Virgin Media Makes History with 4K HDR Broadcast

Virgin Media became the first UK TV platform to broadcast in 4K/Ultra HD with high dynamic range (HDR) with its Sunday coverage of the French Open tennis tournament that runs through June 9th in Paris.

Viewers with Virgin’s V6 set-top box and an HDR-enabled 4K TV were able to receive the HDR broadcast by pressing a red button on the remote control while watching one of several channels. HDR was achieved using the Hybrid Log-Gamma (HLG) format developed by the BBC and Japan’s NHK.

The HDR broadcast is a follow-up to last year’s first-ever 4K broadcast of the tournament, both born out of a partnership between Virgin Media and Eurosport.

The live 4K HDR coverage continues every day for the duration of the tournament, known as Roland-Garros, but is restricted to matches that take place on the Phillipe Chatrier court.

“We are upping our game once more this summer by broadcasting one of the most prestigious tennis competitions in the highest picture quality currently available,” said David Bouchier, Virgin’s chief digital entertainment officer. “Our customers will be able to get even closer to the action with HDR technology on our V6 box bringing the action right into their homes.”

The V6 box is expected to support Dolby Atmos sound via a future firmware update.


HDR (High Dynamic Range) Explained

utopianemo's picture

Have any of you folks seen HLG in action? How does it compare to HDR10 and Dolby Vision?

Deus02's picture

The only place that I have been able to view HLG content is on Youtube and it is very similar in look to HDR. It is labeled as HLG HDR. One of the oddities that I noticed was although the specific picture modes that are enabled in HDR content on my monitor are the same for HLG, for some reason, with HLG content only, it disables the 2/20 point white balance/gray scale parameter adjustments that can be used in certain settings to do more advanced calibration.