4K is only half the story, BBC also to trial live TV broadcasting over 4G at Commonwealth Games

The BBC's research and development lab has already previously announced that it will be broadcasting 4K Ultra HD live video from the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow for the public to view for the first time. Now it has announced that it will also be trialling live television broadcasting over 4G networks.

In partnership with EE, Huawei and Qualcomm, the Beeb will broadcast live footage of the Games over EE's 4G network.

While users can already stream live footage of events or television broadcasts in real time to their mobile devices through apps like BBC iPlayer, each individual request for access to the footage needs to be treated as exactly that; individually. This can cause heavy congestion during major events, sporting or otherwise.

The broadcast trial will transmit live streams once over the entire network, allowing users to jump onto the broadcast as they would tune into a TV channel at home. This, the BBC says, will not only improve reliability, technically reducing drop outs and buffering, but also picture quality.

Like with its 4K trials, the live 4G trials will only be able to be seen by visiting a pop-up public Showcase event in Glasgow, running for the duration of the Commonwealth Games. The live action will be delivered to demo handsets through a custom-built Commonwealth Games application.

Other technical trials will also be on display at the BBC's Showcase in Glasgow. It will be streaming a live feed taken on a 360-degree camera in the SSE Hydro Stadium to an Oculus Rift virtual reality headset for visitors to try out.

READ: BBC to broadcast Commonwealth Games in 4K Ultra HD

Plus, it will be experimenting with augmented video on BBC iPlayer. Like subtitles, it could offer this in the future as something viewers can activate if they choose. The augmented graphical overlay could show athlete names over their heads as they run, for example.

And the BBC is also looking into the possibility of using TV White Spaces, the spectrum gaps between the channels used by Freeview transmitters, to potentially send or enhance other services.

All trials and demonstrations are open to the public in the Glasgow Science Centre's Clyde Suite from 10am to 5pm through the Games, 24 July to 4 August.