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Rio 2016 Olympics will place VR and 8K on the podium

This summer’s Olympic Games in Rio will be partially filmed in virtual reality and at the 8K Super Hi-Vision resolution.

The Olympic Broadcasting Services (OBS) has announced plans, for the first time, to film the opening and closing ceremonies in virtual reality and enable viewing through compatible headsets, Advanced Television reports.

One major athletic event will be shot for 360-degree consumption every day, enabling viewers to be “virtually transported to the heart of the Olympic action.”

The VR footage will be available to stream live, but will also be made available for download on demand after the fact.

The broadcaster hasn’t said whether coverage will be limited to certain VR headsets, such as the Oculus Rift or Samsung Gear VR, or whether it will be a free-for-all with humble Cardboard owners also able to join in on the fun.

The 360-degree video will also be made available without a headset, in a similar vein to Facebook’s immersive web-based offerings.

In terms of the 8K footage, a total of 130 hours of the 7,000 hours of footage will be sent to Japan. It will include coverage of swimming, judo, athletics, basketball and football.

OBS says that it also plans to experiment with High Dynamic Range footage with a wider colour gamut during the 8K shooting.

Related: Hands-on with Sharp’s 110-inch 8K TV

Naturally, not much of that footage will be available to consumers on this side of the planet, so the VR footage is certainly the bigger story here.


Have you ever longed to be on the start line for the 100m final? This summer you wish may come true…

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