Q. You did a story about DIRECTV and some other guys doing NFL games in 4K. But what about Comcast? Will it show some games in 4K? — Pete, Boston.
Pete, I am happy to report that Comcast has joined the list of pay TV providers that will air Fox’s Thursday Night Football games in 4K. The group also includes DIRECTV, Altice Optimum, Verizon Fios, TVision (formerly Layer3) and fuboTV.
Update: Comcast has not shown the first two 4K Thursday Night Football games in 4K although the cable operator and Fox said it would. Comcast has yet to offer an explanation, but we will monitor this situation and report back here if we learn more.
In addition, Fox has announced that it will offer a 4K stream of the games via the Fox Sports and Fox Now apps. To watch the games in 4K on the Fox apps, however, you will need an Apple TV 4K-enable device, or one of the following Roku devices: Roku Premiere, Roku Premiere+, Roku Streaming Stick+, Roku Ultra, or Roku 4K TV models with Roku OS built in.
The 4K games will start with this Thursday night’s matchup between the Philadelphia Eagles and Green Bay Packers at 8 p.m. ET.
Comcast’s 4K coverage of the NFL games in October will include:
Thursday, October 3, 2019 at 8:00 PM ET
Los Angeles Rams at Seattle Seahawks – 4K HDR
Thursday, October 10, 2019 at 8:00 PM ET
New York Giants at New England Patriots — 4K HDR
Thursday, October 17, 2019 at 8:00 PM ET
Kansas City Chiefs at Denver Broncos – 4K HDR
Thursday, October 24, 2019 at 8:00 PM ET
Washington Redskins at Minnesota Vikings – 4K HDR
Thursday, October 31, 2019 at 8:00 PM ET
San Francisco 49ers at Arizona Cardinals – 4K HDR
To watch these games on Comcast, you can say “4K” into your Voice Remote, go to Sports in your X1 set-top menu and then select NFL on the guide.
This Thursday will mark the first time that an NFL game will be broadcast to home viewers in 4K. However, it’s worth noting that the Thursday night games will be produced in 1080p/HDR, and ‘upconverted’ to 4K/HDR for the home broadcast.
If the games were produced in 4K, the picture quality would be better. However, the upconverted 4K picture should look better than the NFL’s normal 720p or 1080i HD picture.
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— Phillip Swann