Commonwealth Games to be broadcast in 4K UHD – but will you get to see it?

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The BBC has announced it is to trial the upcoming Glasgow Commonwealth games in Ultra High Definition as part of its coverage of the prestigious event.

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There is one caveat, however. If you want to watch in 4K, you’ll have to visit Glasgow Science Centre. As 4K is still being tested and the distribution technologies are not yet in place (let alone 4K TVs and broadcasting hardware), this is very much a test operated by the BBC’s R&D department.

Today’s announcement also follows a series of recent trials, where the Beeb has been testing out 4K broadcasting technology with its coverage of the 2014 World Cup.

It’s unknown exactly which sports will be recorded in 4K, with the BBC just stating it is to broadcast certain elements of the Games when they kick off.

The BBC is also proud of the fact that its coverage of the games will be the first to be produced and distributed entirely over internet protocol networks, sparking a milestone for the industry.

In a statement, BBC R&D controller Matthew Postgate said: “We may well look back at this trial as a watershed moment in the history of broadcasting. By proving for the first time that complex events can be created and delivered completely over IP technology, 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 kick off on July 23rd, if you can tolerate mere 1080p for viewing.

Nicholas Fearn