Comcast, which has recently bolstered its 4K lineup, this Saturday plans to show two college football games in the picture format.
The first game will be Saturday at noon ET when the number three ranked Oklahoma Sooners play the Kansas State Wildcats, barring last-minute Covid concerns, of course.
Fox will produce the game, which means it will be broadcast in 1080p and ‘upscaled’ to 4K for the home audience.
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.
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 second game in 4K on Saturday will be Alabama at Missouri at 7 p.m. ET with ESPN doing the production. ESPN normally does a live 4K event in ‘native 4K.’ Videophiles say that native 4K offers a more realistic and vivid picture than an upscaled 4K one.
Comcast this fall has dramatically expanded its 4K offering. The cable operator says it will carry 28 college football games, 38 English Premier League soccer games, 11 NFL Thursday Night Football games, and up to 14 MLB playoff and World Series games in 4K. And last month, Comcast aired the U.S. Open golf tournament in 4K.
To watch a live 4K event on Comcast, you must have a 4K TV and a 4K-enabled Xfinity X1 set-top (.XG1v4 or Xi6 model) or an Xfinity Flex (Xi6) set-top. If you do, say ‘4K’ into the Xfinity voice remote and the live event listing will appear on screen the day it’s scheduled to begin.
DIRECTV is likely to offer both of Saturday’s college football games in 4K as well. The satcaster’s guide now shows the Oklahoma-Kansas State game in 4K, but not the Alabama-Missouri game. However, the guide could be updated in the next day or two.
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— Phillip Swann