BBC iPlayer will be serving up Wimbledon 2018 in 4K for the first time ever.
Britain’s flagship tennis tournament returns to our screens on 2nd July and BBC Sport will be there to serve all of the court action to audiences across TV, radio and online. This year, though, there’ll be one smashing difference, as all Centre Court matches will be streamed live in Ultra HD on BBC iPlayer.
This will bring Wimbledon to life like never before, with the streams also using a wider range of colours and High Dynamic Range (HDR) technology.
Part of the BBC’s work preparing for a future where major live events can be streamed freely over the internet in such high quality on BBC iPlayer, Wimbledon’s 4K stream follows a similar trial for the World Cup. The Ultra HD tennis coverage will include every match from Centre Court throughout the tournament. It will be delivered freely over the internet to audiences with a compatible TV and a high speed internet connection. It will be an HLG HDR production based on BBC R&D’s recent work for the Royal Wedding.
As with the World Cup, though, there are a limited number of spaces for each match in this trial, with the live stream available to tens of thousands of people on a first-come, first-served basis. The Ultra HD stream will be clearly labelled on the BBC iPlayer home screen as soon as programme coverage begins.
Audiences will need a connection of at least 40Mbit/s for the full 3840 pixel Ultra HD or 20Mbit/s for 2560 pixel Ultra HD. Footage will be played at 50 frames per second. Given the variability of Wi-Fi connections, audiences may find a more consistent Ultra HD experience with a wired internet connection to the TV.
BBC Sport’s extensive digital service will keep audiences up to date with all the action and news at BBC Sport online and on the BBC Sport app, while the social media channels will offer access behind the scenes and bring fans closer to some familiar faces.
Up to 16 HD video streams will be available on BBC Sport Online via Connected TV or Mobile and BBC iPlayer, or by pressing Red. All broadcast programmes will be available for 30 days. Along with Red Button 1, five curated Red Button streams will also be available on Sky, Freesat, Freeview and Virgin Media, with Red Button 1 in HD on Sky, Freesat and Virgin Media. Action will include the main draw, plus wheelchair tennis and the boys and girls competitions.