Ultra HD BT Sports channel details announced
Just two weeks left now until the BT Sport Ultra HD package shows its first live broadcast with the FA Community Shield match between Chelsea and Arsenal at Wembley on 2nd August.
The new BT Sport Ultra HD channel is part of the Entertainment Ultra HD package at £15 a month. The package includes a new YouView box that supports Ultra HD and features a larger 1TB hard drive. The other content such as FreeView and the 47 Premium channels (13 in HD) remain in their standard resolution with up-scaling if you have a UHD capable TV.
To further encourage people to opt for the best viewing experience (i.e. little point in subscribing to the Ultra HD channel without a UHD TV) BT is offering up to £500 off a LG UHD TV. The cheapest TV is the 40" LG 40UF770V at £799 (£679 with discount code) - or nothing stopping you sourcing your own via another retailer like Amazon where the 40" model is £679.
The Ultra HD service is restricted for now to those on BT Infinity 2 or better where the speed estimate is 44 Mbps and faster, which will restrict those who can order the service. This is partly down to the 4K multicast stream which needs 20 to 30 Mbps, but with live encoding you often see bursty performance so building in a large bandwidth margin helps to ensure no-one sees dropped frames and as BT Sport is live there is no opportunity to buffer content locally. For those worried this is going to cause more local congestion since BT Sport uses multicast, it does not matter whether 1 or 20 people are streaming a match on a local cabinet.
While not every FTTC line will support the new UHD channel there are plenty that do and it may encourage Sky and Virgin Media to up their game with respect to Ultra HD content.