The BBC's live Ultra HD trials during the World Cup were excellent in picture quality terms, especially with the inclusion of HLG (HDR) technology, but the most common complaint was that the football was shown 30 seconds or more behind the general broadcast version.

That meant, if you watched it streamed in 4K HDR over the internet on BBC iPlayer, you ran the very real risk of hearing neighbours celebrate a goal long before it reached your screen.

The same was the case during the US Open coverage - also shown in 4K HDR.

However, the BBC has now stated that, in future, the latency could be eliminated altogether and those watching live internet streams will see the action at the same time as everyone else.

It has created prototype technology that dramatically reduces the latency caused when sending live video over the internet.

When video is transmitted online it is typically delivered in separate portions of data that are either difficult to process if the chunks are too small, or too time consuming if the files are longer. Latency is added when the end device decodes the files, so the longer the file the more latency.

And 4K HDR content uses far greater file sizes than, say, 1080p video.

The BBC has been experimenting with different low latency techniques to solve the issue. It has found methods to handle segments of video differently, which it is testing at a prototype stage.

The end result will be far less lag for live events in future.

Unfortunately, there's no time scale on when the new technology might be deployed but it is possible that we'll all be watching the next World Cup in 4K HDR without any time issues whatsoever: "To roll it out properly will take time, and it needs coordination with the whole industry, so viewers shouldn’t expect the lag to disappear imminently," said Chris Poole, lead research engineer for BBC R&D.

"Perhaps by the time they’re watching the next World Cup, viewers will be cheering at the same time, regardless of how they’re watching the match."

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