Having rolled out HDR support to many of its on-demand TV shows and films over recent months, British satellite broadcaster Sky has now revealed its first live broadcasts to appear in both 4K and high dynamic range (HDR) picture technologies will feature… The 2020 Olympic Games.
This isn’t entirely surprising given that a) Sky hinted last year that it expected to be able to launch live HDR sport in 2021, and b) the Olympics have long been a source of technical inspiration for TV manufacturers and broadcasters alike. What is unexpected, though, is how much 4K HDR coverage there is going to be.
More than 200 hours of 4K HDR content is set to be broadcast live on Sky Q boxes across the Games’ 16 days of competition – all courtesy of the Eurosport channels.
In fact, Sky and Eurosport are actually setting up what amounts to a dedicated Eurosport 4K HDR Olympics channel, accessible by pressing the red button while watching either channel 410 or 411.
Alternatively, if that sounds too complicated for you, Sky’s voice recognition/control system lets you call up an Olympics broadcast ‘home screen’ simply by saying “Olympics” into your Sky Q Voice Remote. The resulting screen will include an ‘Olympics in Ultra HD And HDR’ section.
There are, of course, going to be many more than 200+ hours of sporting greatness on show over the Olympics’ duration. While Sky/Eurosport can’t cover everything in 4K HDR, though, it is going to be possible to see pretty much every second of every event via a Sky Q box.
Eurosport, for starters, will be adding ‘pop-up’ channels offering HD Olympics overage to Sky Q subscribers at no extra cost. Also, though, if you sign up to Discovery+ via Sky Q (which you can do at the moment free for a year), you will gain streamed access to no less than 55 live event feeds carrying thousands of hours of live Olympics overage and on-demand action.
Sky hasn’t just confirmed HDR support for the Olympic Games in its latest announcement, though. It has also revealed that it will be introducing live 4K HDR broadcasting of the Premier League from day one of the new 2021/2022 season, starting with Brentford hosting Arsenal on Friday August 13.
“Bringing HDR to live sport for the first time means you can feel closer to all the action of the Olympics and Premier League games,” says Sky Group Chief Product Officer Fraser Stirling, “with the ultimate picture quality creating the best at-home viewing experience. For sports fans, it’s the next best thing to being in the stadium.”
To watch the Olympic Games in 4K HDR on Sky Q you will need an HDR-capable Sky Q receiver, a TV capable of receiving the HLG HDR format over HDMI, and a Sky UHD subscription (to which HDR support is added at no extra cost). If you don’t already have a UHD subscription, between now and August 26 you can sign up to a three-month free offer via the Sky VIP app.
To enjoy the 4K HDR Premier League footage, you’ll additionally need a Sky Sports or Sky Sports Football subscription. Forbes