Rogers commits to 4K with plans to broadcast Toronto Blue Jays games in 4K HDR
Rogers has announced Rogers 4K TV, the network’s commitment to go all-in on 4K in 2016, with plans to broadcast every Toronto Blue Jays home game and over 20 marquee NHL games in 4K with high-dynamic range (HDR) on Sportsnet. “You can see you the stitching of the ball, the writing on the puck,” says Guy Laurence, president and CEO, Rogers Communications. “It’s a whole new way to watch TV.”
In total, the Toronto-based network will broadcast over 100 live events in 4K. Rogers also inked a deal with the Canadian streaming service shomi and Netflix, giving customers access to an ever-growing catalog of Netflix original series in 4K and over 500 hours of live sports, movies, and shows.
While 4K TV sets are already on the market and in living rooms throughout North America, the use of 4K – particularly in live sports – continues to be as a specialty production tool within an HD complement, due to challenges of the transmitting and distributing a 4K signal. However, because Rogers owns the Toronto Blue Jays and Rogers Center in addition to being the being the team’s cable provider, the network controls the entire infrastructure from capture to delivery.
“Our engineers have been working for a long time on [ensuring that] what they capture is what shows up in living rooms,” says Laurence. “We own the team, stadium, Sportsnet; we control the boxes, we control the infrastructure, so we control the end-to-end experience.”
Rogers worked with Dome Productions to build two 4K-capable mobile units, which will hit the road in early 2016. The network will begin to rehearse the new 4K workflow in the coming weeks, with plans to be fully 4K-ready by January.
In 2016, Rogers will launch Rogers Ignite Gigabit (4K-ready gigabit internet speeds), a new 4K set-top box, and the world’s largest commitment to broadcasting in 4K with HDR. The network will broadcast select NHL games, beginning with the Montreal Canadiens at Toronto Maple Leafs on January 23, and all 81 of the Toronto Blue Jays’ home games.
Perfect for streaming 4K, Rogers Ignite Gigabit internet will start to roll out this year in downtown Toronto and the Greater Toronto Area; by the end of 2016, Rogers gigabit internet speeds will be available to over four million homes, including Rogers’ entire cable footprint across Ontario and Atlantic Canada.
“I can’t tell you how proud we are of the team and what they’ve achieved,” says Laurence, “and hopefully this is just the beginning.“