BBC and Sony to trial 4K TV at Wimbledon

wimbledon 4k
Advantage 4K

Sony and the BBC are to trial 4K TV broadcasts at The Wimbledon Championships later this summer.

Sources inside Sony and the BBC have confirmed to TechRadar today that Sony's OB (outside broadcasting) trucks and camera equipment will be deployed to the All England Club this summer to film and potentially broadcast the tennis tournament in Ultra HD.

The two organisations have teamed up at Wimbledon before, trialing HD and 3D in the early days of those technologies. The BBC will handle the filming while Sony will bring the equipment and the technical expertise. And as we've seen, Sony is mad for 4K right now.

While 3D has failed to capture the imagination of the public, 4K promises to make a huge impact in films and TV, with hundreds of 4K movies and TV shows currently being mastered for 4K release over the next few years.

4K, set and match

"We're trialing 4K at Wimbledon this year," said our source. "We're really excited about 4K, it's definitely something the public are going to love so we're keen to start rolling it out as soon as possible. When you look at it, you feel something, like the jump from SD to HD, it's amazing. Wimbledon is going to look better than ever."

It's made possible by the powerful new HEVC broadcast codec which uses advanced compression tech to squish 4K TV signals down to a bitrate of around 20Mbps. That compares favourably to the 12Mbps of HD broadcasts - only a small increase given the four-fold increase in resolution.

It's not yet been confirmed to us whether there will be a 4K broadcast of the event, but it seems likely - there's a lot of spare bandwidth available on satellite and 4K TVs are about to flood the highstreet.

James Rivington

James was part of the TechRadar editorial team for eight years up until 2015 and now works in a senior position for TR's parent company Future. An experienced Content Director with a demonstrated history of working in the media production industry. Skilled in Search Engine Optimization (SEO), E-commerce Optimization, Journalism, Digital Marketing, and Social Media. James can do it all.