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BT Sport delivers UK’s first live 8K top-tier sport broadcast into the home

The Premiership Rugby match between Saracens v Bristol Bears on 26th March was produced entirely remotely

BT Sport and a range of partners have successfully broadcast the UK’s first top-tier sports broadcast in 8K into the home.

The broadcaster delivered the Premiership Rugby match between Saracens v Bristol Bears on 26th March live in 8K into selected homes.

The camera feed set-up during the match

The match was produced remotely and without a significant on-site presence, and BT Sport said the trial enabled it to further explore OB and production workflows for future live 8K broadcasts – testing the ability to run 8K HDR with match coverage, domestic presentation and playout including ad insertion.

The broadcast was supported by a range of partners, including:

  • Premiership Rugby
  • BT Media & Broadcast (contribution links from Tottenham to Stratford)
  • Sony Image Products and Solutions Europe (two UHC-8300 cameras and a PWS-4500 server to record the output)
  • Samsung Electronics UK (QN800 Neo QLED 8K Televisions to BT Sport Stratford Studios)
  • EMG UK (8K truck and onsite facilities)
  • Fujinon (22:1 wide angle and 86:1 box lens)
  • Appear (8K contribution encoders and decoders integrated into the Vena network)
  • Synamedia (8K distribution/streaming encoder and origin server)

Jamie Hindhaugh, chief operating officer, BT Sport, said: “BT Sport continues to lead the industry with innovation that provides our customers with the best sports viewing experience in the UK. Whether it’s last season’s launch of the Matchday Experience features on our App, or, our recent trials of 5G-enabled augmented reality viewing, we’re on a mission to take our viewers to the heart of sport.”

Faisal Mahomed, director of BT Media & Broadcast added, “This successful 8K HDR remote production, showcases the capability of our new smart broadcast network, Vena – delivering live sport, in the highest possible quality and continuing BT’s track record of world-firsts.”

In February 2020, BT Sport worked with Samsung on the first live 8K public sports broadcast in the UK, delivering an UEFA Champions League match between Arsenal and Olympiakos from the Emirates Stadium using a bespoke BT Sport 8K outside broadcast set up, to Samsung QLED 8K TVs.