BBC to broadcast Commonwealth Games in 4K Ultra HD

The BBC is to follow up its World Cup in 4K broadcast trials with further tests of Ultra HD transmission, except this time publicly during the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

Its World Cup trials, which are still ongoing as the last match to be shot and broadcast in 4K is the final in Brazil, are restricted to the Beeb's own R&D facilities. However, the trials during the Commonwealth Games will be shown as part of a public showcase in the Glasgow Science Centre.

Attendees will be able to see a special live BBC R&D production of the Games. It is the first time the sporting event will have been broadcast in Ultra HD. And the BBC plans to run the UHD broadcast throughout its entire duration, from 24 July to 3 August. They will be available for public viewing from 10am to 5pm each day.

READ: BBC to trial 4K Ultra HD broadcasts of live World Cup matches

The footage will be entirely delivered over the internet, utilising early versions of BBC R&D's streaming technologies. Eventually, it is hoped that the Commonwealth Games trial combined with the ones taking place during the World Cup will benefit not just the potential for home 4K broadcasting in future, but to establish a new broadcasting system delivered entirely over Internet Protocol (IP) networks, making live coverage more efficient and interactive.

"We may well look back at this trial as a watershed moment in the history of broadcasting. By proving for the first time that complex events can be created and delivered completely over IP technology, we’re opening up a world of possibilities to programme makers and the wider industry," said Matthew Postgate, controller at BBC R&D.

"Not only could BBC R&D’s vision for a new broadcasting system help producers create programmes more efficiently and cost-effectively, but it allows them to take advantage of data like never before, offering new editorial options and ways of improving the experience for audiences."

The BBC is working with several partners on the Commonwealth Games 4K trials, including Virgin Media - one of the Games' headline sponsors - for high speed fibre optic connectivity from the stadia to the Beeb's R&D facilities in Glasgow and Salford, Great Manchester.



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