After much internet searching and a few cancelled deliveries we finally have our Croatia jersey! A bit too late for the big game but still thought it would be interesting to take a look at the data for both team jerseys:
France vs Croatia jerseys in a 2018 World Cup-themed chromaticity shootout
Like France, Croatia’s jersey happens to fall just inside the BT.709 color gamut. Going back to our original top 10 teams post, it seems like most of the other possible finals matchups would have resulted in a wider color gamut (we did model the Croatian flag red as outside 709).
An interesting follow-up, perhaps for 2022, would be to look at goalie jerseys as well. Goalies wore some of the wildest colors of the competition. France’s Hugo Lorris, for example, wore a super saturated yellow-green for the final match that looked a bit like the tennis ball color we measured recently.
It’s likely to make a big difference. The World Cup is one of the most colorful sporting events on TV with teams from 32 countries, thousands of flag-waving fans and, of course, wildly colorful cleats.
Color gamut of the 2018 World Cup’s top 10 countries.
With a mix of publicly available data and a little math, I was able to plot the dominant flag colors for the top 10 World Cup countries into the CIE 1931 color space (if you are new to reading color space charts, check out our primer here). Note that I limited the survey to flag colors since data on 2018 uniforms was incomplete and flag colors seem to be featured on most uniforms. I’ve also only plotted the two most dominant or most ‘colorful’ colors, ignoring blacks, whites and grays.
The results were a little bit surprising. Based on this data, just two teams entire flags – Argentina and France – can be accurately displayed on a standard HDTV with the BT.709 color gamut. This means fans with wide color gamut sets will finally be able to see their county’s colors in their full glory when viewing a 4K HDR broadcast.
It’s a great example of the power of HDR and wide color gamut to deliver a lifelike experience that really makes you feel like you are there in the stands in Russia sitting next to a crazy face-painted super-fan waving a flag in support of his country (only without the obstructed view from that flag).
How to watch the World Cup in 4K HDR
If you have a 4K HDR-capable set, the World Cup is available to watch in 4K HDR from a variety of sources around the world this year. Here in the US, TV maker Hisense is making 4K HDR games available for streaming in a partnership with Fox while DirecTV, DISH and Comcast are all offering broadcast options.
Content is king. One of the biggest challenges for emerging display technology is content availability. Whether it’s 3D, 4K or wide color gamut, these new features simply aren’t worth much without access lots of great, optimized content.
As new 4K TV’s begin hitting store shelves this year, they are entering a content vacuum.
Standards bodies like the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) and International Telecommunication Union (ITU) are still working out the precise definition of marketing terms like Ultra High Definition TV (UHDTV). Proposed standards could include support for eight million pixel resolution, extremely wide color gamut and 3D content. But, today, there is almost no content out there that takes full advantage of all of the exciting capabilities of the new sets.
At least one set-maker is taking it upon themselves to solve this problem by delivering both the 4K content and hardware. Sony announced last week that it will loan a 4K Ultra HD video player loaded with UHD content to buyers of their new 84” UHD television. The selection of 4K content on this player is fairly limited for now, but as more titles are released, this approach could help drive adoption of high resolution and wide color gamut formats. I wouldn’t be surprised if other set makers started following suit, though Sony does have an inherent advantage, owning a movie studio.