Be jealous: Canadian cabler to broadcast 100 live sports events in 4K UHD with HDR

rogers cable canada live sports 4k uhd hdr broadcast blue jays
When it comes to getting people into 4K Ultra HD TVs, content is king — what’s the point in getting a new 4K Ultra HD set if there’s nothing to watch on it? And while Netflix and Amazon have considerably ramped up their streaming 4K UHD offerings, many experts maintain that broadcast 4K, specifically 4K sports, is the linchpin to a successful transition to the new format. Well, if that’s the case, then  the 4K UHD revolution begins … in Canada?

Canadian cable giant Rogers announced today a new plan to get the jump on rivals at home and across the globe with what the company is calling the “world’s largest commitment to live sports broadcasting in 4K with HDR.” And while 4K UHD resolution alone is enough to make any sports fan a little tingly inside, the addition of HDR may be just as significant, allowing the company to bring bursting contrast and color shading to the latest 4K Ultra HD TVs.

The rollout, which is set to include 100 live sporting events in 4K UHD, including “every 2016 Toronto Blue Jays home game and over 20 marquee NHL Games,” will be riding along with a new 4K set top box. The service will also be released alongside the company’s new Gigabit Internet pipeline set to debut in select areas in Toronto, with a wider roll-out to 4 million homes by the end of 2016.

Rogers’ 4K UHD broadcasting is slated to land in April 2016, in time for the Blue Jays opening home game.

In total, the company promises to provide 500 hours of live sports, movies, and TV shows in 4K UHD in the new year. Along with the live baseball and hockey broadcasts, the breakdown will include 100 hours of 4K movies and series from Canadian streamer Shomi, along with 4K UHD content from Netflix, aided by the new lightning-fast Gigabit Internet service. In Canada, 4K UHD Netflix titles include Narcos, Marvel’s Daredevil, Sense8, Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp, Gracie and Frankie, Chef’s Table, Bloodline, and House of Cards.

In an effort to ensure all of those Netflix titles make it to Canadian TV sets with the highest picture quality possible, Rogers has also struck a new partnership with the service to link directly to Netflix servers.

“Our partnership with Rogers will make it even easier for Netflix members to watch their favorite shows and films on their TVs,” said Bill Holmes, global head of business development at Netflix, according to the Rogers release. “Members with a Rogers 4K set top box will be able to enjoy Netflix original series in 4K, a more immersive experience with stunning picture quality.”

Today’s move marks a serious commitment to the rising 4K UHD format for Rogers as the company looks to plow past stateside offerings from DirecTV and Comcast, both of which have been talking the 4K talk for sometime now, with little to show for it. As of now, only a few VOD offerings are available in 4K UHD from cable and satellite providers in the U.S., leaving streaming services like Netflix and Amazon as the primary providers of 4K UHD content for most users.

Live sports broadcasting in particular lends itself to the higher resolution, color reproduction, and contrast provided by 4K UHD with HDR. A coveted piece of the 4K puzzle, live broadcasting has raised its head in only small increments, usually in a testing capacity, thus far. If Rogers can accomplish its goal, the service will be far and away the biggest provider of live 4K UHD broadcasts on the global block.

No pricing has been announced for Rogers’ 4K UHD TV service , or the 4K set top box as of yet, but the company’s new Gigabit Internet service will carry a price of $150 per month. Qualifying users in Canada who want to sign up for the services can find out more information on the Rogers home website.

Product Review

Hisense’s new H8E 4K TV serves up a pretty picture at a very nice price

Budget TVs continue to get more attractive and that includes the latest from Chinese TV maker Hisense. The company’s new H8E offers 4K resolution, HDR, and a slick design for well under $500.
Home Theater

The seven best TVs you can buy right now, from budget to big screen

Looking for a new television? In an oversaturated market, buying power is at an all-time high, but you'll need to cut through the rough to find a diamond. We're here to help with our picks for the best TVs of 2018.
Deals

Here are the best 4K TV deals for November 2018

There's no doubt that a good 4K smart TV is the best way to take your home entertainment setup to the next level to enjoy all your favorite shows, movies, and games in glorious Ultra HD. We've got the best 4K TV deals right here.
Home Theater

Google Chromecast and Chromecast Ultra: Everything you need to know

Google's Chromecast plugs into your TV's HDMI port, allowing you to stream content from your tablet, laptop, or smartphone directly to your TV. Here's what you need to know about all iterations, including the 4K-ready Chromecast Ultra.
Home Theater

Don’t cash in that 401(k)! These are the best TVs you can get for under $500

These days, $500 can get you a pretty nice TV. Still, sorting through thousands of options online can be both boring and overwhelming, so we've put together a quick guide to the best TVs under $500.
Home Theater

Still listening on tinny TV speakers? Try one of our favorite soundbars

You no longer have to sacrifice sound for size when selecting home audio equipment. Check out our picks for the best soundbars, whether you're looking for budget options, pure power, smarts, or tons of features.
Smart Home

All the best Amazon Black Friday deals for 2018

Amazon may be an online-only retailer, but that doesn’t mean its Black Friday sales are anything to sniff at. In fact, due to its online status, Amazon has huge flexibility with the range of products and deals it can offer. Here's our…
Home Theater

Wireless headphones are finally awesome, and these are our favorites

Between sleek form factors, prime audio quality, and the freedom of untethered listening, there has never been a better time to pick up a pair of wireless headphones. These are the best ones currently available.
Home Theater

Throw away those EarPods -- we dug up the best headphones in every style

Trolling the internet for hours to find headphones is no way to live. Instead, leverage our expertise and experience to find the best headphones for you. Here are our 10 favorites.
Home Theater

Set your ears free with the best completely wireless earbuds

If you can't stand the tangle of cords, or you're just excited about completely wireless earbuds, you're going to need some help separating the wheat from the chaff. Our list serves up the best wireless earbuds around.
Deals

The best Target Black Friday deals for 2018

The mega-retailer opens its doors to the most competitive shoppers at 6 p.m. on Thursday, November 22, and signs indicate that the retailer means business this year. We've sifted through all of the deals, from consumer electronics to small…
Deals

Cyber Monday 2018: When it takes place and where to find the best deals

Cyber Monday is still a ways off, but it's never too early to start planning ahead. With so many different deals to choose from during one of the biggest shopping holidays of the year, going in with a little know-how makes all the…
Home Theater

What’s new on Netflix and what’s leaving in December 2018

Our complete list of what's new on Netflix for December 2018 and which titles will be removed will help you catch up on your bingeing, and also ensure you don't miss any titles heading into the streaming ether.
Home Theater

What’s new on HBO and what’s leaving in December 2018

Whether you're a cable lifer or a staunch cord cutter, there's never been a better time to get down with premium TV. Follow us to find out what's new on HBO each month. December 2018 brings sci-fi hit Ready Player One and the drama Icebox.