Advanced Television

BBC iPlayer: King’s Coronation in UHD, surround sound

May 5, 2023

The BBC is preparing for a major weekend of live broadcasts to bring viewers across the nation – and internationally – full coverage of the Coronation of His Majesty The King and Her Majesty The Queen Consort on May 6th and the Coronation Concert on May 7th.

Kate Phillips, BBC Director of Unscripted, commented: “We are incredibly proud to be bringing this moment of major historical significance and celebration to viewers at home and internationally. Over the next nine days, with our coverage of the Coronation and then Eurovision, we will be delivering the biggest week of live programming since 2012. Both events showcase the unique role that the BBC plays in the lives of millions. Our highly talented and skilled teams will once again be delivering unforgettable shows of significant scale. Making use of the multiple media platforms and invaluable expertise across the BBC, we will be bringing people together like never before throughout the UK.”

Hannah Wyatt, MD for Factual Entertainment and Live Events, BBC Studios Productions, added: “It’s a huge honour to be covering this once in a lifetime occasion. Our Live Events production team are world class and continually innovate to ensure the coverage provides viewers with the best possible experience, from Ultra-high Definition (UHD) pictures to 5.1 surround sound enabling the audience to really feel like they’re part of this historic event.”

The BBC will have a total of 150 cameras across 17 locations providing coverage along the Ceremonial route, in the Abbey, for the Coronation Concert and in both of their temporary studios in London and Windsor – as well as the ten sites for Lighting Up The Nation (including Blackpool, Sheffield, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Newcastle and Gateshead, Cornwall and Belfast).

There will be 19 separate Outside Broadcast Production Operations deployed across the country: 7 deployed in London covering the route, service and our presentation operation, 2 OBs will be in Windsor, Berkshire for the Coronation Concert and then 10 OBs across the rest of the UK supporting the Lighting Up The Nation broadcast locations.

Viewers will be able to watch the Coronation in the best possible picture on BBC iPlayer – with the entire event streaming live from multiple locations in UHD and HDR. BBC iPlayer’s UHD stream will also use a Wide Colour Gamut, meaning viewers will see more colours than they ever usually see on TV – offering an even more lifelike view that makes the most of this occasion.

The sound teams will create a soundscape in 5.1 surround to capture the music sequences of the processions as well as inside the Abbey.

Viewers will be able to watch with subtitles, sign language and an alternative commentary version for people with sight loss – delivered live on iPlayer. Alongside the signed version of the Coronation on BBC Two, there will be accessible coverage for people who are blind or partially sighted on Red Button, hosted by Petroc Trelawny.

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