TV Answer Man, I heard a rumor that ESPN won’t do any more college football games in 4K this year. Is that true? Can you check with your sources? I hope it’s not true because I love their native 4K games. They look rad. — DeShawn, Inglewood, California. 

DeShawn, ESPN this season has done eight college football games in native 4K, including last week’s contest between Florida and Texas A&M. (Native 4K means the game was produced in 4K on site and transmitted to the home in 4K. Fox’s 4K college football broadcasts are produced in 1080p HDR on site and upscaled to 4K HDR for home transmission.)

For regular readers of the TV Answer Man, the number eight has special significance here because we learned earlier this year that the sports network would only do eight games in 4K during the 2022 regular season. So I asked an ESPN spokesperson today if last week’s game, the eighth in the network’s 4K schedule, would be the last 4K broadcast of the regular season.

The answer: Yes.

This is bad news for 4K enthusiasts, although the 4K games were only available on special 4K channels on four providers: DIRECTV, YouTube TV, Comcast and Verizon. However, subscribers to those services raved about the detailed and vivid picture on their 4K screens. (Videophiles say native 4K produces a more realistic picture, but Fox’s 4K productions include HDR, High Dynamic Range, which can enhance the colors.)

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But I have some good news for you. ESPN plans to again produce the college football national championship game in 4K on January 9, 2023 at 7:30 p.m. ET. The network did the three previous CFP championship games in 4K.

The spokeswoman did not say why the network is stopping the regular season 4K games at this point. ESPN is continuing to offer regular season college football games in HD on the regular ESPN channel. There’s also no indication that ESPN will discontinue the 4K game of the week in future seasons

DeShawn, hope that helps. Happy viewing and stay safe!

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— Phillip Swann