BT Sport Europe to break 4K UHD milestone with Europe’s first Ultra HD channel in August

by on June 15, 2015

Stephan Jukic – June 15, 2015

Europeans with 4K ultra HD TVs have at least couple of new things to look forward to during the summer thanks to BT Sport.

The sportscast broadcasting and distribution company has recently announced that it will be bringing a new 4K UHD channel to the European marketplace as of August. This channel, called “BT Sport Ultra HD”, will also let users who can view its above-normal resolution to a broad menu of sports events including UEFA Champion’s League games, the Barclay’s Premier League, FA Cup and the Aviva Premiership Rugby tournaments in full blown 4K Ultra HD.

The very first 4K broadcast planned for the new BT channel is going to be the Community Shield, which has the winner of the Premier League play against the winners of the FA Cup during a charity match that has already been scheduled for the 2nd of August, 2015. Thus, this will also be the date when the new European sports channel launches to the public.

As a milestone for 4K in Europe or the world, the launch is quite a major event. While 4K streaming and content via VOD set-top boxes have both been developing at a steady pace over the course of the last couple years, actual broadcast channels in ultra HD have stayed almost completely in the realm of highly limited, highly experimental events. This applies even more to live sportscasts, of which there have been only a handful, almost all done with small test audiences. The 2014 FIFA World Cup was partly broadcast like this to a small group of fans in the U.K and a few other places, while Sky Germany has also been conducting live event 4K broadcasts of its own, either to small test audiences or internally, with no public audience at all.

These limited efforts have largely been due to the expense and new technology adoption necessary for making ultra HD work at a live broadcast TV level.

BT’s launch is quite a remarkable development for this reason if no other, and it doesn’t end there.

The company is also unveiling a new set-top box that will be available exclusively to BT Infinity customers and will also be a requisite piece of hardware for viewing the above-mentioned BT Ultra HD sports channel, since its 4K broadcasts won’t work on the company’s existing subscriber broadcast content hardware. The BT UHD set-top box will basically do all the heavy lifting of bringing BT sportscasts to subscribing audiences.

The BT Sports Youview+ box, which will soon support 4K UHD content

The BT Sports Youview+ box, which will soon support 4K UHD content

Furthermore, the new set-top box –called the “Youview+ box”—will also have the ability to store up to 600 hours of SD content, 250 hours of HD content and dozens of hours of 4K UHD content inside its 1 terabyte drive. The 4K content that comes for the new BT box will also be available to BT Infinity subscribers as of August, at least part of that content being the broadcasts from the new 4K channel the company is opening on Augsut the 2nd.

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