TV Answer Man, I saw something about the TCU-Georgia championship game being in 4K. Do you know what cable and satellite providers or streamers will have it in 4K? Do you know if it will be on 4K on the ESPN+ app? Will there be any other way to watch it in 4K? — Davey, Bel Air, Maryland.
Davey, ESPN tonight will broadcast the TCU-Georgia college football championship at 7:30 p.m. ET from SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California. Top-ranked Georgia (14-0) is a 13-point favorite although the now second ranked Horned Frogs of TCU enter the game at 13-1 after upsetting then second-ranked Michigan in the Fiesta Bowl on December 31.
ESPN last week confirmed to the TV Answer Man that it will provide a 4K feed of the championship game. A spokesperson said the 4K broadcast will not be ESPN’s main feed. Instead, it will feature the network’s ‘SkyCam,’ which is a camera system suspended over the field and controlled by a computer.
But which TV providers will carry the 4K SkyCam feed of the game, you ask?
DIRECTV, Comcast, Altice, YouTube TV and Verizon are expected to carry the ESPN 4K feed on special 4K channels which can be seen with 4K TVs and 4K-enabled set-tops or streaming devices.
But what about ESPN+, you ask? Unlike Fox, ESPN does not offer a 4K feature on either its ESPN ‘TV Everywhere’ app or its ESPN+ subscription app. The only way to watch the game in 4K will be via one of the five TV providers listed above.
(ESPN will simulcast the game in HD on the main ESPN channel and offer different views on other ESPN channels as part of the Megacast presentation.)
For 4K videophiles, the ESPN broadcast of the championship game means it will be available in ‘native 4K’ — the game will be produced and aired in 4K rather than ‘upconverted’ from HD to the format. In contrast, Fox’s college football 4K broadcasts are produced in 1080p and then upconverted to 4K.
The native 4K broadcast should feature a smoother and sharper resolution than one that is upconverted to 4K.
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— Phillip Swann