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Sky UK Today Extends 4K HDR Video Quality to Live TV Sport

Friday, Jul 23rd, 2021 (12:01 am) - Score 5,800
sky broadband uk tv 2020

It’s been a long time coming, but Sky (Sky Broadband) is finally adding High Dynamic Range (HDR) video quality to their Ultra HD (UHD / 4K) broadcasts of live sport this summer, which starts today with their coverage of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 and continues from 13th August when the Premier League Football season kicks-off.

Sky’s Olympic Games’ coverage can be accessed via Sky Q’s dedicated Eurosport 4K channel(s) – 410 and 411 – in 4K and HDR via the red button (similar content can also be found via the BBC and Discovery+). There are also seven Olympic specific Eurosport pop-up channels in HD, at no extra cost.

NOTE: HDR complements Ultra HD (4K) resolutions by enabling video content to contain even more colour, contrast and vibrancy.

Naturally, you’ll need Sky’s UHD subscription (HDR is included as standard) and a compatible TV (HLG) to enjoy the above content, as well as Sky’s HDR ready Sky Q box. If you don’t have it yet, but want to experience the best picture quality, you can sign-up to a special 3-month free offer via the Sky VIP app available from 16th July to 26th August.


On top of that, those wanting to access Sky Q’s HDR Premier League coverage will need a Sky Sports or Sky Sports Football subscription (you can join the action in HDR by pressing the red button during a game). Live sport joins the provider’s growing collecting of HDR on-demand TV and movies available on Sky Q, including Sky Nature documentaries, Sky Originals, Netflix, Disney+ and Amazon Prime Video.

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By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on X (Twitter), Mastodon, Facebook and .
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20 Responses
  1. Avatar photo James says:

    Getting hold of an HDR box seems to be impossible at the moment!

  2. Avatar photo Jason Smith says:

    It’d be great to have Now TV with 4k. My TV is wall mounted and don’t want to be adding extra sky dish equipment

  3. Avatar photo Jack says:

    The live HDR content we’ve had so far since Wednesday has been pretty good quality.

    Bigger issue now is Sky don’t have enough 4K channels to keep showing live sport in 4K.

    1. Avatar photo Bob says:

      How many do you think they have?

    2. Avatar photo Jack says:

      I’m guessing at the moment only 2, as they only ever seem to to show 2 live 4K channels at the same time.

    3. Avatar photo Bob says:

      @Jack Your information is out of date, but only just.

  4. Avatar photo Ben says:

    Do these come via the satellite signal or via broadband? What broadband speeds are required for UHD with HDR?

  5. Avatar photo Scott says:

    I find it surprising that it took Sky almost 2 years to catch up to BT Sport Ultimate’s video standards.

    Innovation seems to have slowed down at Sky.

    1. Mark-Jackson Mark Jackson says:

      To be fair, BT might have had HDR support in their Sport content for a while, but they only actually launched an HDR capable box AFTER Sky (in June 2021).

    2. Avatar photo John says:

      BT’s HDR was at least watchable on other devices though.
      With Sky there was just no option until now.

  6. Avatar photo Bob says:

    And you still have to spend £50 to ‘upgrade’ your Sky Q box to one that does HDR despite the fact you don’t own the box, Sky does. A great earner the greedy bstads came up with there…

    1. Avatar photo Bob says:

      It’s not an earner. Swapping out a box for £50 does not generate a profit.

    2. Avatar photo Me says:

      @Bob, it is an earner when you are locked into an 18 month contract and you are renting the box. You are paying for the exact same services including HDR as someone who simply got a newer box. It’s a blatant way to profiteer from the consumer.

  7. Avatar photo Paul. says:

    Regarding the Olympics in 4K on iPlayer – the BBC have chosen not to carry it because of the cost of the backhaul to get the feeds back to Salford in 4K.

    1. Avatar photo Chris says:

      That has the wifi of nonsense about it.

      I could understand them being concerned about extra data capacity for feeds TO the each iplayer stream, but 4k back haul from Japan will cost no more than perhaps an extra few 10G connection to say LINX & perhaps a couple of new 10G dwdm to TV house or where ever they play have their content ingestion & mixing systems.

      10G DWDM’s can be had for ~£1k per month out here in the sticks & 10G LINX peering is like ~£100 a month so the whole lot can be had for far less (lets say ~ just 2%) per month than they pay a news reader/journalist like Laura K or Emily M, certainly a lot less than 1% of what they pay Gary L.

  8. Avatar photo Roger_Gooner says:

    Sky is late to the game as I’m already getting Olympic Games on Eurosport UHD on Virgin Media’s channel 523, it’s in HLG as well. Also I think I’m right in saying that BT TV only offers Eurosport in HD.

    1. Avatar photo Bob says:

      How can you be late to the game if you both arrived at the same time? Or did the Olympics kick off early for Virgin customers?

    2. Avatar photo Roger_Gooner says:

      The Olympic Games did not start yesterday with the opening ceremony as football matches had already been played which I watched in UHD and HLG.

    3. Avatar photo Bob says:

      Which were also available on Eurosport via Sky. Not that they benefited from HDR, which was a shame. Also, where do you think that feed to Virgin actually comes from?

    4. Avatar photo CarlT says:

      For a channel the size of Eurosport I’d imagine they’re receiving a minimally compressed feed over fibre. VM aren’t rebroadcasting each and every channel from the same Astra feed that end users watch.

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