Verizon has announced at its web site that it will broadcast next month’s NFL Super Bowl from Miami in 4K.
The telco joins DIRECTV, Altice (Optimum) and the live streaming service, fuboTV, as pay TV providers that will carry the game in the new picture format.
Comcast’s Twitter page said last week that the cable operator would as well. But a company representative said later that the Twitter team was operating on “erroneous information” and it’s uncertain if it will offer the Super Bowl in 4K.
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 which can be accessed on streaming devices such as Roku and Apple TV.
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.)
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.
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.
Verizon says at its web site that FiOS subscribers need to do the following to watch the game in 4K:
1. Get a Fios TV One set top box and a 4K UHD TV;
2. Sign-up for Fios TV One;
3. Say “Show me football” with the Fios TV Voice Remote to watch on Channel 1498 on Super Bowl game day.
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— Phillip Swann