How To Watch The 2018 FIFA World Cup In 4K UHD & HDR In The U.S
Stephan Jukic – June 15, 2018
The 2018 FIFA World Cup is finally here and 32 international teams will be competing against each other for a month of matches to see which country is the true soccer (football for all you non-Americans) champion of the world in 2018.
Fortunately, this absolute giant of an international sports event is also fairly widely available worldwide as a live 4K event that’s going to be shown by numerous broadcasters and streamers on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean. Thus, for those of you who want their World Cup matches in its best possible clarity outside a literal live viewing, plenty of ultra HD options are ready this year.
The 2018 World Cup is even going to be getting the HDR treatment by some broadcasters for really spicy colors and contrast. Now for all you U.S viewers, here’s how all the live matches can be viewed in 4K ultra HD with HDR. The following sources in our little guide cover all the official viewing options we know of.
Obviously, before you can watch any World Cup matches by any provider in ultra HD resolution, you’ll first need a 4K TV. If you also want the HDR coverage (assuming it’s available in your area), that TV will need HDR capability as well.
We really recommend buying one of these anyhow; for general reasons of incredible picture quality that even works for non-4K content. In other words, this year’s World Cup gives you a great excuse to finally buy if you don’t yet own one of these TVs. 4K TVs are cheaper and better than they’ve ever been before in any case, and virtually all newer 2017-2018 models come with at least some kind of HDR display support.
For our part, we recommend the best and most powerful 4K TV you can get your hands on, and need to mention that you’ll get particularly awesome motion handling of live sports on OLED TVs and 4K LCD TVs with 120Hz display panels, but this decision is ultimately up to you and your budget. Even a modest price-friendly 2017/2018 ultra HD TV can deliver some superb display performance for sportscasts.
Where and how to watch
In North America and in the U.S in particular, you can choose from a total of six different providers for your full dose of 4K World Cup coverage. However, the latter four of these that we’ve listed below come with some conditions attached, so keep that in mind if you want the real FIFA deal.
Telecom giant AT&T’s DirecTV network is going to broadcast all 64 2018 FIFA World Cup games live and with full HDR integration to subscribers of their widely available service. Basically, it’s probably your most comprehensive and accessible FIFA viewing option if you’re an existing customer or want to sign up. The broadcasts will be available on DirecTV’s channel 106 and anyone who has a 4K-capable DirecTV programming package with one of the service’s receivers in their home can access them whenever the matches are on. We do need to mention that subscribers to DirecTV’s OTT streaming service, DirecTV Now will not have access to the live 4K FIFA coverage
- Layer3 TV
Denver-based Layer3 is only available in several select markets across the U.S, including Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas, Longmont and Washington DC –and obviously Denver as well—but just before the FIFA World Cup 2018 launched on June 14th, the T-Mobile owned multichannel stream provider announced that it too is going to offer coverage of the World Cup in 4K HDR via Fox Sports live. Subscribers to any of Layer3 TV’s set-top boxes can access the games since all of the providers devices support 4K resolution.
- Dish Network
Customers of Dish Network with a 4K-capable subscription can also access fully live coverage of the FIFA World Cup in 4K and with HDR support as well. However, for some reason, Dish will only deliver 56 of the total of 64 games in this resolution/with HDR coverage. All of the available matches will be viewable from channel 540 and you can get the full schedule of matches here, from the broadcasters own website.
- Altice USA
Altice is a U.S cable provider and it too has announced that it’s delivering 4K coverage of the FIFA 2018 matches. The broadcaster has stated that a majority of them will be available to its cable TV platform subscribers and those who do want to watch them will also have to have one of the brand’s recently-released Altice One receivers, which comes with the Altice USA Optimum service.
- Comcast Xfinity X1
Comcast’s Xfinity X1 content service, available through the brand’s set-top box of the same name, will be serving up the World Cup in 4K HDR as well but in this case with one huge catch; the games will only be available as a VOD option for next-day viewing. Comcast does claim that these recordings will come with full HDR support for customers of their 4K-capable set-top boxes. Bonus features in the slightly flaccid next-day Comcast offer do however include “support” services for on-screen notifications about when a match is beginning and options for Spanish and English language support features. Game stats, highlights and access to the same VOD FIFA content through the Xfinity Stream mobile app are also included with this offering.
- Hisense & Fox Sports App
Finally and maybe most restrictively of all, there’s the U.S World Cup coverage offer from Hisense the TV manufacturer with the Fox Sports app. In this case, sure, you can enjoy full 4K HDR coverage of the World Cup and even get it in HDR but you’d better be the proud owner of a Hisense 4K TV to do it, and it has to be one of a certain limited range of models, with the Fox Sports app downloaded and ready to go for watching the matches. Hisense is incidentally one of the World Cup’s sponsors for this year.
This particular viewing opportunity works only for subscribers of cable or satellite TV with the Fox and FS1 networks included and specifically with Hisense’s H6E, H8E and Laser HDR TV models as far as we’re aware. The Fox Sports app has to be downloaded to them as well. The scope of the broadcast is indeed awesome though, with five different live video feeds and 32 different camera angles to choose from during highlights.
Story by 4k.com