The upcoming 2016 Rio Olympics will be partially filmed in 8K “Super-Hi Vision,” and anyone wealthy enough to actually own an 8K TV in Japan will be able to watch around 130 hours of it. That’ll include the opening and closing ceremonies, plus some of the more popular sports like swimming. And the listening experience also promises to be immersive, with the Olympic Broadcasting Services teasing “3D 22.2 channel surround sound.”
Now practically speaking, pretty much no one owns an 8K television; Sharp’s one of very few companies with one on the market, but the lack of any real content kinda makes the $130,000 price tag a hard sell. So this is really just the Olympics doing a test run for a future when viewers may actually be watching the competition at that kind of crazy resolution (7,680 x 4,320) a few — okay, several — years down the line. Maybe the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo?
Thankfully a lot more of us will be able to take advantage of the VR footage captured during the 2016 games. Again, this will focus on the most popular moments from Brazil, and you’ll be able to watch both live and on-demand if the time zone thing proves inconvenient. We’re not yet sure exactly who’s handling the VR side of things or where you’ll be able to watch, but hopefully the OBS will try to include all possible VR spectators. We should know much more as the August games draw closer. Approximately 7,000 hours of video will be recorded in all, and the Rio games are also being used to test downscaled 4K, HDR, and an expanded color gamut compared to previous broadcasts. Just don’t expect to see any of that on your own TV, where (aside from Japan) the Olympics will be broadcast in 1080p.