With 4K HDR, Olympics May Be More Colorful Than Ever | Audio/Video

The parade of Olympic athletes getting into Pyeongchang, South Korea,
might be fairly colourful for a couple of causes. Athletes from
North and South Korea will enter collectively for the primary time in additional
than a decade, and viewers at home will have the ability to see the ceremony — and even
some occasions — like by no means earlier than.

NBCUniversal has determined to make the XXIII
Olympic Winter video games obtainable to cable
and satellite tv for pc companions in 4K High Dynamic Range, or HDR.

Dish, DirecTV and Comcast clients who have suitable TV units and
subscriptions to the suitable service, will have the ability to take within the 4K
HDR protection.

This 12 months’s video games usually are not the primary Olympics to be delivered in 4K — NBC
distributed the Rio Olympics in 2016 in 4K Ultra High Definition. However,
this 12 months’s winter video games can boast the addition of the High Dynamic Range component, which
guarantees much more beautiful colours along with greater decision.

“For the primary time, the Winter Olympics can be obtainable in 4K HDR,
marking an thrilling milestone for each the TV trade and Olympic
viewers,” said Dish Chief Technology Officer Vivek Khemka. “We’re happy to work with NBCUniversal to provide clients entry to
this 12 months’s inspiring Olympic performances within the clearest decision
and richest shade palette obtainable, maximizing the potential of their
4K HDR TVs.”

Time Delay

There is a catch, nevertheless. The opening ceremonies will happen on
Friday and can be carried within the regular excessive definition (HD) format on NBC, thus obtainable on all suppliers that carry the printed community. Viewers who need the upper decision 4K HDR will have to attend till Saturday to see the ceremonies in all their glory.

Given the time distinction between the United States and South Korea —
14 hours to the East Coast — viewing of the video games can be time-delayed anyway, to an extent. That mentioned, most — if not all — of the 4K HDR content material can be delayed till 24 hours after the “live” broadcast.

In addition, as a result of the printed manufacturing world hasn’t moved absolutely
to 4K HDR, not all this 12 months’s Olympic occasions can be offered within the format. The content material can be restricted to the opening ceremonies, determine skating, quick monitor (racing), ski leaping
and ice hockey, in accordance with NBC. The closing ceremonies aren’t listed at present
time, however it’s possible they are going to be in 4K HDR as properly.

Gold for TV Makers

The athletes is probably not the one ones aiming for gold at these Olympic
Games. TV makers may hope to attain as properly by providing reductions on
4K HDR units.

“Big sports events typically drive new TV sets,” mentioned Roger Entner,principal analyst at Recon Analytics.

“It’s very difficult to buy a new TV set that isn’t 4K/UHD these days,” he informed TechNewsWorld.

Sales of those units already have been robust, with a lift from the current Super Bowl.

“4K UHD TVs have experienced significant growth in recent years, with more than 80 million thought to have shipped during 2017,” mentioned David Tett, market analyst for client electronics at
Futuresource Consulting.

“The progress has been centered in North America, Western Europe and
China, however has been seen throughout all areas of the globe,” he informed TechNewsWorld.

“As worth falls additional and demand for bigger screens continues to
enhance throughout the world, shipments will proceed to develop strongly,
with double digit progress anticipated for a few years to come and over 25
p.c of worldwide properties anticipated to personal a 4K UHD set by the tip of
2021,” Tett added.

Not Exactly Plug and Play

NBC could also be offering 4K UHD content material, nevertheless it will not really be
obtainable to broadcast viewers who obtain the community programming
over the air. Even present subscribers to Comcast, Dish and DirecTV
could have to do greater than merely plug in and hook up a brand new set.

Dish clients might want to have a Hopper three set-top field, whereas DirecTV
subscribers might want to have a Genie HD DVR (mannequin HR54 or above) or
4K Genie Mini set-top field. Certain subscription plans could also be required
as properly.

“The sensible query is whether or not [the Olympics opportunity] causes folks with
4K TVs to configure their pay-TV gadgets to really watch some 4K content material for as soon as,” famous Joel Espelien, senior analyst at
The Diffusion Group.

“DirecTV clients have to hook up a second set-top field companion system that
sits between the primary satellite tv for pc receiver and the 4K TV,” he informed TechNewsWorld.

“It’s not clear how many people have actually bothered to do this, given the relative scarcity of 4K content,” Espelien added.

Olympic Glory

This is the primary true “ready for prime time” event to be delivered in
4K HDR, so it is unsure whether or not it may well ship the viewing
expertise that broadcasters and TV makers have been promising.

“The Winter Olympics have a large shade gamut — white snow, black sky at
night time, colourful workforce outfits,” famous Recon Analytics’ Entner.

“All of this seems a lot better because the TV and the transmission element
will increase, and the Winter Olympics are the very best worldwide event to
present that, in all probability even higher than the World Cup this summer time,” he added.

Of course, the climate would wish to agree for sure occasions that happen outdoors, comparable to ski leaping. That may have been an element within the
choice to not embrace different out of doors occasions within the 4K HDR lineup, such
as downhill snowboarding and snowboarding. Even in superb climate these
occasions could not exhibit the total potential of the brand new TV units.

“The Winter Olympics are notoriously arduous to shoot, as a big
proportion of the display is stuffed with a ‘white” picture with restricted
distinction,” famous Tristan Veale, market analyst at Futuresource Consulting.

“The additional dynamic vary ought to present a considerably improved
viewing expertise for these with a suitable HDR TV, with far
better definition between totally different shades of whites and grays
displayed with out impacting the picture high quality of the, usually, brightly
coloured opponents,” he informed TechNewsWorld.

Where the standard of the image would possibly actually be seen is contained in the arenas!

“My guess is that it is all concerning the determine skating, which ought to look
wonderful in 4K,” said Espelien. “That’s what the viewers primarily cares
about. It is such as you’re proper there within the enviornment.”

Future of Sports

At current, some TV productions already are being produced in 4K as a
option to future-proof content material, however within the quick time period sports activities might be
the game changer that causes audiences to undertake the brand new TV know-how
and even pay for the content material.

“Sporting content material is amongst an important broadcasters have to
provide, and customers with new 4K UHD units will usually be searching for
content material like this to trial their new units and gauge the standard of
their buy,” mentioned Futuresource’s Tett.

“Those who have not made the improve but can attempt to be persuaded
by way of retailer and vendor promotions, with the promise of a
heightened viewing expertise on a brand new TV,” he added.

“Traditionally, main sporting occasions are inclined to carry ahead gross sales
inside a 12 months somewhat than trigger the market to develop, which means customers
will select to buy a set earlier within the 12 months to observe the event
somewhat than delaying their buy to later months, as they could have
in any other case accomplished,” Tett famous.

The subsequent large take a look at might be for sports activities, and 4K HDR may advance this summer time
when the world’s hottest sporting event takes place in Russia.

“With the FIFA World Cup approaching, that is another excuse for
ramping up stay seize of main sporting occasions in 4K, as it should give
your complete broadcast chain extra expertise with this,” mentioned Futuresource’s Veale.

The visuals could even get higher.

“We will see greater body charges, which is able to profit any sporting
event with a component of velocity, comparable to the important thing occasions of the Winter
Olympics,” said Veale. “While some sporting occasions are already being
broadcast at 50 to 60 frames per second, after we transfer in direction of 120fps this can
present a a lot smoother and clearer image of fast-moving objects.”

Peter Suciu has been an ECT News Network reporter since 2012. His areas of focus embrace cybersecurity, cell phones, shows, streaming media, pay TV and autonomous automobiles. He has written and edited for quite a few publications and web sites, together with Newsweek, Wired and
Email Peter.

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