The parade of Olympic athletes coming into Pyeongchang, South Korea,
may very well 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 house will be capable of see the ceremony — and even
some occasions — like by no means earlier than.

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

Dish, DirecTV and Comcast clients who’ve suitable TV units and
subscriptions to the suitable service, will be capable of take within the 4K
HDR protection.

This yr’s video games should not the primary Olympics to be delivered in 4K — NBC
distributed the Rio Olympics in 2016 in 4K Extremely Excessive Definition. Nevertheless,
this yr’s winter video games can boast the addition of the Excessive Dynamic Vary aspect, which
guarantees much more gorgeous colours along with larger decision.

“For the primary time, the Winter Olympics will likely be accessible in 4K HDR,
marking an thrilling milestone for each the TV business and Olympic
viewers,” mentioned Dish Chief Expertise Officer Vivek Khemka. “We’re happy to work with NBCUniversal to present clients entry to
this yr’s inspiring Olympic performances within the clearest decision
and richest coloration palette accessible, maximizing the potential of their
4K HDR TVs.”

Time Delay

There’s a catch, nonetheless. The opening ceremonies will happen on
Friday and will likely be carried within the regular excessive definition (HD) format on NBC, thus accessible on all suppliers that carry the printed community. Viewers who need the upper decision 4K HDR should wait till Saturday to see the ceremonies in all their glory.

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

As well as, as a result of the printed manufacturing world hasn’t moved absolutely
to 4K HDR, not all this yr’s Olympic occasions will likely be offered within the format. The content material will likely be restricted to the opening ceremonies, determine skating, brief observe (racing), ski leaping
and ice hockey, in response to NBC. The closing ceremonies aren’t listed at present
time, however it’s possible they are going to be in 4K HDR as effectively.

Gold for TV Makers

The athletes will not be the one ones aiming for gold at these Olympic
Video games. TV makers might hope to attain as effectively by providing reductions on
4K HDR units.

“Huge sports activities occasions sometimes drive new TV units,” mentioned Roger Entner,principal analyst at Recon Analytics.

“It’s extremely troublesome to purchase a brand new TV set that is not 4K/UHD nowadays,” he instructed TechNewsWorld.

Gross sales of those units have already got been robust, with a lift from the current Tremendous Bowl.

“4K UHD TVs have skilled vital development in recent times, with greater than 80 million thought to have shipped throughout 2017,” mentioned David Tett, market analyst for shopper electronics at
Futuresource Consulting.

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

“As value falls additional and demand for bigger screens continues to
enhance the world over, shipments will proceed to develop strongly,
with double digit development anticipated for a few years to return and over 25
% of worldwide houses anticipated to personal a 4K UHD set by the top of
2021,” Tett added.

Not Precisely Plug and Play

NBC could also be offering 4K UHD content material, but it surely will not truly be
accessible 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. Sure subscription plans could also be required
as effectively.

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

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

“It is not clear how many individuals have truly bothered to do that, given the relative shortage of 4K content material,” Espelien added.

Olympic Glory

That is the primary true “prepared for prime time” occasion to be delivered in
4K HDR, so it is unsure whether or not it could actually ship the viewing
expertise that broadcasters and TV makers have been promising.

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

I
“All of this appears significantly better because the TV and the transmission element
will increase, and the Winter Olympics are the most effective worldwide occasion to
present that, in all probability even higher than the World Cup this summer season,” he added.

After all, the climate would want to agree for sure occasions that happen exterior, comparable to ski leaping. That might have been an element within the
choice to not embrace different outside occasions within the 4K HDR lineup, such
as downhill snowboarding and snowboarding. Even in superb climate these
occasions could not exhibit the complete potential of the brand new TV units.

“The Winter Olympics are notoriously laborious to shoot, as a big
proportion of the display screen is crammed 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 completely different shades of whites and grays
displayed with out impacting the picture high quality of the, usually, brightly
coloured rivals,” he instructed TechNewsWorld.

The place 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
superb in 4K,” mentioned Espelien. “That is what the viewers primarily cares
about. It’s such as you’re proper there within the area.”

Way forward for Sports activities

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

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

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

“Historically, main sporting occasions are likely to deliver ahead gross sales
inside a yr reasonably than trigger the market to develop, that means customers
will select to buy a set earlier within the yr to observe the occasion
reasonably than delaying their buy to later months, as they might have
in any other case executed,” Tett famous.

The subsequent large check may very well be for sports activities, and 4K HDR might advance this summer season
when the world’s hottest sporting occasion 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’ll give
the whole broadcast chain extra expertise with this,” mentioned Futuresource’s Veale.

The visuals could even get higher.

“We’ll see larger body charges, which is able to profit any sporting
occasion with a component of pace, comparable to the important thing occasions of the Winter
Olympics,” mentioned Veale. “Whereas some sporting occasions are already being
broadcast at 50 to 60 frames per second, after we transfer in direction of 120fps this may
present a a lot smoother and clearer image of fast-moving objects.”


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