Sky Q goes live with 4K UHD early, Liverpool v Barcelona upgraded from closed trial to public broadcast

posted on Thursday, 4th August 2016 by Steve May

4K  Broadcast  Sky Q 

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Sky is going early with 4K UHD football coverage. The official launch date for the service is Aug 13, but the broadcaster is expected to go live with the Liverpool v Barcelona pre-season fixture, from Wembley Stadium this Saturday. 

Sky has committed 124 premier league games in UHD. Until now it's been operating closed trials. Liverpool Barcelona marks the first time the service will be available to Sky Q Silver subscribers in the wild.

Steve Smith (pictured below), director of Sky Sports, told Inside CI. “All the cameras covering the game are UHD, with the exception of some specialist cameras – behind the goal. They will be upconverted.  I was part of the Sky team when we went to HD, and we did almost a season of shooting in HD without broadcasting.”

                    Also read:
                    Sky to launch UHD TV in August with massive slate
                    4K ready Sky Q remixes the future of TV

Viewers access 4K sports content either via the Featured section of the menu or via the Red Button Sky Sports News app. “A New featured section, a combination of what’s live and previews of what’s coming up in the future, now has a tab for Ultra HD. This is the simplest route to UHD. Pressing the red button helps users through the 2160p TV set up process.”

Inside CI was invited to Sky Sports HQ for a preview of the coverage, and can confirm the quality of the live footage looks sensational. Currently broadcasts do not utilise HDR. “It’s down to standards,” explains Smith. “It’s something where looking at for the future.”

The Liverpool Barcelona clash is a complete sell-out. But watching it in 4K UHD on Sky Sports could well be better than seeing it live.

 Steve Smith

Steve May

Steve is a veteran of the UK consumer electronics industry, having covered it for
various media outlets for more than 20 years.

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