A little background…
The 2018 FIFA World Cup will mark the first time all 64 matches will be recorded and produced in 4K UHD with High Dynamic Range. FIFA is coming out with all guns blazing for Russia 2018 where every match will be covered by a whooping 37 cameras.
The filming setup consists of a hybrid UHD/HDR/1080p array with multiple choice of video formats (1080i, 1080p or UHD HDR) at the back of one single production chain.
- Eight cameras are equipped for UHD/HDR and 1080p/SDR dual output
- A second set of eight have 1080p/HDR and 1080p/SDR dual output
- A third set of eight cameras will record super-slow-motion and two ultra-motion cameras
- A cable-cam and a cineflex heli-camz to ensure high-class pictures will be available from every angle in each stadium.
But the innovation doesn't stop there.
Russia is also hosting the first World Cup to use VAR, a.k.a. the video assistant referee. This has been a long-time request, with advocates pointing out the success of similar systems in the NFL and tennis. VAR has been tested in previous competitions but it'll be a first for the big tournament where it will be present in all 64 matches.
Back in 2014...
Even though 4K TVs were becoming mainstream in some markets when Brazil hosted the 2014 World Cup, there were no live 4K broadcasts (except for some limited-run tests) and 4K filming was performed on an experimental basis. Sony was in charge on production for three matches which later formed part of the official World Cup documentary movie.
Japanese broadcaster NHK also ran some high-tech filming in Brazil, recording a total of nine matches in uber-impressive 8K resolution (7680 x 4320) -- known in Japan as Super Hi-Vision -- which they later broadcasted to the public in select Brazil and Japan cities using massive 330-inch screens.