The UK's BT Sport channel begins to wade into the crystal clear 8K world after an ultra high resolution Gallagher Premiership Rugby 7s match in Northampton was broadcast to participants of the International Broadcasting Convention in Amsterdam.
It was in no way a small task, requiring collaboration with various 8K specialists and camera providers, including Blackmagic Design, AstroDesign, Appear TV, Fujinon and Ikegami.
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It is the first live 8K broadcast from the British sports channel, and although it is certainly not the last, it will take a while before it appears on our TV screens regularly.
BT Sport COO Jamie Hindhaugh was quoted in Digital TV Europe and said the team "started to look at the advantage of 8K cameras ' s, but they had to wait until" there were 8K TVs ' s and people want it to start "before wider implementation.
Do we need 8K broadcasts?
BT Sport already does a lot of 4K sports coverage and serves the increasing number of 4K TV owners in a market where Ultra HD panels are the norm. However, when it comes to 8K, the question is not there yet.
Although there are more 8K sets on the market – such as the Samsung 55-inch 8K QLED – 8K panels are still limited to high-end sets with substantial price tags. The question also arises as to whether sports matches should really benefit from 8K.
To a certain extent, all broadcasts would benefit from more detail and clarity, especially from distinguishing specific players & apos; functions or numbers on their jerseys.
More important for live sports, however, is how to implement TV motion control so that images retain their sharp edges even in times of fast action, such as sprinting across the field or grabbing another player on the ground. Motion processing is something that often suffers with cheaper TVs – given the limited power of the panel processor – but will work fine in most good 4K TVs.
Then make sure you don't have to wait for an 8K set to get a great picture when rugby is on.
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