Q. I am very excited to watch tonight’s big game with LSU and Clemson for the national championship. I have a new 4K and Dish so I’m hoping that Dish will have it in 4K. So who will have the game in 4K? — Bernie, Port Republic, Maryland.
Bernie, I’m sorry to inform you that Dish will not broadcast tonight’s 2020 national college football championship game between LSU and Clemson in 4K. Before I explain who will, a few facts about the game and the 4K broadcast.
The game will be played tonight at 8 p.m. ET at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans. ESPN will produce the event and simulcast it in HD on the national ESPN channel.
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.
So will carry the true 4K (albeit non=HDR) broadcast of this season’s national championship?
According to ESPN, Comcast, DIRECTV and Altice (Optimum) will be the only providers doing the game in 4K.
And take note, DIRECTV’s on-screen guide lists the game on two different 4K channels, one showing a ‘Skycam’ view of the action while the other will show the ‘Field Pass’ view.
The Skycam view is a camera that’s positioned above the field, usually behind the offense, while the FieldPass angle comes from the sidelines with commentary from Steve Levy and Adam Amin. ESPN says both ‘channels’ will be available in 4K on DIRECTV, Comcast and Altice.
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— Phillip Swann