New 4K TV makes televised sport like being at the game

Such is the clarity of 4K TV's big screens, that you can pick out individual players - even from long distance, says Mark Jefferies

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On Sunday I was given a glimpse of what I think could be a TV of the future, especially when it comes to sport.

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In one way, it’s odd to call an Ultra HD 4K TV something for the future, because you can currently buy one of these tellys for less than £1,000. But I don’t know anyone who has one or who has watched anything on them. Yet.

At the weekend, BT sport screened the Arsenal v Chelsea Community Shield game on a special channel for Ultra HD using Ultra HD Sony cameras positioned around Wembley Stadium.

The results, which I saw for myself, were incredible – a picture that can be beamed onto a huge screen, minimum 50 inch ideally, but is so sharp it allows you to pick out individual players even from long distance.

There were only ten cameras used, but to be honest most of the time the coverage stuck with a long shot side-on, which covered about a third to half of the pitch, and was a brilliant way to see possession and all the runs around and off the ball.

BT Sport TV director Rob Levi likened it to having a seat in the top tier of the stand at the halfway line, and it was much more like the view you would get at a game, with less of the needless close ups and replays which sometime can spoil your enjoyment.

BT won’t say how many people watched the game, or how many have the BT infinity broadband and Ultra HD box you need to be able to watch the games at home.

My educated guess is those users are in the low thousands, but then we would have been saying that about HD TV in the beginning and that is now the norm. People love the quality of the picture compared to grainy old TVs in standard definition.

Ultra HD would work brilliantly for tennis and rugby or crowd shots, enabling you to pick out individual reactions amongst hundred of people.

BT pundit Rio Ferdinand even thinks the new Ultra HD will be of use to managers and goalkeepers to analyse play.

So while it may currently be just footballers and those with money to burn on the latest technology who have 4K TVs and this product right now, I think give it a year or two maximum and Ultra HD will become ultra affordable.

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Mark Jefferies is Showbiz Editor at the Daily Mirror