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31/05/2018

BBC To Trial UHD And VR World Cup Broadcasts

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BBC has announced it will broadcast the FIFA World Cup in special Ultra HD (UHD) and Virtual Reality (VR) for the first time this summer.

A new trial will see all 29 of BBC One's World Cup matches available in Ultra HD and High Dynamic Range (HDR) on BBC iPlayer.

As part of the BBC's pioneering work streaming live Ultra HD and High Dynamic Range programmes over the internet, the trial will be available to tens of thousands of people to watch on a first-come, first-served basis.
Audiences will need a compatible Ultra HD TV and a high speed internet connection to view the UHD coverage.

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 majority of Standard Dynamic Range Ultra HD devices.

The BBC's first VR World Cup brings audiences live coverage of all 33 BBC matches from Russia through the dedicated BBC Sport VR - FIFA World Cup Russia 2018 app. The app is coming soon for 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. They can also 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.

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 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia begins on 14 June, culminating in the final on 15 July.
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