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BBC to show 4K Ultra HD broadcast of 2014 Commonwealth Games live in Glasgow

The BBC will broadcast the 2014 Commonwealth Games live in 4K Ultra HD at the Glasgow Science Centre. 

4K Ultra HD transmissions, which provide four times the amount of detail as current Full HD broadcasts,  will be free for the public to view for the duration of the Games, which kick off next month. 

As part of a series of trials to determine standards and get 4K Ultra HD ready for live TV, BBC R&D is inviting the public to come along and see for themselves how things are progressing. 

The 4K streams will be delivered over a broadband connection to the Glasgow Science Centre. BBC R&D will monitor the performance and collect data on the results, which will help pave the way for 4K streams arriving on BBC iPlayer in the future

Glaswegians can check out a public demo of live 4K Ultra HD TV at the Glasgow Science Centre this summer
Glaswegians can check out a public demo of live 4K Ultra HD TV at the Glasgow Science Centre this summer

Matthew Postgate, Controller, BBC R&D said: “We’re opening up a world of possibilities to programme makers and the wider industry.” 

“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 Games, being held in Glasgow, would also be the first one to be produced and delivered entirely over the internet. The broadcast will start with the opening ceremony and will be show with Sony F55 4K cameras – the same hardware used by the BBC and Sky to film Wimbledon 2013 and Premier League football. The live feeds will then be encoded using HEVC (H.265) compression technology

The BBC, along with Sky, the DTG (Digital TV Group) and other broadcasters are currently working to define the standards for 4K Ultra HD TV broadcasts and how this will be delivered over terrestrial signals, satellite, cable and IP. 

Some of the production using 4K is being carried out in Salford to test whether production teams miles away from the games can carry out their jobs. The system will use ultrafast 100Gbps broadband connections from Virgin Media Business and the Joint Academic NETwork (JANET). 

The Games will be shown on two 65-inch 4K Ultra HD TVs and a large video wall at the Science Centre. Broadcasts will run from 10am to 5pm in the Clyde Suite for the duration of the event. 

The 2014 Commonwealth Games start on July 23 and run until August 3. 

Recently, Recombu was able to see some of Sky’s 4K Ultra HD test footage in person – check out our first impressions here

Image: Sheep purple/Flickr

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