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BBC to stream FA Cup matches in Ultra HD

Semi-final and final will be available in Ultra HD and HDR for the first time

The BBC will stream one of the FA Cup semi-finals and the final itself in Ultra HD on BBC iPlayer.

The match between Manchester City and Brighton on 6th April, and the FA Cup Final on 18th May will be available in Ultra HD and HDR for the first time.

The Corporation has warned fans that due to the experimental nature of the FA Cup trial and the high bandwidth required, there will be a cap of tens of thousands of people watching live at a time, as during the World Cup.

Audiences will require an internet connection of at least 40Mbit per second for full 3840 pixel Ultra HD or 20Mbit per second for 2560 pixel Ultra HD. Footage will be played at 50 frames per second.

Phil Layton, head of broadcast and connected Systems, BBC R&D, said: “As Ultra HD becomes increasingly popular in the future, the BBC is making sure nobody is left behind. Our research has already provided a highly effective way for free-to-air broadcasters to put HDR into their Ultra HD programmes, and we’re working on a range of projects to make Ultra HD even better for audiences and the industry.”

Meanwhile, the BBC has also revealed its natural history series Dynasties was streamed almost eight million times, with almost 18 per cent of the requests (1.4m) in Ultra HD.