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Image credit: AP Photo/John Raoux

Watch ESPN's first native 4K game Saturday -- if you have DirecTV or Comcast

The National Championship Game will get a 4K feed too.
Richard Lawler, @Rjcc
10.10.19 in AV
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LSU running back Nick Brossette (4) runs for 46 yards before he is run out of bounds by Florida safety Donovan Stiner, right, during the second half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Oct. 6, 2018, in Gainesville, Fla. AP Photo/John Raoux

By now we've seen Ultra HD TV broadcasts of sports and other content, but for the first time ESPN is getting into the game. The network just confirmed that Saturday night's college football matchup between Florida and LSU at 8PM ET will be the first one it ever broadcasts live in native 4K resolution.

The only problem now is that the only way to watch this broadcast is via DirecTV with the right equipment. ESPN's 4K productions in the future may be available via more distributors, but so far only the one satellite broadcaster has signed on.

The broadcast is the first of six planned college football 4K events this year under the "Samsung QLED 4K Game of the Week" banner, which will include a 4K feed of the National Championship BCS game on January 13th, 2020. Unlike Fox's recent (upscaled from 1080p) NFL broadcasts, there won't be any use of HDR, but it is high resolution.

Also unlike Fox, ESPN isn't using its apps -- or even Samsung's apps -- to stream the game in 4K, which seems like an unfortunate missed opportunity when the network has been preparing to handle 4K for many years now. Hopefully all goes well, and this doesn't end up like its 3D push that shut down after a couple of years due to a lack of adoption.

Update (10/11, 7:14 PM ET): Comcast has also signed on to distribute the first live ESPN 4K broadcast, so if you have one of the cable company's Ultra HD boxes then you should be able to watch too. Additionally, ESPN informed Sports Video Group that along with the 4K game feed, it's also providing an Atmos audio stream.

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