More news on BT Sport’s new 4K live sports subscription: BT won’t support older 4K TVs and amps.

by on July 30, 2015

Stephan Jukic – July 30, 2015

The first 4K channel in the United Kingdom, BT Sport Ultra HD, is something we’ve been repeatedly covering here at since it was first announced as an upcoming service and now we have the latest, unfortunate for some, news on this new and highly unique service.

Unfortunately for owners of earlier model 4K TVs, the BT Sport Ultra HD live sportscast subscription service won’t work with 4K televisions which don’t support HDMI 2.0 with HDCP 2.2 content copy protection and 50Hz transmission support.

Since these are all specs that only widely emerged in the 4K UHD TVs released during the later months of 2014, many of the U.K’s early adopters who had bought their own ultra HD sets in early 2014 and in 2013 won’t have access to the revolutionary new live sports broadcast content channel, which will be streamed over the internet to subscriber’s homes as of its public opening on August the 2nd.

In other words, the nature of the changing technology landscape around 4K TV is firmly punishing those who took the earliest bet in favor of 4K TV.

The BT Sport Ultra HD channel is already available for pre-order and will deliver its first ever public broadcast to subscribers on August 2nd. This will be the opening of the FA Community Shield match between Arsenal and Chelsea football (soccer in the U.S), which is a traditional first match for the new football season in the U.K.

Even those who do have compatible 4K TVs will still have to invest a little extra grease in gaining access to BT’s new live 4K sports streaming service. The subscription itself costs 15 GBP per month under the formal title of the “Entertainment Ultra HD” package and includes a number of other premium content channels in addition to the live 4K sports content that’s on the way.

The Champions League is  just one of the sportscasts that will be released live and in 4K thanks to BT Sport

The Champions League is just one of the sportscasts that will be released live and in 4K thanks to BT Sport

On top of this, subscribers who want access have to also subscribe to BT’s Infinity Broadband Internet service, which costs an additional 9.75 GBP per month and delivers the 38Mbps of bandwidth connectivity necessary for the live 4K streams to flow smoothly to a compatible 4K TV. For many homes in the United Kingdom, the Infinity internet service isn’t available to localized infrastructure limitations on ultra-high speed broadband internet access.

Additionally, those who have the right kind of 4K TV with the right specs and can access the BIT internet velocity that’s needed for the new 4K content service will also have to get their hands on the company’s new BT Ultra HD set-top box, a YouView device manufactured by a company called Humax.

The small print on BT’s own website reflects these conditions and explains how the new live sports 4K service “requires the TV to support HDCP 2.2 content protection and a picture resolution of 2160p50 (50Hz) over the same HDMI port”. The HDMI port obviously has to be of the 2.00 type found mostly in newer 4K TVs.

Fortunately, the majority of 4K TVs on the market and in consumer hands right now are newer models from late 2014 and early to mid-2015. All of these televisions, from brands such as LG, Samsung, Sony, Panasonic, Sharp, Philips and others are fully compatible with the above technical conditions.

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