Following on from streaming the 2018 World Cup in 4K, the BBC has announced that its next major 4K event will be Wimbledon, which it intends to make available in Ultra HD through its iPlayer service.
Better still, the broadcasts will be in both Ultra HD and HDR, which technically puts it ahead of Sky Q, which remains limited to just using the new resolution. The BBC uses its own HDR format called ‘Hybrid Log Gamma’, which is designed for broadcast unlike the alternative HDR10 and Dolby Vision formats.
Related: Watch the World Cup in 4K HDR
The BBC has emphasised that, much like the World Cup, these streams are still very much a trial. For now, 4K HDR coverage will be limited to matches played at Wimbledon’s famous Centre Court.
Like the World Cup, you’ll also need to have a compatible device and fast internet connection to view the higher quality streams. That said, the BBC has been updating the total number of devices that can handle iPlayer’s 4K streams, and recently announced that the PS4 Pro is also compatible.
You can find the list of supported devices here.
Disappointingly, iPlayer will continue to limit the amount of 4K streams available to viewers to the “tens of thousands”. You’ll have to log on nice and early (and get the rub of the green too), in order to watch the tournament in all its glory.
Even if you get lucky, there have been a couple of teething problems with the current World Cup streams. Some users have reported that certain matches can look weirdly processed, too dark, or can have a strange flicker. Users are also reporting that the Ultra HD stream sometimes lags behind the normal stream by a couple of seconds.
However, as this is an evolving trial, we hope that the BBC will have learned its lessons from the World Cup streams to improve the quality of the service as we move towards a TV future that’s entirely 4K.
“Audiences will need a connection of at least 40Mbit/s for the full 3840 pixel Ultra HD or 20Mbit/s for 2560 pixel Ultra HD,” the BBC explains.
“Footage will be played at 50 frames per second. Given the variability of Wi-Fi connections, audiences may find a more consistent Ultra HD experience with a wired internet connection to the TV.”
Sky Q customers with a 2TB box will also be able to tune in to games in 4K (not HDR), but this appears to be limited to the men’s and women’s singles semi-finals and finals.
It isn’t possible to rewind or restart the Ultra HD live stream right now, but the BBC is working to change this.
How have you found the BBC’s 4K trials so far? Get in touch with us @TrustedReviews