Ignore 4K TVs – BT Sport and Samsung join forces to broadcast pin-sharp 8K for first time

SAMSUNG and BT Sport have joined forces to bring pin-sharp 8K to a television for the first time in landmark broadcast.

8K TVs aren’t anything new with Samsung announcing its first television back in 2018. However, until now there’s been no native content to watch on these ultimate TVs. That was until tonight. BT Sport and Samsung have joined forces to broadcast the very first live and pin-sharp footage in the stunning quality which has four times the resolution of 4K.

The test took place during tonight’s football between Arsenal and Olympiacos with content sent from the live game straight to one of Samsung’s latest televisions.

This is a historic moment for 8K and was performed using a bespoke BT Sport 8K broadcast set and delivered to a Samsung 8K QLED TV.

This is no mean feat as 8K requires some serious technology including new broadcast cameras which cost in excess of £400,000 and huge bandwidth to beam this memory-hungry content across the network.

BT has a track record of these industry-leading innovation in broadcast, with BT Sport operating from one of the most sophisticated TV studios and delivering world-firsts in recent years around Virtual Reality, Dolby Atmos sound, 4K UHD picture quality and remote production.

Last year it launched BT Sport Ultimate, the world’s first service to feature regular programming in High Dynamic Range (HDR), as well as 4K UHD and Dolby Atmos. Today’s broadcast over IP enhances the potential of BT Sport Ultimate, a service which provides viewers with the best viewing experience possible on the platforms and devices they use to watch on.

There’s no word yet on when this service will land in living rooms but it may not be that far away.

BT Sport is hoping that customers will be able to tune in to 8K content from next year via its Ultimate Live service.

Before you get too excited there are a few things you’ll need to buy. Obviously an 8K TV is imperative but a good broadband signal will mightily important.

BT says that its footage will beamed to these new TVs via the web and it’s likely that it will need speeds of around 80Mbps to make it worth watching.

Anything under that could end up with annoying buffering.

Speaking about the live test, Dan Hastings, Director of TV and AV at Samsung UK said: “For 50 years Samsung has pioneered the TV category; from the launch of the World’s first Digital Colour TV in 1998, the world’s thinnest TV in 2002, the first double-sided LCD screen in 2006 and then one of our biggest advancements to date; the first company to bring 8K TVs to the UK in 2018.

“We have shown that we never rest when it comes to pursuing meaningful innovations that could supercharge the way people consume content. It is great that we can add showing the first 8K broadcast to that list with BT Sport in 2020.”

And Jamie Hindhaugh, chief operating officer, BT Sport, added: “BT Sport has a rich history of leading the industry with broadcast innovation to provide our customers the best viewing experience in the UK. Whether it’s last season’s launch of the world’s first regular high dynamic range service, BT Sport Ultimate, or, our world-leading remote production activity we’re constantly working to provide the best possible experience.

“Today’s broadcast in partnership with Samsung continues BT’s mission to take our viewers to the heart of sport and serve them the ultimate viewing experience.”

Expect more news on 8K in the coming weeks.

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