Today the 2016 Olympics in Rio begins, marked by the opening ceremony. The world’s sporting elite compete every 4 years and in that time, technology advances substantially. While there’s been short, experimental clips shot before, these Olympics will be captured in glorious 8K quality. That’s a mega 7,680×4,320 pixels and don’t forget about the 22.2 channel surround sound.
As 4K / UHD TVs continue to drop in price, they’re finding their way to more households across Australia and the content problem is finally being solved. There’s now offerings from Netflix, YouTube and even 4K Blu-ray players which opens the door to all movie studios shipping product in 4K quality.
Of course the quality train never stops and this Olympics will see around 130 hours of the games captured in 8K, this gets streamed from Brazil to Japan where the ridiculous quality to those millionaires with the first 8K capable TVs on the market.
Sharp is one of only a couple of manufacturers that have been showing off prototypes of 8K TVs at CES in the last couple of years and recently made one available for sale for US$133,000.
If you’re thinking there’s really no need for 8K, then think again. As someone who was fortunate enough to see an 8K prototype, I’m happy to report that the quality is absolutely noticeable compared to 4K, wildly better than HD and lightyears away from Channel 7s regional broadcast in SD (staggeringly unacceptable in 2016). In a panning shot of a stadium crowd, you can see the expressions on each person’s face, it really was simply stunning.
The technical challenge relating to delivering 8K live content are substantial. The end-to-end production equipment has to support the higher resolution and extra data that comes with it. Cameras, mixers, recording equipment, monitors, studio gear and cables, all must be upgraded to handle uncompressed 8K video, data rates can easily reach 100Gbps.
Got that NBN ready yet Malcolm?
Thanks to @rjrgmc28 for a tip to use the 7Plus streaming app on devices like AppleTV, to get a HD broadcast of the Olympics to your TV. The TelstraTV and Xbox apps should also get the job done, they will however make you lie about your postcode.
Hence why I’m streaming it direct through the PLUS7 Apple TV app. PRIME7 are useless when it comes to HD. https://t.co/QvnZAPSk9u
— Cecilia J. Rucker (@rjrgmc28) August 5, 2016
Image credit: https://www.olympic.org/