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The BBC Is Streaming World Cup Games in 4K and VR

Dave Parrack 31-05-2018

The 2018 FIFA World Cup is fast approaching, with the soccer tournament set to kick off in Russia on June 14. Over the course of one month, 32 teams will be whittled down to just two teams, which will compete in the final in Moscow on July 15.


If you’re planning on watching the World Cup Goal! Explore Over 80 Years Of World Cup History With These 5 Sites For many, the history of the World Cup is littered with bitter disappointments, but if you want to indulge in over 80 years of the World Cup, there's never been a better time. Read More on the BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation), you’re going to be able to watch the games in 4K UHD or VR (virtual reality). And both technologies should help you feel closer to the action.

Watch the World Cup in 4K and/or VR

For starters, all 29 games being shown on BBC One will be available to stream in 4K. The UHD stream will be available on iPlayer. However, there are a limited number of slots which will be doled out on a first come, first served basis.

The BBC claims access will be limited to “tens of thousands of people,” which, given the popularity of the World Cup, isn’t many. Still, the need to have a device capable of displaying 4K broadcasts and a fast internet connection will limit the appeal anyway.

The BBC has also developed a free virtual reality app compatible with iOS, Android devices, Gear VR, the Oculus Go and PlayStation VR. This will allow people to watch Russia 2018 World Cup games from either a virtual private box or from behind the goals.

Matthew Postgate, the BBC’s chief technology & product officer, told BBC Sport:


“From the very first tournament on TV in 1954 and England’s finest hour in 1966, to the first colour World Cup in 1970 and then full HD in 2006, the BBC has brought major live broadcasting breakthroughs to UK audiences throughout the history of the World Cup. Now, with these trials we’re giving audiences yet another taste of the future.”

Do You Even Know What 4K Means?!

The BBC is proud of its use of new technologies. The 1970 World Cup was the first to be shown in color, and the 2006 World Cup was the first to be shown in Full HD. And now we have the BBC trialling 4K UHD and VR for the first time.

If you’ve heard the terms but aren’t actually sure what they mean you should read our explainer of the difference between 4K and UHD What's the Difference Between 4K and Ultra HD (UHD)? Thinking of buying a new TV or monitor but confused by the differences between 4K vs. UHD? Here's what you need to know. Read More . And if you remain unconvinced about virtual reality you should read the big problems VR has to overcome Virtual Reality Still Has 5 Big Problems to Overcome Despite all of the hype surrounding the recent surge in virtual reality products, there are many challenges that still need to be addressed before VR goes mainstream. Read More .

Image Credit: Ulrich Peters/Flickr

Related topics: 4K, Media Streaming, Sports, Virtual Reality.

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  1. Earl
    June 1, 2018 at 5:20 am

    Is the stream going to be region locked though like the rest of BBC One?