DirecTV’s 4K HDR Olympic Broadcasts Will Include Dolby Atmos Sound
Stephan Jukic – February 9, 2018
As we already covered here, and later here in more detail, Dish, DirecTV and Comcast as well as others will all be offering delayed on-demand 4K HDR coverage of the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea as of one day after the Opening ceremonies. The coverage will consist of up to 2,400 hours of events and include the Opening Cremonies themselves along with key matches in skiing, sledding, snowboarding and figure skating.
Now, DirecTV has offered a further reveal in which it explains what other features their service will deliver with the ultra HD coverage.
In addition to the regular 4K HDR coverage of the Games that offers what all live NBC network affiliates will deliver in 4K, DirecTV (owned by AT&T) will also include Dolby Atmos audio for its own feeds. This immersive new sound format isn’t supported by just any sound system or 4K TV but for owners of those television models which do come with Dolby Atmos integration and speaker systems to really handle the format as it’s supposed to be heard, the Olympics will sound better than they ever have.
The Dolby Atmos audio will only be available with the DirecTV 4K HDR on-demand version of the Olympic coverage so you won’t be able to enjoy it with the fully live broadcasts of the Games but even this is an improvement in Olympic sports coverage. According to Dolby Labs, this will be the first time in which the relatively new audio format is live produced in the U.S, even if it won’t ultimately be delivered live for viewing. Dolby also claimed that it’s working with BT Sport and Sky in the United Kingdom for fully live Dolby Atmos integration during Premier League and UEFA Champions League soccer matches in 2018 (In 4K HDR as well by the way). The U.S doesn’t have this kind of thing for its own live 4K sports services yet but it’s on the way.
Specific events that will feature the DirecTV-delivered combo of 4K High Dynamic Range picture quality and Dolby Atmos audio include the Opening Ceremony, figure skating, short track speed skating, ski jumping and snowboard big air. None of the providers of the Games has yet delivered a complete list of all events that will get the on-demand ultra HD treatment however.
For fans of streaming who want live Olympic coverage and don’t give a damn if they lose out on the 4K HDR + Dolby Atmos version, DirecTV Now is offering access to NBCUniversal networks streams of the 2018 Winter Games.