TV Answer Man, will ESPN have college football games in 4K again this season? They have the best 4K in my opinion because it’s not upscaled like Fox. — John Henry, Topeka, Kansas.
John Henry, as you may know, ESPN has done a ‘4K game of the week’ during the college football season for a few years. (The sports network also has provided a college basketball game in 4K for most weeks during that season.)
But will ESPN continue its 4K coverage of college football in 2022?
ESPN will kick off its 2022 4K games this Saturday (August 27) with the Howard-Alabama State matchup at 7 p.m. ET from Center Parc Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia. (The main ESPN network will simulcast the game in high-def.)
But who will carry it? Unlike Fox, ESPN does not provide a 4K stream on its apps, ESPN or ESPN+.
The ESPN 4K feed of the Howard-Alabama State game will be available on special 4K channels from select pay TV providers, including DIRECTV, Comcast and YouTube TV. (Verizon may also provide the game in 4K but we have yet to confirm that.)
Note: ESPN does native 4K broadcasts, which means it’s broadcast on site in 4K as well as transmitted to the home in the format. (Fox upscales the on-site 1080p HDR, High Dynamic Range, broadcast to 4K HDR for the home transmission.)
And in case you’re wondering, many videophiles say the upscaled 4K picture is not as sharp as the native 4K image. But the inclusion of HDR can offer heightened colors and vividness. ESPN’s 4K broadcast does not include HDR.
John Henry, hope that helps. Happy viewing and stay safe!
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— Phillip Swann