This year’s Wimbledon tennis championships could be filmed in stunning 4K if the BBC and Sony cut a deal with tennis bosses.
The ultra high-definition format could be used to film the two-week tournament following discussions between the BBC, Sony and the All England Lawn Tennis Club, the last of which runs the sporting event.
A spokesman for the BBC said that discussions were in a “very early” stage, following reports that the next generation television standard was going to be tested at the SW19 location.
The source told the publication that 4K would be something that the public would take to, unlike the lukewarm reception it has given 3D.
“When you look at it, you feel something, like the jump from SD to HD, it’s amazing. Wimbledon is going to look better than ever,” the source said.
It is unlikely that 4K recordings of the event will be broadcast on Freeview, but current advances in encoding using a codec called HEVC can compress 4K TV signals down to 20Mbps, making it viable to transmit over satellite or cable.
At that size, a single 4K TV channel would take up the space of four conventional HD channels, and there’s no spare capacity on Freeview for anything but a very short-range test signal for engineers.
Even if it is broadcast, given the price of current 4K-capable TV sets, only a select few will be able to watch the tennis in ultra high-definition.
According to the London Evening Standard, Sony will also trial 4K in Brazil at this summer’s Conferations Cup football tournament.