TV Answer Man, I’ve been reading a few boards on Reddit and the AVS Forum and it looks like Fox is the only network supporting 4K. Can you explain how to watch 4K on Fox? Do you just turn on the Fox channel or is there some app you get? — Jamal, Riverside, California.
Jamal, you’re right. Fox is clearly the leading provider of 4K programming with Major League Baseball playoff games, college football and basketball games, NASCAR races, Thursday Night Football NFL games and the Westminster Dog Show available in the format.
The network next week will continue its 4K coverage with the entire Big East college basketball tournament and early round action from the Big Ten tournament. And as always, the coverage will be in 4K HDR, which stands for High Dynamic Range. HDR can make the 4K images appear more vivid, particularly the color. (Fox also just announced it will offer Pac-12 tournament games in 4K HDR.)
With Fox emerging as the leading provider of live 4K events, there has been considerable confusion over who can watch them, and how. Unfortunately, it’s not as easy as turning on the local Fox affiliate. They only broadcast in HD.
Several pay TV providers, including DIRECTV, Comcast, YouTube TV, FuboTV, Optimum, Dish and Verizon, among others, offer Fox-produced 4K broadcasts on special 4K channels. (You will need a 4K TV, of course.)
But what if you don’t subscribe to one of them? Can you still watch 4K on Fox?
Yes, but here’s what you need:
1. A pay TV subscription that includes Fox.
If you own a 4K TV, you can access the 4K broadcasts on the Fox Sports app with your pay TV service’s user name and password. (You can download the app from your streaming device’s app store which is a good time to note you will also need a reliable Internet service to watch the app in 4K.)
The pay TV’s user name and password are known as your TV Everywhere credentials. So even if your provider doesn’t offer the 4K games on a special 4K channel, you can still watch them in the format on the app.
If you don’t have a pay TV sub that includes Fox, you will not be able to watch the network’s programming in 4K. There is no backdoor method for cord-cutters.
2. A 4K TV and 4K device that’s compatible with the Fox Sports app.
This is where the confusion usually escalates. Some Smart TVs have the Fox Sports app in their app stores, but they may not be compatible with the 4K broadcasts; you might be able to only watch games in HD using a Fox Sports app from your set’s app store.
To watch a Fox game in 4K, the network’s official 4K page says you need one of the following devices connected to your 4K TV:
* Amazon Fire TV (Generation 2 and 3)
* Amazon Fire TV Edition 4K Models
* Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K Models (Generation 3)
* Apple TV 4K (requires app v3.23.2 and tvOS 11 or above)
* Roku Premiere
* Roku Premiere+
* Roku Streaming Stick+
* Roku Ultra
* Roku 4K/UHD TV models with Roku OS built-in
Some 4K TV owners have reported that the Nvidia Shield will also work so give it a try if you already own one.
Finally, if you have a compatible device connected to your 4K TV, and a pay TV subscription to Fox, this is what you do when a live 4K program is available on the Fox Sports app:
Click on the app.
Scroll to the thumbnail image of the event which has a 4K label on it.
Jamal, watching 4K can be an enjoyable experience, but few people will say it’s also easy or consistent. Greater technology is usually accompanied by greater complexity and 4K is no different.
Hope that helps. Happy viewing and stay safe!
Have a question about new TV technologies? Send it to The TV Answer Man at firstname.lastname@example.org Please include your first name and hometown in your message.
— Phillip Swann