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Better Move to Canada If You Want to Watch Live Sports in 4K Next Year

Rogers will broadcast all 81 Toronto Blue Jays home season games, and over 20 NHL games, in 4K starting January 23.

by Matthew Braga
Oct 5 2015, 5:55pm

Image: Keith Allison/Flickr

Want to watch some of next year's season of baseball or hockey in ultra-high def 4K? Better move to Canada.

On Monday, Canadian TV provider Rogers announced that it would broadcast all 81 Toronto Blue Jays home season games in 4K, and "over 20 marquee NHL games" starting with a game between the Montreal Canadiens and Toronto Maple Leafs on January 23.

Rogers president and CEO Guy Laurence said in a statement that it was "the world's largest commitment to 4K broadcasting" so far.

The big question for potential 4K television buyers has been where to get content, as well as the type of content available. Netflix, for example, already offers a limited catalog of movies and television shows available for streaming in 4K, as do US TV providers such as DirecTV and Comcast.

Actual broadcasts of live events, however, have proven elusive.

A Wired article from February accurately summed up the state of live sports and events broadcasting in 4K quite well: lots of tests and pilot projects, but no firm commitments from broadcasters. As of February, for example, Wired reported that the NFL still has no official plans to record and broadcast games in 4K.

Part of the problem is infrastructure. Netflix, for example, recommends Internet an internet connection speed of at least 25Mbps—five times the recommended connection speed required to stream 1080p HD. That's why Rogers' announcement also comes with a commitment to offer Gigabit to its "entire cable footprint," or over four million homes, by the end of 2016.

As for everyone else, you'll just have to keep suffering through boring old HD.