From 4K to ra­dio, here’s our guide to catch all the ac­tion

and ra­dio, there From 4K TV to mo­bile, on­line this sum­mer’s FIFA are many ways to fol­low our guide... World Cup in Rus­sia. Here’s

What Hi-Fi (UK) - - Contents -

“You’ll have a choice be­tween the BBC and ITV – or like us, you can ir­ri­tate your fam­ily by con­stantly switch­ing be­tween the two”

This sum­mer will see the 21st edi­tion of the FIFA World Cup. The ac­tion will take place in Rus­sia, with 32 teams look­ing to lift the World Cup tro­phy in July.

Like any other ma­jor sport­ing event, the World Cup is burst­ing at the seams with tech­ni­cal in­no­va­tion with 4K broad­casts, im­mer­sive au­dio and plenty of ways to keep abreast of the ac­tion through mo­bile and so­cial me­dia.

So if you’re look­ing to catch the ac­tion on your 4K TV, fol­low via the ra­dio or watch on­line, read on for what you can ex­pect from Rus­sia 2018.

Watch the World Cup on TV

You’ll have a choice be­tween the BBC and ITV – or like us, you can ir­ri­tate your fam­ily by con­stantly switch­ing be­tween the two to see if there’s a dif­fer­ence in pic­ture qual­ity. Matches played at the same time as the main broad­cast fix­ture can be ac­cessed through the Red But­ton on the BBC; for ITV they’ll be on ITV 4.

If the BBC adopts its Brazil 2014 tem­plate for Rus­sia, there will be a range of pro­grammes that delve into the sights and sound of the host coun­try along with the his­tory of the World Cup to sup­ple­ment the on-pitch ac­tion.

Also ex­pect a catch-up and high­lights pack­age of the pre­vi­ous day’s ac­tion on BBC Two, with full match re­plays of the day’s best match af­ter mid­night on the same chan­nel. Matches will be avail­able in SD and HD with 4K a pos­si­bil­ity – prob­a­bly on catch-up only via iplayer.

World Cup 2018 TV sched­ule

The 2018 FIFA World Cup kicks off on Thurs­day 14th June, at 4pm BST, with Rus­sia host­ing Saudi Ara­bia in Mos­cow. ITV will show that match as well as the open­ing cer­e­mony.

Once the group games are out of the way, the Round of 16 starts on Satur­day 30th, 3pm. ITV has first pick for the knock­out stages, which will see the win­ner of Group C take on the run­ner-up from Group D.

The Quar­ter-fi­nals start on Fri­day 6th July, with both matches that day on the BBC and cov­er­age start­ing at 3pm. The next day, ITV takes its turn and fo­cuses on the re­main­ing matches.

Then comes squeaky bum time as the Semi-fi­nals be­gin on Tues­day 10th July, 7pm on ITV. The day af­ter will see the other con­test on the BBC at 7pm.

The Third-place play-off is on Satur­day 14th. Then comes the mo­ment a month of foot­ball has been build­ing up to, as two teams bid for glory in the Fi­nal on Sun­day 15th July, 4pm. Both BBC and ITV will carry the fi­nal. If you’re in­ter­ested in Eng­land’s tra­vails, the men’s na­tional team will be­gin their cam­paign in anger against Tu­nisia. That’s on the BBC at 7pm, Mon­day 18th June.

The next match, against Panama, is six days later – again on the BBC at 1pm – with what’s likely to be the Group G de­cider against Bel­gium on 28th June at 7pm on ITV.

Watch the World Cup in Ul­tra HD 4K

This will be the first true 4K Ul­tra HD World Cup. Brazil 2014 had sev­eral

matches pro­duced in 4K, but 2018 will see FIFA team up with Sony to de­liver all 64 matches in na­tive 4K HDR.

Each sta­dium will have 37 cam­eras shoot­ing footage, eight of which will be out­putting in UHD/HDR.

The UHD broad­cast will also fea­ture im­mer­sive au­dio. FIFA hasn’t yet con­firmed whether this will be Dolby Atmos or DTS:X, but we as­sume it will be the for­mer; Dolby’s ob­ject-based sur­round au­dio has tra­di­tion­ally been the for­mat of choice for broad­cast­ers, with both BT and Sky opt­ing for Atmos in­te­gra­tion. The tech­nol­ogy was also used re­cently for the 2018 Win­ter Olympics in Pyeongchang.

One sig­nif­i­cant stum­bling block to view­ing the event in 4K is that nei­ther the BBC nor ITV has a 4K chan­nel. How­ever, the BBC has made head­way in de­vel­op­ing its 4K pipe­line, suc­cess­fully tri­alling Blue Planet II in the for­mat this past De­cem­ber.

The David At­ten­bor­ough se­ries was broad­cast via the iplayer in Hy­brid Log Gamma HDR, a for­mat de­vel­oped by the BBC and Ja­panese state broad­caster NHK. If the BBC pro­ceeds with 4K, it’s likely iplayer will be the av­enue through which it will do so.

And it’s not only 4K. NHK has made a firm com­mit­ment to de­vel­op­ing 8K TV – or Su­per Hi-vi­sion, as it’s also called. It was an­nounced in 2015 that NHK and FIFA had plans to pro­duce matches in 8K for this World Cup.

Things have since gone rather quiet on that front, but it’s an­tic­i­pated that NHK will use the World Cup as another prov­ing ground for its 8K pipe­line. Both FIFA and NHK have prior form in this re­spect, as the 2015 Women’s World Cup had sev­eral games pro­duced in 8K.

World Cup on­line

Your best op­tions for watch­ing the event on­line will likely come down to BBC’S iplayer or the ITV Hub.

There’s a chance BBC’S on­line con­tent could be in 4K if you’re watch­ing on the iplayer, TV com­pat­i­bil­ity and band­width speeds not­with­stand­ing.

ITV hasn’t yet an­nounced if it will make a move into 4K con­tent ei­ther on­line or on TV be­fore the World Cup – and, con­sid­er­ing how long it took the BBC to firm up its dis­tri­bu­tion net­work, it would seem un­likely in such a short space of time.

When it comes to catch­ing up on live sports, iplayer tends to carry con­tent for at least seven days af­ter its ini­tial trans­mis­sion, and we can’t imag­ine the ITV Hub stray­ing far from that, al­though that’s de­pen­dent on broad­cast rights.

The iplayer is ad­ver­tise­ment free (but don’t for­get to pay your li­cence fee), and while the free ver­sion of ITV’S Hub player car­ries ads, for £4 you can sign up to ITV Hub+, avail­able across desk­top, IOS and con­nected TVS. The fee re­moves ads and lets users down­load shows through the IOS app (IOS 10 and above). As with Now TV, there’s no con­tract and you can leave when­ever you want.

The of­fi­cial TV spon­sor of the World Cup, Hisense, has an­nounced a spe­cial app that will stream matches in 4K. How­ever, this is a Us-only pro­mo­tion, and there’s been no an­nounce­ment of a sim­i­lar app for UK Hisense own­ers.

There’s FIFATV on Youtube. It has high­lights pack­ages, along with in­ter­views, pre­views and full nos­tal­gic re­plays of clas­sic matches from pre­vi­ous World Cups.

And, if that doesn’t float your boat, Copa90 will of­fer en­gage­ment on the World Cup from a sup­porter’s per­spec­tive, with in­ter­views and short pro­duc­tions on fan cul­ture.

Fol­low the World Cup on mo­bile

On mo­bile, you can ex­pect con­tent on BBC’S iplayer, ITV’S Hub player and Youtube to mir­ror what we’ve al­ready cov­ered, as well as a range of ac­tiv­i­ties across so­cial me­dia.

The BBC Sport app will push alerts (if you want it to, of course) for goals, half- and full-time re­sults as well as for start­ing line­ups.

FIFA will have its own of­fi­cial app where you can keep track of scores and dis­cover live blogs, match high­lights, pho­tos and watch ex­clu­sive videos.

And for those hop­ing to keep track of the ins-and-outs of the tour­na­ment through pod­casts, there will be plenty to sate your in­ter­est.

The likes of Foot­ball Weekly, The Foot­ball Ram­ble and The To­tally Foot­ball Show will fea­ture a reg­u­lar dose of round-ups, pre­views and re­views, dis­sect­ing the tour­na­ment’s most notable top­ics and trends.

The World Cup on ra­dio

On the ra­dio side, there are two op­tions to choose from for your lis­ten­ing plea­sure. On the one side you have TALKSPORT, whose cov­er­age in­cludes ex­clu­sive in­ter­views and live com­men­tary of ev­ery match. How­ever, its cov­er­age will sup­ple­mented by ads.

On the other side you have BBC’S ad-free cov­er­age on Ra­dio 5Live, which will cover the matches, and of­fers in-depth com­men­tary, spe­cial re­ports and news bul­letins.

“The BBC Sport app will push alerts (if you want it to, of course) for goals, half- and full-time re­sults as well as for start­ing line­ups”

For in­ter­views and high­lights, there’s FIFATV, avail­able on Youtube

The dream of all 32 World Cup team cap­tains

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