DirecTV and Fox Sports To Offer US Open Golf Live In 4K HDR In June
By Stephan Jukic – May 17, 2018 - 4k.com
If you’re a serious fan of Pro Golf and want to see many of the world’s best players in the clearest possible video resolution live, then the US Open between June 14th and the 17th is your ticket to one hell of an experience. This special broadcast event will be brought exclusively to DirecTV customers courtesy of Fox Sports through its use of 5G network technology and it will be a first-ever event. That is to say that this will be the first time in sports history where a 4K camera crew is on hand to transmit the major plays live in ultra HD over a 5G network to a public audience.
Fox Sports viewers with subscriptions to DirecTV’s 4K service will have access to the broadcast and we’d call this a must-see event for 4K TV-owning golf fans across the U.S.
5G technology is a new angle to live 4K sportscasts but the technology has been toyed with in the past as a possible effective solution to ultra HD broadcasting due to its ultra-powerful multi-gigabit data capacity and its growing use across different types of networks. 5G was even used already in a major sports broadcast when Intel helped with delivery of the recent PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games through the technology.
The highly experimental but fully subscriber-accessible Fox Sports 5G broadcast will however be the first ever for a major U.S sports event.
Fox will be recording the U.S Open though its Fox Innovation Lab production teams and the footage will also feature HDR mastering for compatible DirecTV subscribers’ 4K TVs. Shooting will be done by two 4K cameras positioned at a strategic location and from there distributed via the 5G network by the Fox Sports production truck.
Most importantly of all though, this public trial of 4K over 5G network technology will let Fox Sports and other broadcasters know how viable the technology is for future sports or other live broadcasts. If it proves to be highly workable (and this isn’t exactly a settled matter quite yet) then the experiment paves the way for a whole host of easily-accessible major sports content for the public via 5G networks.
Partner companies in the trial run include Ericsson, which will be providing 5G radios, broadband, a simulated network core and a 4K video decoder/encoder; and Intel, which is going to deliver the main 5G Mobile Trial Platform to Fox Sports. This device can transmit data at up to 1.6Gbps while converting 5G data to IP format. In other words, more than enough broadband and compatibility for the 4K video of the Golf tournament.
As for the consumer end of this entire broadcast, the main events will be available to DirecTV subscribers with 4K-enabled packages and their own 4K UHD TVs in their homes. Having an HDR TV is also going to be useful since the broadcast will be going live with HDR encoding. Further details about how DirecTV subscribers can access the U.S Open in 4K on June 14th might be forthcoming but so far as we know, if you’re already a customer of DirecTV with 4K service and a 4K TV, you’re good to go on this.