Sky Q finally gets a dose of live HDR broadcasts with Tokyo Olympics

Football/soccer at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics in Japan
(Image credit: rus12eng /

Sky Q will host live HDR broadcasts of the Tokyo Olympic Games, in their entirety, on the device’s dedicated Eurosport 4K channel. It marks the first time Sky Q has offered both 4K and HDR during a live broadcast. Viewers will be able to enjoy the live HDR broadcasts right from the get-go on July 23.

Sky Q users subscribed to Sky’s UHD service will not only be able to enjoy the full run of the Tokyo Olympics in glorious HDR, but they’ll also to enjoy another Sky first: live HDR broadcasts of Premier League football matches from the start of the season on August 13, meaning that live HDR broadcasts are potentially here to stay.

Speaking on the live HDR broadcasts of the Olympics and the Premier League coming to Sky Q, Sky’s Group Chief Product Officer Fraser Stirling said: “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. For sports fans, it’s the next best thing to being in the stadium.” 

Analysis: what's the big deal?

If you’re unfamiliar with the concept of HDR (or high dynamic range), it’s essentially a feature found most commonly in 4K TVs that brings out a much wider color gamut than non-HDR displays. This means that by viewing a HDR image, you’ll be treated to a much richer contrast, but also accurate dark blacks that can really add atmosphere and immersion to a scene.

While HDR might not strike you as a good fit for sports at first (after all, they’re not always the most visually stimulating pieces of entertainment out there), the difference it can make to the picture is still staggering. The lush greens of a football pitch really pop on a HDR display, and the wider color gamut could help some viewers better differentiate the action during a busy Olympic event.

Specifically, this is a pretty huge deal for Sky. Live HDR broadcasts are largely unprecedented for the company. Not only that, it looks to be more than just a gimmick, with Sky supporting widely-viewed, long-term content as the Olympics and the Premier League certainly are.

However, the biggest winners here are Sky Q users. While Sky Q is a very convenient place to access a wide range of streaming services that also offer 4K content, live HDR broadcasts aren’t particularly common. Likely, this means that Sky Q users will be treated to the best live image quality available at the time of showing.

Rhys Wood
Hardware Writer

Rhys is Hardware Writer for TechRadar Gaming, and has been part of the TechRadar team for more than two years. Rhys has a strong love for all things gaming, including everything from triple A blockbusters to hidden indie gems. For Rhys, the highlights of the work are being able to test out top-notch gaming hardware, from controllers and headsets to VR and beyond. When he's not on the clock, you'll usually find him logged into Final Fantasy 14 and Sea of Thieves. Or taking massive Ls in Mario Party Superstars.