EE and BT Sport laid claim to the first broadcast of a Champions League game in HD HDR direct to mobile at Wembley stadium.
The big deal for mobile in all this is the nascent mobile TV broadcast battle between 4K and HD HDR (high definition, high dynamic range). To be honest this supposed battle feels a bit redundant as there are few, if any, smartphones that would benefit from 4K, which refers to a resolution of around 4,000 x 2,000. Even the brand new Samsung flagship Galaxy S9 has a resolution of 2,960 x 1,440 and those pixels are tiny.
So even for the latest phones 4K is an overkill of around 33%, but then again regular HD is a mere 2,000 x 1000 pixels so it could be argued that overkill is better than failing to get the most out of your smartphone screen. This, it seems, is where HDR comes in and in a very simplistic sense fills that gap, while at the same time using around half the bandwidth of a 4K stream. This seems to be a better alternative and Paolo Pescatore of analyst firm CCS Insight apparently agrees.
“Mobile viewers are an important and growing part of our audience, and we’re constantly focusing on innovating to ensure the best possible experience for our sports fans,” Jamie Hindhaugh, COO of BT Sport. “HDR is the future for mobile – the technology is perfect for getting the most out of the small screen, with incredible colour and definition.”
Happy though we were for EE and BT’s mobile broadcast achievement, the evening was severely tarnished by some shocking second-half defending from a Spurs side that had previously been in control of the game. Having taken the lead in the first half Spurs reduced Juventus to speculative long-shots and farcical attempts to win penalties before they were carved apart twice in three minutes and were unable to retaliate.
Your Spurs fan correspondent delayed his departure from the stadium to drown his sorrows in the company of EE and found himself walking down Wembley way among the away fans. It has to be reported that while their jubilant singing and chanting smarted somewhat, the atmosphere on all sides was completely benign and it was impossible to hold their good fortune against them.