First 4K Dolby Atmos Premier League Game Broadcasting Tonight

BT scores a first with an immersive audio live broadcast

by Mark Hodgkinson Jan 31, 2017 at 1:55 PM


  • Forget transfer deadline day – it aint what it used to be – football fans with a penchant for the latest in AV should be tuning in to BT Sports tonight to watch the first ever game to be broadcast in Ultra HD with Dolby Atmos sound.
    This broadcast will be available to subscribers of the BT Sport 4K UHD channel and, during the game, a soundfield microphone will capture the layered sound of the crowd, while a range of other microphones will capture many different elements, from the referee’s whistle and the spectators’ cheers to the thud of the football being kicked. A total of 12 microphones placed around the edge of the football pitch and near the crowd will capture all of the multidimensional sounds. And of course, the sports commentators and reporters on the sidelines and in the studio will also have their own microphones so that viewers can hear their opinions.

    All of these sounds from the stadium will be captured and then mixed into Dolby Atmos audio. The control centre where all of this ‘magic’ takes place is in two outside broadcast trucks at Anfield. From these trucks, the broadcast team can monitor the live Dolby Atmos audio from all around the stadium, whether on the pitch, in the crowd, or from the public address system in the stadium roof. Inside the trucks, speakers have been installed in the ceiling to enable the monitoring of a Dolby Atmos mix with overhead sound, while the microphones from around the pitch are connected to an audio mixing desk.

    Once the UHD images and Dolby Atmos sound leave the stadium, they pass through a range of BT facilities where they are checked for quality and where additional elements, such as adverts are added. The signal is then sent via BT’s Infinity fibre optic broadband network to be delivered directly to viewers’ homes.

    Jamie Hindhaugh, Chief Operating Officer, BT Sport, said: “TV viewers are used to having the best pictures when watching sports, but sound is often overlooked. Now sports fans will be able to feel like they’re in the stadium, with the combination of Dolby Atmos and UHD providing the most immersive experience possible.”

    Selected matches during the rest of the season from both the Premier League and FA Cup will be available on BT Sport 4K UHD for BT customers.

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