DIRECTV, Comcast and FuboTV this week will show 10 games in the Big Ten men’s college basketball tournament in 4K. The tournament will take place at the Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.
In addition, Fox will stream the games in 4K on its Fox Sports app on compatible devices, the Apple TV 4K, 4K-enabled Fire TV devices and 4K-enabled Roku products. (The games will be simulcast in high-def on The Big Ten Network, which is owned by Fox.)
The action will begin Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. ET with Northwestern vs Minnesota, followed by Nebraska vs Penn State at 9 p.m ET.
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There will be four second-round games on Thursday, starting at 11:30 a.m. ET, and four more games on Friday, again starting at 11:30 a.m. ET. (CBS Sports will air the two semifinal and championship games on Saturday and Sunday. They will not be available in 4K.).
You can see a bracket of the Big Ten tournament here.
Fox this week will also offer the Big East men’s college basketball tournament in 4K. See our article for more details. The tournament will take place in Madison Square Garden.
The network produces its sporting events, including NFL games, in 1080p and ‘upscales’ it to a 4K broadcast as opposed to shooting the event in 4K and transmitting in the same format. Upscaling is the process when one video format is converted to another. In this case, Fox takes the 1080p signal and converts it to a 4K format.
Upscaling 4K is different than what’s called, native 4K, which means the original event was produced in 4K, and broadcast or streamed in 4K as well. This is how ESPN produces its 4K sportscasts.
While some videophiles prefer native 4K over upscaled 4K, Fox’s 4K broadcasts are done with HDR (High Dynamic Range) while ESPN’s 4K events are not. HDR provides a more vivid picture, particularly more vivid colors. If done poorly, it can look like someone took out a few crayons and colored the images. But if it’s done right, the picture is more dynamic and evocative.
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— Phillip Swann