Wimbledon 2021 has started and once again games will be available to watch in 4K resolution. Here we explain everything you need to know about how to live stream in Ultra HD including supported devices and minimum internet speeds.
In the UK, where Wimbledon is held, the BBC has run 4K trials in 2018 and 2019. Although the tennis tournament was cancelled last year, it’s back in 2021 and it once again available in four times the resolution of Full HD if you have the right equipment.
It’s a similar situation to the Euro 2020 football tournament, which is available in 4K via the same method.
Wimbledon 4K in the UK
If you’re in the UK then you can once again watch live games in Ultra HD thanks to the BBC (across BBC One and Two) and although we were hoping for more coverage than 2019, it’s still limited to games on centre court.
Here’s what you need:
- Fast enough internet
- A compatible 4K TV or streaming device
When it comes to broadband speed, the BBC says it needs to be 24Mbps for the 'full 3840 pixel Ultra HD experience', or 12Mbps for lower-res 2560p. Find out how to test your broadband speed.
If you’re Wi-Fi is unreliable, consider plugging your TV or media player into your router with an Ethernet cable for a better connection. You could also upgrade your home network with a powerline adapter or mesh Wi-Fi network kit.
You’ll also need a compatible TV or media player (if your TV is 4K but not supported itself) and fortunately, the list is long including many Samsung, LG, Philips and Hisense 4K TVs.
Supported streamers and set-top boxes include Amazon Fire TV Cube, Virgin Media TiVo and various Rokus.
Head to the BBC site and click on the manufacturer or search the page for your exact model number. Sadly, Sky Q isn’t supported, and you can’t watch in 4K via a web browser on your phone or laptop either.
Note that if you want to watch in HDR you’ll need a TV that supports HLG (hybrid log gamma). It’s the HDR standard used for iPlayer so check your TV specs to see if it’s supported.
If you have the right hardware and fast enough speed, you simply need to open the iPlayer app and find the Wimbledon matches via the homepage or sports section.
Make sure you have the video quality to ‘Best Quality’ in the settings menu and check the iPlayer interface for little ‘UHD’ icons, so you know it’s in Ultra HD.
As this is still classed as a 'trial' spaces for the UHD stream might be limited as they are for the Euros so make sure you get in with good time. Although the BBC doesn't mention this specifically for Wimbledon.
Although Eurosport has previously shown Wimbledon in 4K Ultra HD, the channel has confirmed that it will not be doing the same for 2021 saying “due to the broadcasting rights”.
Wimbledon 4K in the US
Although you can watch Wimbledon in the states via ESPN+ or Tennis Channel Plus, neither appears to offer 4K as far as we can see. ESPN+ is limited to 720p and Tennis Channel’s site only mentions HD quality.
However, you can watch in 4K via the BBC iPlayer with the method below.
Wimbledon 4K outside the UK
If you’re not in the UK then watching Wimbledon in 4K via the iPlayer is going to be a little harder but is still possible.
You’ll still need all of the requirements mentioned above but you’ll need to install a VPN on your TV or device in order to virtually browse from the UK – otherwise the content will be geo-restricted.
Note there are other restrictions when it comes to watching BBC iPlayer outside of the UK such as needing a valid TV licence and also needing a BBC account with a UK postcode. Find out more in our how to watch BBC iPlayer abroad explainer.