At IBC (International Broadcasting Convention)in Amsterdam this weekend, BT Sport and BT’s Media & Broadcast division demonstrated one of the world's first live 8K sports broadcasts.
BT showcased an hour-long 8K broadcast of a Gallagher Premiership Rugby 7s match taking place in Northampton. The feat was achieved with the help of several media partners, including Appear TV (decoding and encoding), AstroDesign (8K Interface Conversion), Blackmagic Design (8K vision mixing), Fujinon and Ikegami (camera equipment), Leader (technical monitoring), MOOV (graphics) and Telegenic (OB support).
The chosen 8K display was Samsung's flagship Q950R 8K QLED TV, which isn't a huge surprise considering the Korean brand was the first TV manufacturers to support the BT Sport app.
This doesn't mean BT Sport is gearing up to launch an 8K channel, mind you. According to a Digital TV Europe report, BT Sport’s chief operating officer Jamie Hindhaugh said: "As the kit rolls out, we’ll begin to look to the benefit of 8K cameras to enhance our 4K output. Then there’ll come a stage where either the delivery mechanism becomes lighter or that there are 8K TVs out there and people start to want it.”
With that in mind, we could soon see improved 4K coverage on its newly launched, premium BT Sport Ultimate channel, which has aired a number of sporting events in 4K and HDR video and Dolby Atmos audio.