TV Answer Man, do you know if Dish will have the Super Bowl in 4K? Or one of the streamers? And I heard that it will be Dolby Vision 4K. Is that true? Can anyone watch it in Dolby Vision? — Neal, Pittsburgh.
Neal, this year’s Super Bowl between the Philadelphia Eagles and Kansas City Chiefs will take place on Sunday, February 12 at 6:30 p.m. ET from State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. Fox will stream the game in 4K HDR (High Dynamic Range) and HD on its Fox Sports and Fox Now apps as well as broadcast it in high-def on Fox network affiliates.
But if you can’t access the Fox stream in 4K on the apps, or simple prefer to watch it in the format on your TV provider of choice, it’s a good question you pose: Which cable/satellite/streaming services will carry it on special 4K channels?
The answer: Comcast’s Xfinity, Cox, DIRECTV, Dish, FuboTV, Verizon, Altice’s Optium and YouTube TV.
As you can see, there are a few notable omissions. Charter’s Spectrum TV will not offer the game in 4K because the cable operator does not offer anything in 4K. Hulu Live, DIRECTV Stream and Sling TV have the same issue – they don’t offer 4K with their streaming services.
Now to question two:
Comcast’s Xfinity just announced it will provide the Super Bowl in Dolby Vision 4K HDR (High Dynamic Range). The cable operator says its 4K feed will be the only one with the Dolby Vision HDR feed, which can enhance the vividness and colors of the broadcast when viewed through a Dolby Vision-capable TV.
To watch the game in Dolby Vision 4K on Comcast, you will need a 4K-enabled Xfinity X1 set-top (the Xi6, not the XG1v4) and a Dolby Vision-capable 4K TV. (Not all 4K TVs have Dolby Vision.)
Before you get too excited about Dolby Vision, Fox’s 4K Super Bowl feed will be 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. (Native 4K is when the event is produced on site in 4K, including 4K cameras, and transmitted to the home in the format as well.)
Translation: The Dolby Vision 4K feed should be impressive, but not as impressive as a native 4K broadcast viewed in DV.
Neal, hope that helps. Happy viewing and stay safe!
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— Phillip Swann