Last Champions League final was unique not only because of the presence of two English teams. BT Sport broadcaster is launching its HD HDR (high dynamic range) proposition for the match, providing higher contrast, more vivid colours and brighter images to enhance the action – alongside a specially filmed HDR promo featuring the band Interpol.
“We led the way with 4K which is more pixels, better quality, and surround sound Dolby Atmos,” says BT Sport COO Jamie Hindhaugh. “HDR is the missing link really, especially for live sports, where it balances out the light and also gives you a true reflection of what you would see if you’re at the game.”
The final has caused a spike in demand for the BT Sport service, making the match in Madrid the perfect opportunity to launch the HDR offering, as Hindhaugh explains: “I felt it was really important to have a showpiece piece of content that will be going into our Champions League coverage on our HDR broadcast to demonstrate what it really does and what the difference is when you’re watching in HDR.”
The match will be shot using the same Sony cameras as used for 4K coverage, and converted into HDR using Sony’s S-Log technology. “The beauty of it is there’s two outputs from the camera so we’re using the same cameras as we do for our main coverage, but also being able to create an HDR derivative as well,” says Hindhaugh. “HD HDR is mainly aimed at the mobile-first market so it’ll be available on our small-screen app and our big-screen app. 4K across a mobile network doesn’t add enough value for the size of the screens and uses up a lot more data, whereas HD HDR in effect has similar latency and similar data usage as HD.”
BT Sport will also be showing up to 70 live events in HDR per season, Hindhaugh notes: “Depending what device you’re on, what speed you have and if it’s HDR compatible, for some of our key Premier League, Champions League and FA Cup games you’ll be able to select watching in HDR on the big-screen app, and you’ll be able to select watching 4K HDR as well.”
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