The BBC announced they will broadcast 29 games of the World Cup 2018 in Ultra HD (4K) and Virtual Reality (VR) using their hybrid log-gamma version of HDR. While this marks the BBC's first live broadcast of a major tournament, not all viewers can access the stream.
According to BBC, "For the full 3840 pixel Ultra HD, you'll need at least a 40Mbit/s connection. If your connection is 20Mbit/s and above, you'll be presented with 2560 pixel Ultra HD. All footage will be shown at 50 frames per second." A wired TV connection, over Wi-Fi is also recommended for maximum quality.
BBC’s iplayer has a limited “tens of thousands” of viewing streams available, meaning users will have to be lucky enough to be assigned one of the available slots. The BBC has yet to specify how a viewer can be allocated a 4K stream, though it seems to be on a "first come, first served" basis.
“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,” explained Matthew Postgate, BBC chief technology and product officer.
Thie 2018 FIFA World Cup will be the broadcaster’s first official Virtual Reality (VR) stream, and the company has developed an app “BBC Sport VR - FIFA World Cup Russia 2018.” To participate, users can download the app on either iOS, Android, Gear VR, Oculus Go, or PlayStation VR and stream all 33 matches which simulate sitting in a private box at the stadium.