BT SPORT customers are being treated to a dazzling new way to watch the footy on Champions League Final night.
Next weekend’s huge game will see Spurs take on Liverpool in a clash of the Premier League titans – and you can watch it in HDR for free.
BT Sport are offering the game on Saturday, June 1, in HDR to all of their subscribers, even if you’re on mobile.
HDR stands for High Dynamic Range, and refers to the number of colours you see in your TV picture.
It can bump up the pixel quality on your 4K TV, resulting in better, more accurate colours and better contrast.
HDR’s been touted as the future of HD TV, but few broadcasters have given it a proper go as it’s very expensive to show live.
BT Sport in HDR – my verdict
- BT Sport invited me into one of their £14million broadcast vans to take a look at live HDR sport myself – and I must say it looked incredible.
- I watched a bit of rugby and the colours of players’ shirts and within the stands really popped out.
- In particular, you can suddenly pick out details like the clouds in the sky beyond the stadium.
- It might not sound like much – it’s what’s going on in the ground that counts – but the whole package makes it all feel much more real.
- “HDR makes your experience truly realistic, it’s as if you’re really there,” BT Sports chief engineer Andy Beale told me.
- “Most people don’t know the real colour of the Man United shirt, because the colour spectrum is so narrow on standard def pictures. Now you can.”
That all changes with BT Sport’s new service, which it’s launching to subscribers later this year for an extra £5 a month.
It will cover a range of sports, including hockey, rugby and, of course, football – though it’s unclear if they’ll be on a dedicated HDR channel, or simply integrated into existing channels.
According to BT Sport, HDR will “provide colours that are closer to how we see them in real life.”
For instance, most fans “don’t know the real colour of the Man United shirt” because without HDR the colours are a little off, BT Sport chief engineer Andy Beale told The Sun.
As well as colours that are closer to the real thing, HDR also brings out finer details in dark and bright areas, he added.
How can I watch the Champions League Final in 4K HDR?
Ahead of the official launch before the new football season, BT Sport are making the 2019 UEFA Champions League Final available in 4K HDR.
BT Sport customers can watch it on the BT Sport App on their telly, tablet, mobile or Xbox One.
While they’re charging for the fully fledged service when it launches, next week’s game will be free to all BT Sport subscribers.
However, you’ll need an HDR-enabled TV or smartphone to watch it.
Where can I watch the Champions League final in HDR?
Here's everything you need to know…
The UEFA Champions League Final will be available in HD HDR on the BT Sport App via these devices and platforms:
- Chromecast Ultra
- Xbox One S and X
- Samsung Smart TV (2015 models or more recent)
- Apple TV 4K
Most modern smartphones can handle HDR, including all iPhones since the iPhone 8, and any blower in Samsung’s Galaxy S series since the S8.
The majority of 4K TVs are HDR enabled too, but if you’re unsure you can always look for the Ultra HD Premium logo.
This is basically a seal of approval by the UHD Alliance, a group composed of technology giants and content producers.
It indicates that the telly carrying it meets the minimum specifications required to be considered truly HDR compatible.
What is 4K HDR?
4K, Ultra HD and UHD are all different names for the same type of TV screen. 4K refers to the number of pixels on your TV screen – or the “image resolution”.
The pixels are the tiny dots of colour that make up the image you see on your telly.
A pixellated image is one where the pixels are really obvious, because there aren’t many. But images with lots of pixels – like a 4K movie – generally look sharper and clearer.
HDR tech is on most mid- to high-end tellys these days.
It stands for high dynamic range, and (in a nutshell) can bump up the pixel quality on your 4K TV, resulting in better, more accurate colours and better contrast.
Liverpool take on Tottenham in the Champions League Final on June 1[/caption]
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HDR is not an alternative to 4K Ultra HD (UHD), but rather a complementary TV tech that allows you to watch HDR content on compatible sets.
While 4K references the amount of pixels in your telly, HDR is all about the quality of those pixels over quantity.
Not only does it improve the TVs brightness, but it also adds more detail to the picture quality.
As a result, 4K HDR TVs boast darker blacks (or what’s known as “true blacks”) and brighter whites (and more contrast in-between) as compared to non-HDR 4K TVs.