The 2021 Tokyo Olympic Video games have come to a detailed . As athletes have fun their wins and ponder over their losses , the technicians that produced this occasion in all its socially distanced glory , even have one thing to have fun . This 12 months ’ s Tokyo Olympics was a triumph in stay television manufacturing . By combining 4K , HDR , and Dolby Atmos sound , NBCUniversal created immersive and compelling tales out of a stay broadcast .
Whereas few folks managed to see the published of the Tokyo Olympic Video games in all its visible and audible glory , NBCUniversal ’ s experiment bore hearty fruit . Whereas nonetheless in an early experimental section , applied sciences which have been a staple of fashionable cinema and tv , at the moment are making their solution to broadcast . Keep in mind the query everybody saved asking a few years in the past ? “ Who wants 4K ? Every part is broadcast in HD !” Effectively , the reply is right here .
Earlier than we dive into NBC ’ s broadcast experiment , let ’ s chat about requirements . The A dvanced T elevision S ystem C ommittee , or ATSC, is an trade group that determines what applied sciences are and may be used for broadcasters throughout the nation . Again in 2009 , they did this with the ATSC 1 . 0 Normal . This moved televisions over from an analog sign to digital . This allowed for compressed video and further knowledge , giving us 1920 by 1080 HD decision and digital closed captioning .
In 2017 , we first noticed glimpses of ATSC 3 . 0. Initially rolled out in South Korea , this new normal is spreading like wildfire . By packing extra knowledge into the sign , the bit charge has nearly tripled over ATSC 1 . 0.
When paired with fashionable video codecs such as H . 265 and MPEG – H , what used to be solely out there on streaming platforms , can now be broadcast by TV stations . Even 8K resolutions are doable with this new normal , as properly as body charges as much as 120fps . Maintain on, I feel I hear Ang Lee making an attempt to interrupt down my door.
Whereas the latter could appear one other decade or so away , there have been a couple of suppliers that carried NBC ’ s protection at 4K in Dolby Imaginative and prescient with Dolby Atmos sound . Notably , Comcast Xfinity on its Xfinity X1 platform . Whereas YouTube TV carries 4K in most areas , it doesn’t all the time have Dolby Atmos sound . fuboTV , Altice , and Verizon Fios additionally carry excessive – decision alerts in a number of areas . Sadly , there is not any consistency and it’s troublesome to suss out the place to get the total image and sound package deal .
2020 2021 Tokyo Olympic Video games
So what ’ s all of the fuss about NBC ’ s broadcast of the video games this 12 months ? Effectively , think about all these applied sciences that have been perfected for cinema and tv — HDR, Dolby Atmos sound , and 4K decision . Now implement them right into a stay broadcast at 30 fps .
Swimming occasions have vibrant crisp splashes whereas creating distinction with the darkish water of the pool . Pores and skin tones are extra vibrant and pronounced . Clouds in the sky , which have been all the time missing in HD decision , now come out within the picture . Viewers can see tiny golf balls stand out in opposition to the inexperienced grass , as properly as quick – transferring volleyballs over the sand .
Through the opening ceremony , the utilization of Dolby Atmos sound allowed the NBC ’ s technicians to place the supply of stay music the place they noticed match inside the soundscape . No longer is the sound of the broadcast escaping your tv . It’s not an immersive wave that comes from all sides .
Given the circumstances on the video games , such as restricted crowds at the occasions , technicians took additional steps to raise the soundscape of the broadcast . The beginning gun popped from the again , placing viewers within the athlete ’ s footwear . Rivals may very well be heard mid – occasion . Balls , rackets , and no matter objects are used have a texture and presence in the soundscape .
Whereas NBC is making strides to embrace ATSC 3 . 0, there are nonetheless loads of hurdles to overcome . The know-how of the excessive – finish shopper market is nonetheless too fragmented to make the most of the mixture used for the Olympic Video games . Whereas HDR could look gorgeous on some televisions , different manufacturers can have little impact on the picture .
The lack of a common normal that all producers adhere to , cripples any likelihood at a fast turnover . On high of that , HDR should be utilized with different show tech , such as extensive coloration gamut , native dimming , or miniLED . However as lengthy as producers proceed to throw round PR buzz phrases and proprietary applied sciences , the shopper is left ready .