- BT Sport teamed with Samsung and other partners in another trial of 8K broadcasting.
BT Sport teamed with Samsung and other partners in another trial of 8K broadcasting. Late-February 2020’s UEFA Europa League tie between Arsenal and Olympiacos was delivered to Samsung QLED 8K TVs using a bespoke BT Sport 8K broadcasting rig. Known partners included: Beamr (8K encoder); BlackMagic Design and Socionext (HDMI convertors); Fujinon (camera lenses); Leader (8K waveform monitors); Sony Professional Solutions Europe (cameras, monitors, and servers); and Telegenic and Timeline TV (outside broadcasting). The project progresses BT Sport’s 8K preparations beyond a demonstration of Gallagher Premiership Rugby 7s coverage on the operator’s stand at September 2019’s International Broadcasting Convention (IBC), and an earlier “8K virtual reality” trial based on May 2019’s FA Cup Final (BTwatch, #306 and passim). Appear TV (encoding), Astro Design (interface conversion), and Ikegami (cameras) were among enablers for the IBC project. Although the trial was deemed a success, critics maintain that 8K technology still lacks a marketable use‑case, with any quality improvements over 4K broadcasts apparently almost imperceptible on the small screen. There are suspicions that pushing 8K development is more about selling bandwidth, codecs, and TV sets than genuine improvements to customer experience. Previously, BT Sport has indicated that 8K demos and trials serve to encourage wider uptake of higher end services, such as the BT Sport Ultimate offering it launched in 2019.