The Olympics have always been a showcase for new television technologies, but this the event is going one step further: large swaths of it will be filmed in virtual reality.
According to Advanced Television, the Olympic Broadcasting Services (OBS) confirmed that it will capture “one key event per day” in virtual reality, in addition to the opening and closing ceremonies.
You’ll need a compatible headset to view the footage in virtual reality but the OBS isn’t quite specifying what those are yet. Hopefully that includes Google Cardboard, as it’s by far the cheapest and most accessible platform out there right now, though we wouldn’t mind it showing up on more advanced headsets too.
In any case, the OBS confirmed that it will make the VR footage available for download later, including highlights that can be seen without a headset.
As for other futuristic broadcasting technologies, some of the Olympics will also be filmed in 8K resolution and 3D 22.2 channel surround sound for Japan – where the formats are more common – including the ceremonies and swimming, judo, athletics, basketball and football, and other moments.
4K footage will be created from downsampled 8K video for “testing and comparison purposes,” which means it won’t likely be seen anytime soon by the rest of the world, so we’re stuck with measly 1080p and 5.1 surround sound.