2016 Rio Olympics to carry a torch for 8K and VR

A trial run for future Olympic Games coverage

Even though the Olympic Broadcasting Service (OBS) said last year that it wouldn't broadcast the 2016 Rio Olympic Games in 4K, apparently it will try its hand at 8K broadcasting instead.

At the time, the OBS said it would be working with Japanese broadcaster NHK on 8K format, and it has now confirmed that it will air around 130 hours of Super Hi-Vision video (7,680 x 4,320 resolution) with 22.2 channel surround sound to Japan, according to Advanced Television.

Coverage in 8K will include the opening and closing ceremonies, as well as some coverage of judo, football, swimming and basketball.

OBS is likely trialing 8K broadcasting, as wells 4K downscaling, in hopes of eventually broadcasting the 2020 Tokyo Olympics at this resolution.

It's essentially banking on at least 4K tech (both TVs and for broadcasters) becoming much more accessible by the time 2020 rolls around, rather than pushing it at a time when TV and broadcast support is still not widely available. For now, OBS' coverage will be available in 1080p video resolution with 5.1 surround sound.

Meanwhile, OBS does plan on making some VR footage available to everyone around the world. VR coverage will include the opening and closing ceremonies, as well as "one key event per day."

The VR content will reportedly be available live through compatible technology, though OBS hasn't yet detailed what this would be.

The content shot for VR will also be available for viewing without the need of a headset, which we assume means 360-degree video.