 Silver badge

      Re: 4K?

      Japan:

      https://www.theverge.com/2016/8/2/12349954/8k-broadcasts-start-japan-nhk

    2. jaywin

      Re: 4K?

      On it's way - the recent Winter Olympics had one event per day shot in 8K. And with 8K most of the standards were agreed years ago, so the roll out will be nothing as bad as for 4K (which was a 'standard' created by display manufacturers needing a new feature to sell more sets, and they all had a different idea about what 4K meant and how it would be delivered).

    3. PPK
      Thumb Up

      Re: 4K?

      I sampled the delights of the NHK theatre at the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) show last month. UHD2, 22.2 surround sound, with material that featured nature scenes, ballet, and quite stunning views of Tokyo by day and night. Screen was around 350 inch diagonal, so best of luck with a 50 inch home setup.

      Impressive indeed: but even the UHD1 (NOT 4k, UHD is 3840x2160, 4k is typically 4096x2160) HDR being discussed here needs:

      - to be delivered via a properly signalled compressed format

      - to a decoder that understands that signalling

      - connected to a screen that displays correctly - and is adjusted properly for colour gamut etc

      It saddens me (as someone who has worked in broadcast for ~26 years) to say that the happy conjunction of all of the above is somewhat unlikely in the average home setup...

      1. Mike Flex

        Re: 4K?

        " UHD1 (NOT 4k, UHD is 3840x2160, 4k is typically 4096x2160) HDR"

        4K in digital cinema circles can mean 4096 (or 3996) pixels/line.

        4K in TV circles, the subject of the article, only means 3840 pixels/line.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/4K_resolution

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: 4K?

      I had a 24K 52" TV once. Man it was heavy.

  10. James 51 Silver badge

    It's not just the speed to the house. If it's not plugged in via ethernet a lot of home networks would struggle under the load. Not just on the theoretical speed your wi-fi can deliver but keep the signial strength through walls with dozens of other wi-fi boxes and microwaves etc etc nearby. Not to mention those who'd rather be watching the adventures of baby Jake. That would be an experience in 4k HDR.

    1. deive

      I've been watching 4k HDR Netflix over WiFi for as long as they have offered it without problems. Should be OK - over streaming it is compressed though so it still isn't as good as a 4K bluray.

      Have to say though that HDR a much bigger improvement than 4K, BBC should concentrate on getting that out first :-)

      1. Roland6 Silver badge

        >I've been watching 4k HDR Netflix

        Live streaming is a different proposition to prerecorded films and box sets.

        Been watching the Giro de Italia 2018 and even at the very low resolution and frame rate used there where frequent streaming problems.

        So I suspect what will happen is the 4k stream will be 1~2 minutes behind real-time so as to give the best viewing experience...

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @deive

        Yes but are you watching UHD?

        Also 4k bluray is 8bit, streaming should be higher, might want to think about that ethernet cable.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "Not to mention those who'd rather be watching the adventures of baby Jake. That would be an experience in 4k HDR."

      That used to give me the creeps in SD, let alone 4K HDR

    3. Tim Jenkins

      I'd be willing to hazard a guess that a significant proportion of Reg readers stick the the adage that 'if it has an ethernet socket, use that*'.

      (*which baffled the heck out of my Sky Q installer, and I ended up having to wait until he had spent hours faffing with wireless boosters before grudgingly accepting that my Cat 6 distribution was there for a reason).

      1. commonsense

        Unfortunately my 2017 LG super duper OLED thing has a 100Mbps ethernet port. It's better via WiFi for very high bitrate video.

  11. Robigus
    Meh

    We tried it

    We have a 200mb connection, TV's are on Ethernet (non of this wireless nonsense). Before the FA cup final, iPlayer asked if we'd like 4K, which we did.

    iPlayer crashed, repeatedly. Mrs. Robigus and I went to pub, other Robigii stayed at home and switched back to 1080p. That was a recent Sony TV, I hope to be offered the option to try it on the Samsung (which is much snappier and agreeable than Android TV on the Sony)

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    tommy oxlaide lennon wont be missing much.

    I watched the ever generous BT's 4k champions final on youtube and no doubt there is some sort of adaption to what your line speed will take.

    No stuttering or buffering but a detail free picture when you got close up.

    The players are still stick insects on a 55 in telly and rare you can tell who the player is without a closeup as the view is half the pitch as a default.

    Could be due to the fact players just pass the ball a long way rather than running with it.

    Either way its incredibly less exciting as a spectacle and the bored ex drunks now reborn racist scrappers World Cup will be dull except for the dog fighting.

  13. Alex Masters
    Coat

    I'm all set..

    How very timely - I've been notified that my Infinity BB is going to be upgraded to Ultrafast very soon, so I'll be getting circa 320Mbps up from 80Mbps. I knew it was the right thing to do for a broadband cabinet outside my neighbour's house. My house has gigabit Ethernet everywhere too.

  14. dcluley

    "Up to" again

    "Ofcom has said 13.9 million premises have access to speeds of up to 100Mbps..."

    My maximum download rate here is 9.5Mbps; I suppose that counts as "up to 100Mbps"

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: "Up to" again

      The rest of the quote was what caught my attention...

      "Ofcom has said 13.9 million premises have access to speeds of up to 100Mbps, although many have failed to upgrade their packages."

      Ofcom appear to be blaming the users for not upgrading. Maybe the users have decided it's not worth it? Or the ISPs are charging too much? Or the user are just cheapskates?

  15. Dr. G. Freeman

    Think I need to upgrade my eye* couldn't see any difference between HD and 4K in the telly shop.

    *Only got the working one, the other's never been plugged in.

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      HDR content is usually only in 4K. You will notice the difference between high dynamic range and lower dynamic range - though perhaps as obviously if in a brightly lit showroom.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        "HDR content is usually only in 4K. You will notice the difference between high dynamic range and lower dynamic range - though perhaps as obviously if in a brightly lit showroom."

        Yes, it's not all about resolution. For an extreme example, look at a photo rendered on an original VGA card in 16 colour 640x480 and at 256 colour 320x200. The latter looks more realistic in the vast majority of cases despite having about 1/4 of the pixels.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "Think I need to upgrade my eye* couldn't see any difference between HD and 4K in the telly shop."

      Unless you have a really big TV (>> 60"), or sit really close, the difference between HD and 4K in terms of resolution is non-visible. Certainly, I can't see the difference between 4K and HD on my 49" TV (and yes, I have good eyesight) - this is borne out by the maths, too. HDR? I don't feel a need for increased contrast in the image I get, so, meh (I tend to find OLEDs look completely unnatural anyway).

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Further tech details here on the BBC R&D blog;

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/rd/blog/2018-05-uhd_hdr_world_cup_2018

  17. Neil Spellings

    Samsung aren't updating many TVs to support this

    My £2000 4k HDR TV purchased only a year ago won't be able to play this as Samsung are refusing to update the OS to support HLG. Lots of similarly annoyed TV owners out there..

    https://eu.community.samsung.com/t5/TV-Audio-Video/iPlayer-HLG-UHD-HDR-on-Samsung-s-J-and-K-Series-TVs/td-p/339023

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: Samsung aren't updating many TVs to support this

      Not just Samsung - there was a generation of LG OLED TVs that were released before there was a standard '4K' HDR codec.

  18. King Jack
    Megaphone

    Recap

    To save everyone's time I'll sum up how England will pay it's matches.

    At kick off for the first 10 minutes they'll actually a play good game. If by chance they score they'll transform into idiot mode. 1-0 All the players at that time think the game is over and they have won. They'll weakly pass the ball back (not forward) to keep their goalkeeper happy. At that point the opposing side will get the ball and slam it in the back of the net. 1-1. This will shock England who will panic and give the ball away and start the theatrics such as claiming the ball is theirs when they kick it out of bounds and diving to claim a free kick or penalty. The other team will score a few more times. 3-1. Half time. More of the same tactic less playing then some young gun will break free and score for England. This results in more time wasting defending rather than attacking. Final whistle. England lose as usual. After match analists (sic) will claim the ref was biased and 'foreign player' cheated. You read it here first.

    1. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge
      IT Angle

      Re: Recap

      You missed out the 5 mins of a player rolling around in agony after tripping over his own bootlaces (10 mins if trying to get an opposing team member sent off)

      Or you could watch rugby instead where someone with a broken leg is rubbed down with a magic sponge and told to favour the other leg...

  19. intrigid

    Sorry, Europe

    I respect that you're trying as hard as you possibly can to make soccer worth watching, but I think it's time you moved on to something viable.

    1. Korev Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: Sorry, Europe

      The Rugby World Cup is only next year...

      Mine's the black and gold Cornish one -->

    2. Solarflare

      Re: Sorry, Europe

      What the hell is "soccer"?

  20. The Brave Sir Robin

    Fantastic

    We can get terminally bored in very colourful high def. Can hardly wait.

    Netflix and Prime are going to get a lot of use.

  21. Randy Hudson

    I can get 900Mbps most days, but it's typically the guy on the other end that's the bottleneck. Is BBC's service available in the US?

  22. Mike Flex

    meh

    Well, I've got a solid 55 Mbps BT connection (now that BT have finally stopped angling for rural BB subsidies for a large town location). I just lack a 4K TV or any interest in men kicking their balls around.

    BTW, why 4K? It's not even 4k (actually 3.84 k).

  23. Mage Silver badge

    Also!

    Really people with a normal living room (not watching a screen sitting at a desk) and normal eyesight need a 60" to 72"+ screen to get any advantage from 4K content.

    What about BBC pay presenters less, have fewer managers, more internal engineers and program makers and less outsourcing instead of expensive gimmicks like this.

    + + +

    I was given a 4K TV with built in satellite tuner and been underwhelmed by 4K demo on 19E. Also actually underwhelmed with many bluray discs compared to the better quality DVDs upscaled. HD isn't even twice European SD vertically.

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Also!

      "more internal engineers and program makers and less outsourcing instead of expensive gimmicks like this."

      FWIW, the rationale behind breaking up the BBC production units and spinning them off, leading to outsourcing was because the BBC was so big and monopolistic that the small regional commercial channels could never compete at the bigger budget end of the market. Of course, all that happened just at about the time all the regional channels were merging into one big monolith ITV and the advertisers budgets for TV started to tank, not to mention the watering down of advertising across many, many more cable and sat channels.

      I'm still in two minds as to whether the BBC break was a good thing or not. I think it's hurt R&D but helped TV show exports.

  24. This post has been deleted by its author

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    lets just hope if you watch 20 games @ 40Mbps or 27GB/game you have sufficient data usage of 540GB for that particular month...

  26. Reginald Pérignon

    I'm sorry?

    Ofcom has said 13.9 million premises have access to speeds of up to 100Mbps, although many have failed to upgrade their packages." - Failed be buggered?

    So I'm finally making the jump from a steady 7.6 to a somewhat 'guaranteed' 35Mbps for bafflingly the same 'affordable' price of about 20 quid a month. I don't know what in the world I'll use all that extra bandwidth for - apparently not watching high res 'dive-kick' that's for sure :'C

    I'm kinda giddy at the prospect of having such excessive and luxurious downstream and yet I've failed?

    I'm a failure? Fuck you OFCOM, what the fuck did you ever succeed at - it's 2018 and I still can't count on reliable 2/3G coverage or an affordable ubiquity of VOIP alternatives? Cram it up your sanctimonius shitpipes.

  27. HPCJohn

    Hypertoptic customer

    Hyperoptic customer here, with their excellent 1Gbps service.

    I have a Panasonic 4K telly, which streamed the Blue Planet UHD trial footage just fine.

    Pity I am Scottish and dont give a stuff about the England teams success.

    The Panasonic tellies wont show BBC iPlayer though - its a known fault and nothing much seems to be being done about it.

    1. CertMan
      Happy

      Re: Hypertoptic customer

      I'm on 1G Gigaclear and my Panasonic TV wouldn't play Blue Planet 4K, but my 43" LG (which I also use as my 4K PC monitor) played it beautifully, as did iPlayer on the PC. The images were absolutely stunning.

      I suppose we are back to the old story of TV manufacturers ignoring customers once they have made their initial buck and not back supporting the evolving standards - which are only evolving as the TV manufacturers have made up their own standards! Roll on 8K as it is at least a fixed standard.

  28. karimf

    No other stream qualities ??

    What about those who don't have the equipment or the internet speed for 4K ? will be there streams in 720 or 1080 like usual with iPlayer of BBC ?

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