TV Answer Man, I’ve read that the Super Bowl will be in 4K, but will Fox offer native 4K like they did for the World Cup or will it be upscaled 4K like they have done for the playoffs? I’m hoping for native 4K but I don’t have my hopes up too high!! — Robert, Syracuse, New York.

Robert, Fox first told the TV Answer Man in early December that it would offer the 2023 Super Bowl in 4K and the network has since confirmed that in press releases. But the question is: Will it be native 4K or upscaled 4K.

It’s an understandable question. Fox did offer a native 4K feed of the 2022 FIFA World Cup in November and December. But the network has done an upscaled 4K production for select NFL games for several years now, including the NFC playoff games this year. The 4K games were produced on site in 1080p HD and upscaled to 4K for the home transmission.

So what about the Super Bowl on February 12? Will you be able to see the Chiefs and Eagles in native 4K or upscaled 4K?

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Answer: Upscaled.

For those not familiar with the term, upscaling is the process when one video format is converted to another. In this case, Fox will take the 1080p HDR signal and convert it to a 4K format.

Upscaling 4K is not considered as good as what’s called, native or true 4K, which means the original event was produced on site in 4K, and broadcast or streamed in 4K as well. But many 4K fans have been impressed with Fox’s upscaled 4K pictures during this year’s playoffs. They have commented on social media that the images were definitely more vivid and realistic than the standard HD display.

I would agree with that assessment. While Fox’s 4K broadcasts can be uneven, they generally offer a far superior picture than high-def, whether it’s via a streaming service, an antenna or cable and satellite.

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By the way, Fox is the only network that has ever done the Super Bowl in 4K. The network did the 2020 game in the format as well.

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

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— Phillip Swann