FIFA has announced that all matches of the 2018 World Cup in Russia will be shot in Ultra HD and HDR. Some footage will also be created especially for virtual reality headsets and 360-degree video on demand.
Who will broadcast the matches in 4K HDR is yet to be determined. Some countries do have the broadcast infrastructure to show the World Cup in that format, but the UK, for example, is yet to adopt 4K terrestrially, let alone HLG (Hybrid Log-Gamma) - the HDR format of choice for broadcast television.
The BBC currently hosts test footage of Planet Earth II in Ultra HD HLG format on its iPlayer service, viewable via supporting TVs, but is yet to reveal plans for an actual, full broadcast. Maybe the World Cup will be its launch?
ITV, on the other hand, which traditionally shares World Cup broadcast rights with the Beeb, hasn't exhibited or publicly shown interest in 4K broadcasting at all.
And Sky, which has a fully working 4K service in Sky Q and plans to add HLG at a later date, doesn't traditionally show World Cup matches.
FIFA has said that the system used to shoot the World Cup in Ultra HD HDR is capable of offering broadcasters a variety of formats, including 1080i and 1080p, so regardless of the broadcast standard in your country, it should still look good.
There will be 37 cameras at each match, it claimed, eight of which featuring dual UHD/HDR and 1080p/SDR output. Another eight will have dual 1080p/HDR and 1080p/SDR output.
Hopefully, with more than six months to go, broadcasters in the UK and US will be keen to utilise the former.
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