How to watch the World Cup in 4K

2 Nov • 8 min read

We’re just 18 days away from this year’s FIFA Men’s World Cup and it’s safe to say excitement is building for the biggest tournament in international football. From the prestige, to the unlikely underdogs stories - there’s no doubt this showcase of the best players on the planet is the pinnacle of the beautiful game.

For those asking “how can I watch the World Cup in 4K?”, we have some good news for you - every game will be available for free on the BBC and ITV. Better yet, our T3-R customers can watch/stream matches live in 4K via BBC iPlayer.

What this means

We can all agree that the greatest spectacle in the world of sport deserves to be watched in the best quality available. But exactly does this mean? A 4K stream will have up to 50 frames per second (fps), double the standard 25fps usually offered. This means that every pass, tackle and goal will be shown in fantastic detail so it will feel like you’re in the stadium yourself!

Before you get ready to sit back and enjoy all the action - there are a few things to consider first in order to have the best set-up.

Is your broadband up to streaming on iPlayer/ITVX?

The BBC themselves recommend a minimum broadband speed of 24Mbps to get the most out of its full 4K content, so it's worth checking yours beforehand by using this free broadband speed test tool. If you are in a rural area with poor speeds, it’s worth checking for a 4G Broadband solution with National Broadband. If you're in the city then they also offer blazing fast 5G Broadband.

It’s also important to bear in mind that other bandwidth-intensive activities, such as online gaming or downloading, could put too much pressure on your internet and affect the quality of your stream. To avoid any disruption, it might be best to check that everyone else in your household knows when the game is on so they avoid these times. Or even better, get them involved!

Broadband isn't always to blame for poor quality live streams however. If your connection is quick enough but you're still noticing a lag, remember you're streaming a live event happening thousands of miles away so problems can naturally arise.

The BBC and ITV aren't entirely responsible either. Both use FIFA's stream, so delays and dropouts are often a result of a problem with their own tech or cameras and not with UK providers.

Best group games to watch and where

So now we’ve given you the rundown on what watching in 4K really means and which channels you can watch on - here are our picks of the best group games on offer and the channels they’ll be shown on.

Qatar v Ecuador - Sunday 20th November, 4pm (BBC - 4K) - As is tradition at the World Cup, the host nation will kick off proceedings after the opening ceremony. Although both teams are considered massive underdogs, the first game of a major tournament always has a big feel to it. We can all remember the brilliant scenes in South Africa back in 2010 when Bafana Bafana scored the opening goal.

England v Iran - Monday 21st November, 1pm (BBC - 4K) - England kick things off against Iran after reaching the semi’s and final of their last two international tournaments respectively. Despite some patchy form going into the World Cup, the nation will have big hopes of going one step further this time around. Can the Three Lions follow in the Lionesses footsteps?

Wales v USA - Monday 21st November, 7pm (ITV - HD) - Wales play their 1st World Cup game since June 1958. After their great showing at the 2016 Euros, where they reached the semi finals, they'll be hoping to do well at another tournament. We also get to see how far soccer has improved in the USA. If either team want to progress this really is a must win game.

France v Australia - Tuesday 22nd November, 7pm (BBC - 4K) - 2018 winners France kick things off against Australia in what should be a relatively straightforward game. Having said that, Les Bleus will be looking to get rid of the curse that World Cup holders seem to have going into the following tournament by dispatching of the Socceroos and getting off to a solid start.

Argentina v Mexico - Saturday 26th November, 7pm (ITV - HD) - This will surely be Lionel Messi’s last international tournament. For many, he’s the greatest player to ever step foot on a football pitch, but his naysayers will point to the fact that he’s yet to win a World Cup. Will that finally change this year?

Wales v England - Tuesday 29th November, 7pm (BBC - 4K) - Two Home Nations clash at a Men’s World Cup for the first time and it’s set to be a blockbuster of an encounter. If the last gasp winner when these two teams met back at Euro 2016 is anything to go by, then you definitely don’t want to miss this potential classic.

All the 4K Scheduled Games

Along with the games we've highlighted the BBC has 24 group games scheduled to be shown in 4K and they'll have even more from the later rounds. Here's the complete list of the group games you can enjoy in crisp 4K:

  • 20 November, 16:00: Qatar v Ecuador
  • 21 November, 13:00: England v Iran
  • 22 November, 16:00: Mexico v Poland
  • 22 November, 19:00: France v Australia
  • 23 November, 19:00: Belgium v Canada
  • 24 November, 13:00: Uruguay v South Korea
  • 24 November, 19:00: Brazil v Serbia
  • 25 November, 10:00: Wales v Iran
  • 25 November, 13:00: Qatar v Senegal
  • 26 November, 10:00: Tunisia v Australia
  • 27 November, 13:00: Belgium v Morocco
  • 27 November, 16:00: Croatia v Canada
  • 27 November, 19:00: Spain v Germany
  • 28 November, 13:00: South Korea v Ghana
  • 29 November, 19:00: Iran v USA
  • 29 November, 19:00: Wales v England
  • 30 November, 15:00: Tunisia v France
  • 30 November, 15:00: Australia v Denmark
  • 30 November, 19:00: Poland v Argentina
  • 30 November, 19:00: Saudi Arabia v Mexico
  • 1 December, 16:00: Canada v Morocco
  • 1 December, 16:00: Croatia v Belgium
  • 2 December, 16:00: Ghana v Uruguay
  • 2 December, 16:00: South Korea v Portugal

Now we know the best way to watch the action, as well as some of the key fixtures to look out for - we’re pretty much all set. With just over three weeks to go until we get underway, there’s only one question left to ask - who are you backing to go all the way and win the tournament?