An ultra-perfect scenario
As a sports journalist for the past two decades, I have been in attendance at some of the most exciting moments in sporting history.
I was in the crowd at the Atlanta Olympic Games in the summer of 1996 when the legendary straight-backed sprinter Michael Johnson broked the 200metres world record with an incredible time of 19.32s.
I was at Hampden Park in May 2002 when the most complete player I’ve ever seen, Zinedine Zidane swung out his left boot into the Glasgow night and delivered a perfect volley to give Real Madrid Champions League victory against Bayer Leverkusen.
More recently, I was at Old Trafford on a chilly February afternoon in 2011 when Wayne Rooney delivered the perfect bicycle kick winner that’s still used in the title sequence for Match of the Day.
Nothing can ever compensate for being in attendance at a major sporting event, but no one has ever got closer than BT Sport with their new 4K channel.
For everyone who thought HD was the last word (or picture) in picture resolution this side of a NASA deep-space probe, the latest update take things to a scarily realistic level.
Using the latest Sony 4K cameras and Fujifilm lenses, BT’s new Ultra HD package brings the concept of virtual hyper-reality to an entirely new level of understanding.
Their debut footballing feature was the Community Shield fixture between Arsenal and Chelsea at Wembley, won 1-0 by the former.
This annual match is never going to be any more than a hyped-up pre-season friendly but the quality of the picture on a 4K TV, and with all the relevant kit, was truly astonishing.
Did it feel like you were there? Well, yes and no.
Televisions that mimic the smells of the average sweaty football crowd on a summer’s day are still a long way away but the sights and sounds are on a par with actually being in attendance.
The experience was rather unsettling, in a good way, as you could only marvel at the technology that can can compensate for a relatively dull game by thrilling you with the quality of the friendly assault on your senses.
In short, it was better than being there and, unlike with standard HD, you don’t get that nagging feeling that you’re missing something from the experience.
In short, it can make a bad game same good, and a good game even better. And that’s an ultra-perfect scenario.