DIRECTV to Air College Football Championship In 4K

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DIRECTV has announced that it will broadcast the 2020 national college football championship game between LSU and Clemson in 4K.

The game will be played at 8 p.m. ET on January 13 at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans.

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ESPN will produce the event and simulcast it in HD on the national ESPN channel. DIRECTV will deliver the 4K broadcast on its channel 107 or channel 105.

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It’s unclear if other pay TV providers will offer the 4K broadcast as well. But Comcast did carry ESPN’s regular season broadcasts in 4K, and therefore would seem likely to air the national championship in the format as well.

Update: Both Comcast and Optimum will offer the title game in 4K as well. See this article for more information. 

For 4K videophiles, the ESPN broadcast will be available in what’s called ‘native 4K,’ meaning the game will be produced and aired in 4K rather than ‘upconverted’ from HD to the format.

(In contrast, Fox’s Thursday Night Football 4K broadcasts were actually produced in 1080p and then upconverted to 4K. Fox will do the same with the 2020 Super Bowl.)

The native 4K broadcast should feature a smoother and sharper resolution than one that is upconverted to 4K.

However, the bad news for 4K fans is that the college championship game will be in 4K rather than 4K HDR (High Dynamic Range). Videophiles say that a 4K HDR picture is the most vivid and realistic one possible.

While today’s news will make most DIRECTV 4K viewers happy, some may caution that the satcaster’s 4K offerings are not only what they’re cracked up to be, as witnessed by last night’s technical fumble in delivering the Sugar Bowl game in the format.

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5 comments on “DIRECTV to Air College Football Championship In 4K”

  1. What will the data rate be ? Probably starved data rate like 8 Megabits per second, not at least 30 megabits per second, which is the minimum required for good 4K.

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