Just under a month ago the BBC announced it had performed its very first 4K HDR broadcast test, by streaming a rugby match (between the York City Knights and Catalans Dragons) over BBC iPlayer Beta. Now the Beeb has announced it just managed a second test, involving the second half of Sunday's FA Cup Final between Manchester United and Chelsea.
As with the previous test, the latest stream involved UHD resolution and the Hybrid Log Gamma HDR - a format that the BBC helped develop specifically for broadcasting purposes. Similarly the BBC didn't actually tell anyone about this test until after it happened, and the only reason we know about it is because people were tweeting about it on Saturday afternoon. Unlike Sky, however, it doesn't look like the BBC had the 4K cameras out for the Royal Wedding. One test must have been enough for them.
— Craig Lucas (@15Craigl) May 19, 2018
All this has got people wondering whether the BBC will be broadcasting the upcoming World Cup in 4K. FIFA confirmed the matches would be filmed in 4K and HDR, but no British broadcaster has announced plans to broadcast any matches with the improved picture. Not even Sky, which has been peddling 4K TV for the past few years with Sky Q.
Maybe the BBC has some testing planned for the tournament, but if past tests are anything to go by we likely won't find out until after the fact. They are tests, after all, and it would skew the results if thousands of frustrated football fans were trying to tune in and overloading the system. Then again, with a tournament as popular as the World Cup, it would be the ideal place to stress test the BBC's 4K HDR broadcasting systems, and see if it can handle the increased traffic. [What Hi-Fi]