TV Answer Man, I read your article this week about no regular season NFL games in 4K. But I see on the DIRECTV guide that the Thanksgiving game will be in 4K, Is that correct? — Ben, Reno, Nevada.
Ben, there has not been a single NFL regular season game in 4K this year. In fact, the networks/services that have game rights — NBC, CBS, Amazon, the NFL Network, ABC, ESPN and Fox — have never done a Sunday afternoon regular season NFL game in 4K. (Fox once did Thursday night games in 4K. Fox also did a Christmas Day afternoon game in 2020 in 4K between the Saints and Vikings.)
There has been hope within the 4K community that Fox would change that this year since the network has been more bullish than most on the format. However, I asked a Fox spokesperson this week and she said that the network would not do a regular season game in 4K during the 2022 season.
But hold on…
Both the Verizon and DIRECTV on-screen guides yesterday began displaying a 4K designation for next week’s Thanksgiving (November 24) game between the Dallas Cowboys and New York Giants.
Were the on-screen guides wrong?
I went back to Fox yesterday and asked what’s up with the Thanksgiving game. Will it be in 4K although the network just said no regular season games would be in 4K this year?
The spokesperson said: “Yes, I can confirm that game will be in 4K. Apologies it was not originally noted.”
So there you go. Fox next week will do the first 4K regular season NFL game of the year — and it will be seen by millions on a nationally televised broadcast on Thanksgiving day.
The game, which starts at 4:30 p.m. ET, can be watched on the Fox Sports and Fox Now apps in 4K HDR (High Dynamic Range) by using your TV Everywhere user name and password from your pay TV provider.
(You can learn more about which providers participate in the Fox 4K program here. To find out what you need to watch 4K on the Fox Sports app, including which devices are compatible, click here.)
The pay TV services that are expected to also carry it on special 4K channels are DIRECTV, Dish, Comcast, Verizon, Optimum, YouTube TV, and FuboTV. (In FuboTV markets where the Fox affiliate is provided with your programming package.) Check your on-screen guide for more details.
Note: Fox’s 4K broadcasts are upscaled from 1080p HDR. Upscaling is the process when one video format is converted to another. Fox takes the 1080p HDR signal and converts it to a 4K format. Upscaling 4K is not considered as good as native 4K, but the inclusion of HDR can offer heightened colors and vividness.
Ben, hope that helps. Happy viewing and stay safe!
Note: I asked Fox if there were any other regular season games that might be in 4K. The spokesperson said no.
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— Phillip Swann