Pay-TV BT Sport has broadcast live the meeting of the Premiership Rugby between Saracens and Bristol Bears at 8K resolution. Moreover, the British broadcaster is not a novice with very high definition: already in 2020 he had carried out a similar test concerning the UEFA Europa League match between Arsenal and Olympiacos. However, the experiments start from even further away: in 2019 BT Sport showed about an hour of an 8K rugby match at the International Broadcasting Convention in Amsterdam.
The new test organized last March 26 was important as it took place in a different way to those used in 2020. In the case of the aforementioned UEFA Europa League match, the event was filmed at the stadium and displayed on an 8K TV. present within the same sports facility. For Saracens vs Bristol Bears instead it was decided to replicate the conditions of a real live television broadcast.
The production was obviously carried out at the stadium where the match took place. Many illustrious names have contributed to the realization:
- BT Media & Broadcast provided the necessary for the connection with the BT Sport Stratford Studios
- Sony Image Products and Solutions Europe provided UHC-8300 cameras and a PWS-4500 server
- Samsung Electronics UK sent a Neo QLED 8K QN800A TV to BT Sport Stratford Studios to watch the game
- EMG UK offered the OB Van 8K (the pickup truck) and on-site facilities
- Fujinon has made lenses available for video cameras
- Appear dealt with 8K encoders and decoders
- Synamedia provided 8K encoder for signal distribution / streaming
The transmission was made in 8K HDR and the signal arrived successfully on the Samsung QLED TV installed in the BT Sport studios in London, practically replicating the same steps that would have taken to distribute the sporting event to ordinary spectators in their living room.
However, the success of this test does not prelude to a short start of 8K television broadcasts. Many broadcasters are carrying out similar experiments all over the world and, as confirmed by the 8K Association, the steps forward are concrete as well as the possibility of having 8K coverage for some events (especially sports). However, it will still take time: currently the only active channel is BS8K, broadcast on the satellite since 2018 thanks to the Japanese state broadcaster NHK.