Sky to broadcast the Tokyo Olympics live in HDR

Mike Wheatley

Sports-addicted SkyQ subscribers are in for a feast this summer. Sky has just announced that it’s planning to deliver High Dynamic Range to its Ultra HD live sports coverage for the first time, starting with the Tokyo Olympics and later, Premier League football.


Sky said viewers will be able to watch the Tokyo Olympic Games in 4K resolution and HDR this Friday as the grand opening ceremony kicks off, followed by hours of live coverage of various evets across the BBC, Eurosport and discovery+.

It’s a big deal and something Sky Q subscribers have been looking forward to for quite a while. HDR expands the range of contrast and colour quite significantly, with brighter parts of the image becoming brighter still, and more detail shown in the dark areas, so there’s more depth to the picture. The range of colours is expanded too, which means more bright blues, reds and greens and every shade in between. Every detail looks more realistic, and more life like.

Sky Q first added support for HDR last summer and its catalogue of content has been steadily growing ever since, with services such as Netflix and Disney+ also supported in addition to its own programmes and shows.

Now, Sky Q is delivering on its promise of bringing HDR to live sports for the first time. Simply switch over to the dedicated Eurosport 4K channel from today and you’ll be able to gorge yourself on more than 200 hours of live Olympics action over the next 16 days.

HDR can be switched on via the red button on the Sky Q remote. Viewers can also voice commands to find HDR Olympics content, with phrases such as “Today at the Olympics”, “Olympics in Ultra HD and HDR”, “2020 Olympics” and more.

Sky added that subscribers can also sign up to discovery+, which it calls the “streaming home of the Olympics”, at no extra cost for a 12 month period. From there, viewers can access a huge 55 live event feeds as well as on-demand action.

More exciting perhaps is that Sky Q has confirmed it’ll be offering 4K plus HDR for the upcoming 2021/22 Premier League season, kicking off with the first fixture between Brentford and Arsenal at the Brentford Community Stadium on August 13.

“Bringing HDR to live sport for the first time means you can feel closer to all the action of the Olympics and Premier League games, with the ultimate picture quality that creates the best at-home viewing experience,” said Sky’s Group Chief Product Officer Fraser Stirling. “For sports fans, it’s the next best thing to being in the stadium.”

To access the Olympic Gams in Ultra HD with HDR you’ll need to sign up for Sky’s UHD subscription. For those who don’t have one yet, Sky is offering a timely three-month free offer through the Sky VIP app, available from July 16. That offer will be available for just one month, Sky said.

For those who’re interested in Premier League footy in UHD with HDR, all that’s necessary to enjoy the action is a Sky Sports or Sky Sports Football subscription. Then, just hit the red button during the match to access HDR.

Of course, it goes without saying you’ll need a compatible TV too.