BT Sport has grown immeasurably over the last few years, gaining sports rights from its major competitors and only stalling most recently due to the global crisis an suspension of many leagues and live events.
However, with sports resuming play, it will very soon show live Premier League matches again, has already broadcast many Bundesliga behind-closed-doors games, and its live line-up will expand as additional sports restart.
The only decision you have to make, if you want to watch BT Sport’s coverage, is whether to view it in standard, HD or 4K HDR, and with Dolby Atmos surround sound. If it’s the latter options, you’ll need BT Sport Ultimate.
Here then is everything you need to know about the expanded service from BT Sport.
What is BT Sport Ultimate?
BT Sport Ultimate is the broadcaster’s enhanced service that offers either 4K HDR or just HDR presentations of some live sporting events and matches. It can also present them with Dolby Atmos surround sound.
It comes in two forms – either through the dedicated channel available through the BT Ultra HD TV box, or via the BT Sport app for multiple platforms.
The former is available on some BT TV packages that include BT Sport, so doesn’t cost any more. While those wanting BT Sport Ultimate through the app will more than likely have to pay £5 extra on top of their monthly BT Sport subscription fee.
BT Sport Ultimate: Who gets what?
While BT Sport Ultimate is capable of offering 4K, HDR and Dolby Atmos, it’s not as simple as everyone getting the same quality.
• 4K UHD: This is available through the BT Sport app for several devices: Apple TV, Xbox One S and One X, PS4, Google Chromecast, the Now TV 4K Smart Box and some Samsung Smart TVs.
It is also available as part of the BT Sport Ultimate TV channel, formerly known as BT Sport 4K UHD. That’s through BT TV and/or Virgin Media.
• Dolby Atmos: This is exclusive to BT TV customers watching BT Sport Ultimate.
• HDR: HDR content is available on the BT Sport app for Xbox One S and X, Samsung Smart TVs and Google Chromecast Ultra. It is available with 4K on each of those platforms.
HDR is also available through the BT Sport small screen app for iOS and Android smartphones, as long as the hardware supports it. They are restricted to HD streams, however.
What will I need to watch BT Sport Ultimate?
The channel aims to deliver content at the highest quality it can no matter the platform that you are watching it on (with the exceptions given above).
If you’re a BT TV customer, you’ll need the BT Ultra HD YouView box to deliver it and if you want the Dolby Atmos sound, you’ll need an Atmos compatible TV, soundbar or receiver.
But, BT Sport Ultimate also aims to deliver a boosted experience to those using smartphones and tablets, up to the capabilities of those devices and that’s where HDR comes in. If you have an HDR compatible phone, for example, BT Sport Ultimate should be able to push that picture quality higher.
Ultimate is also available to those app users on Apple TV, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Chromecast Ultra, Now TV 4K box, and Samsung Smart TVs.
What will be on BT Sport Ultimate?
The line-up of programming for BT Sport Ultimate includes a lot of Premier League football. BT Sport says that “the majority” of its live matches will be on BT Sport Ultimate.
It has also shown Champions League and Europa League matches on the channel. Since the lockdown, some Bundesliga matches have been shown on BT Sport Ultimate too.
Most are in 4K but only a few are also presented in HDR. Check schedules to find out.
How do I get BT Sport Ultimate?
If you’re a BT Sport customer with BT TV, you could already have it. Just head to channel 433 and BT Ultimate should already be there, ready to deliver the goods.
If not, BT has a full range of BT TV packages and BT Sport Ultimate is included in the VIP TV package.
Those using the BT Sport app as part of an EE or BT mobile plan, or as part of a BT broadband bundle can upgrade to BT Sport Ultimate for an extra £5 per month.
That also applies if you purchase a no-contract BT Sport Monthly Pass, costing £25 for 30-days access to all channels through the BT Sport apps. You will have to then add BT Sport Ultimate for £5 extra per month.
Virgin Media offers TV access to BT Sport Ultimate. For Virgin Media customers you’ll find it on channel 531, but you’ll need to subscribe to BT Sport as part of your package.
For those on Sky, you can access BT Sport and you’ll have to do this via the BT website. BT says that Ultimate is coming soon, but there’s no precise details yet.