The Olympics Will Broadcast in 8K and VR, Which Likely Won’t Affect You At All

Justin Caffier
(Photo: OBSEV)

“I’m so glad The Olympics are broadcasting in 8K.”

That's what you might say if you were one of the few people that owned an 8K-capable television. But you aren't, are you? Don’t worry. Downloadable virtual reality footage will also be available online so you can experience the opening ceremonies like you’re right there in Rio.

Oh. You don’t have a VR headset either? Jeez. Get with the times. I guess you’ll just have to hear about all the wonderful stuff everyone else is going to see at the games this year.

The 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio will begin on Friday, August 15, and in an effort to shore up viewers, the Olympic Broadcasting Service (OBS) has decided to court the small group of technocratic elite who own the scant few 8K TVs out there. This summer’s games will air 130 hours of ceremony and contest in Super Hi-Vision (7,680 x 4,320 pixels). And, if you’re in Japan, you’ll even be treated to 22.2-channel surround sound.


The eyeball-melting levels of HD will cover the opening and closing ceremonies, naturally, as well as football (soccer), swimming, basketball, and even lil' ol’ judo for some reason.

Now, the virtual reality element being offered by the OBS will be available online even if you don’t have an Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, or even the rinky-dink McDonald’s VR viewer. But we all know that’s BS and there’s no real comparing dragging your mouse around one of those 360-degree YouTube videos and actually immersing yourself in VR.

Fear not if you aren’t up on all this tech. There will be a solid 7,000 hours of regular HD broadcasts during the games for us peasants to enjoy.


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