TV Answer Man, do you know when the next Fox college basketball game in 4K is? I got a new 4K TV for Christmas and I am loving the live 4K sports!! — Jim, Cleveland.
Jim, before I answer, Fox is doing an upscaled 4K production of all its NFL playoff games this season, including the Super Bowl in February. The next Fox NFL game in 4K will be the San Francisco 49ers-Philadelphia Eagles NFC championship on Sunday at 3 p.m. ET.
But you don’t have to wait until the weekend to enjoy live sports in 4K on Fox. The network tonight will offer a 4K stream of the Iowa-Michigan State college basketball game at 7 p.m. ET. Michigan State, which is 13-7, is a 57.1 percent favorite to beat the 12-7 Iowa Hawkeyes, according to ESPN’s Matchup Predictor.
The 4K HDR (High Dynamic Range) stream can be watched on the Fox Now or Fox Sports apps by using your TV Everywhere user name and password from your pay TV provider. (The game will be simulcast in high-def on FS1. Consult your on-screen guide for more information.)
(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 the game 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 produces most of its sporting events, including NFL games and college games, in 1080p and ‘upscales’ it to a 4K broadcast as opposed to shooting the event in 4K and transmitting in the same format. Upscaling is the process when one video format is converted to another. In this case, Fox takes the 1080p signal and converts it to a 4K format.
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Upscaling 4K is different than what’s called, native 4K, which means the original event was produced in 4K, and broadcast or streamed in 4K as well. This is how ESPN produces its 4K sportscasts.
While some videophiles prefer native 4K over upscaled 4K, Fox’s 4K broadcasts are done with HDR (High Dynamic Range) which can provide a more vivid picture, particularly more intense colors. If it’s done right, the picture can be more dynamic and evocative.
Jim, hope that helps. Happy viewing and stay safe!
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— Phillip Swann
I watched some of the 4K coverage of the NFL playoffs and my set did not indicate HDR. It usually does. This is on FiOS One. The picture was darker and I had to change the settings to get it brighter. Just my experience.