Virgin Media TV subscribers will be able to watch Wimbledon in 4K Ultra HD and HDR when the prestigious tennis tournament starts on Monday July 1, 2019. If you're a tennis fan you will 'love' this 'ace' visual presentation, so long as you have 'lobbed' the necessary subscription fee to Virgin and have the Virgin TV V6 box.
Ironically, BBC viewers can enjoy this 4K feast for 'free' on most modern 4K TVs, via iPlayer or red button – well, free so long as you ignore the license fee part of the equation. However, amongst subscription providers, this puts Virgin at a big advantage over the currently HDR-less Sky.
Viewing will be via the BBC iPlayer app built into the Virgin TV V6. Unlike the BBC's terrestrial feed, and some other versions of the iPlayer app, Virgin's one is capable of supporting both UHD and HDR, giving you all the cross court volleys you could dream of at higher resolution and with greater contrast and colour brilliance than ever before. All this year's Wimbledon centre court matches will be in 4K HDR, while all broadcast matches will also be available to watch in HD, including outside of the iPlayer app.
Arch-rival Sky Q shows a number of Hollywood blockbusters and live sporting events, in 4K UHD but does not currently offer the ability to view HDR content anywhere, any how, although the satellite company has promised the feature will be available sometime later this year as an over-the-air software update to Sky Q boxes.
That means Virgin TV V6 is a trailblazer in this tennis-and-HDR arena. Last month, the company achieved a UK broadcast first by utilising the Hybrid Log Gamma (HLG) version of HDR, as also used by the BBC and Japan's NHK, on its TV V6 set-top box to broadcast matches from the French Open at Roland Garros in 4K UHD with HDR on Eurosport. Virgin also allowed subscribers the chance to watch last year’s Ladies and Gentleman’s finals in in 4K UHD for the first time on Eurosport.
Virgin Media TV V6 customers will also be able to watch every single match at Wimbledon in HD for the first time by pressing the red button on their remote. Full broadcast coverage will be available in HD on the traditional, linear BBC channels.
Virgin Media Chief Digital Entertainment Officer, David Bouchier said: "It’s been a great summer for tennis fans on our TV platform with Roland Garros in 4K HDR last month and now Wimbledon.
"Our customers will once more feel like they’re court-side with every smash and volley in the best picture quality possible, all from the comfort of their home. Virgin TV really is the best way to watch the best of this summer’s sport."
The news comes days after Virgin Media exclusively told T3 to expect Amazon Prime Video to land on its the TV V6 "very soon". The partnership marks the first time Prime Video has struck a deal with any set-top box provider to be included on its set-top box, which is currently used by some four million viewers in the UK.