Comcast tells the TV Answer Man that it will air the Super Bowl in 4K after all.
The cable operator’s Twitter customer service page tweeted earlier this month that the game would be available in 4K. But a company spokesperson said later that the Twitter team was working on “erroneous information.” She added it was uncertain if Comcast would offer it in 4K.
However, that same Comcast spokesperson, Kristie Fox, said last night that the cable operator’s plans are no longer uncertain.
“Yes, we will be airing the Super Bowl in 4K,” Fox said in an e-mail to the TV Answer Man.
Comcast now joins Verizon, DIRECTV, Altice (Optimum) and the live streaming service, fuboTV, in announcing that they will air the Super Bowl in 4K. Dish, which has previously offered live events in 4K, has not responded to a question from the TV Answer Man regarding whether it will show the game in the new picture format.
Update: Dish said today it has nothing new to announce regarding a 4K broadcast of the game.
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.
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— Phillip Swann