​Olympic Broadcasting: 4K is a ‘Bus Stop’ in Route to 8K

Olympic Broadcast Services (OBS), host broadcaster of the Rio Olympics has called 4K a “bus stop” in route to 8K.

“8K has the power to convey a greater appreciation of sport,” states OBS. “8K goes beyond 4K by delivering immersive and absorbing experiences that are currently not possible with 4K. From our standpoint, the final destination is the 8K world. 4K is just a bus stop. 8K provides a profound sense of reality, much superior than 4K pictures.”

OBS is to produce between 120-130 hours of live action in 8K from Rio. The live feed will be broadcast over satellite live to Japan for domestic 8K broadcast trials.

The coverage, produced with equipment from Japanese broadcaster NHK, will include 22.2 surround sound which OBS feels “reinforces the intimacy of the images”.

The 8K production is an experiment, albeit one on unprecedented scale. OBS emphasises it is still exploring through trial and error. No native 4K is being produced. Broadcasters like NBCUniversal will be taking a downconverter 4K feed from the 8K signal one day later.

“Viewers can see the breath of the athletes, while also experiencing the numerous sounds generated from the field of play, including the ambient sound of the crowds," states OBS. "This makes the entire experience more impressive than 5.1 surround.

“However, with the existing cutting-edge technology that incorporates the highest possible image resolution and 3D surround sound, the broadcast coverage will be greatly impacted, ultimately providing a more intimate, immersive experience for the viewers,” OBS adds.

“8K equipment is already present on the market. This is the ultimate TV technology that we expect to continue to develop as we move toward the future of broadcasting.”

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