DIRECTV has announced at its web site that it will broadcast next month’s NFL Super Bowl from Miami in 4K HDR (High Dynamic Range).

The satcaster says the game will be available in the new picture format on channel 105. Altice (Optimum) and the live streaming service, fuboTV, previously said they would carry the Super Bowl in 4K as well. (Update: Verizon will also show the game in 4K.)

This will be the first time that the Super Bowl will be broadcast in 4K.

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Fox has the broadcast rights to Super Bowl LIV, which will be played February 2, 2020 at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami. The network plans to produce the event in 1080p and ‘upscale’ it to 4K via a stream on its Fox Sports apps.

Upscaling is the process when one video format is converted to another. In this case, Fox will take the 1080p HDR signal and convert it to a 4K format. (This is what Fox did during the 2019 season with the 4K display of Thursday Night Football; the Thursday games were not produced in 4K, but they were upscaled to 4K.)

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Upscaling 4K is not as good as what’s called, native 4K, which means the original event was produced in 4K, and broadcast or streamed in 4K as well. Still, the 4K broadcast should be an improvement over 1080i or 1080p HD.

The Fox 4K stream will be available on such streaming devices as Roku and Apple TV.

Fox plans to offer the pre-game shows and the post-game shows as well as the game itself in 4K. It’s unclear if the commercials will be available in 4K, but it’s unlikely since Fox is only airing them rather than producing them.

Final note: Comcast’s Twitter page tweeted last week that the cable operator would air the game in 4K. But a company PR official said later the Twitter team was working on “erroneous information” and that it was uncertain if it would have the game in 4K.

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— Phillip Swann