BBC iPlayer to stream World Cup 2018 matches in 4K HDR


Jan 31, 2005
Reaction score
The BBC is to stream dozens of World Cup matches live in 4K resolution and high dynamic range colour (HDR) to UK-based audiences in June and July.

It will mark the first time iPlayer has covered one of the major sporting events in such quality.

However, it will limit the number of screens with access, and will do so on a first-come first-served basis.

The BBC also plans a separate virtual reality experience. One expert said the news had been highly anticipated.

"There had been a couple of earlier trials that had not been highly publicised, but now everyone who has compatible equipment should be able to see some of the best picture quality made available via a terrestrial broadcast," commented Andy Madden, content editor at What Hi-Fi? magazine.

"They should see a marked improvement in detail and a brighter, punchier picture than they had previously."

Can I watch the World Cup live in Ultra HD on my connected TV?
We are pleased to announce a new cutting-edge trial which will see all 29 of BBC One's World Cup matches available in Ultra HD and High Dynamic Range (HDR) on BBC iPlayer - but fans should grab their seats early as there is a limited number of spaces available (tens of thousands) for each game.

What do I need to watch the World Cup in Ultra HD?
You'll need a compatible Ultra HD TV set (supported devices listed below) and a high-speed internet connection of at least 20Mbit/s. It's recommended that a wired connection from the TV to the home router is used for the most consistent performance.

The Ultra HD stream will be available from the BBC iPlayer home screen as soon as programme coverage begins until the trial is full for that match.
What quality can I expect?
This will depend on your internet connection. For the full 3840 pixel Ultra HD, you'll need at least a 40Mbit/s connection. If your connection is 20Mbit/s and above, you'll be presented with 2560 pixel Ultra HD. All footage will be shown at 50 frames per second.

We'll also use the Hybrid Log-Gamma version of HDR which the BBC invented with Japanese broadcaster NHK. This provides improved picture quality not only to HDR Ultra HD devices, but to the vast majority of Standard Dynamic Range Ultra HD devices, too.

The experience and data gathered from this trial will help the BBC to optimise Ultra HD delivery in future.

Read our blog for further technical details of the BBC's planned UHD HDR World Cup 2018 coverage.

See also: Can I watch on-demand BBC iPlayer programmes in Ultra HD on my connected TV?

Well I'll give it a go, but I be the slots get filled really fast! ;)


Mar 25, 2003
Reaction score
Got that new TV just in time didn't you! :)

I'm also intrigued by the VR capabilities too, might give it a try on the PSVR :nod:

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments. After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.

Ask a Question