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The Olympics tech that’s powering the Tokyo 2020 Games

The Tokyo skyline featuring Tokyo Tower

Once upon a time, the only way to watch the Olympics in America was through an antenna attached to your TV set. If the Games were in a different time zone—anywhere from one hour to almost a full day ahead—you were often watching pre-taped footage from events that had already happened, and the Olympics tech of the day meant broadcasters were limited in the number of events they could show in a day.

Olympics tech has come a long way since those days, and all you need now is a reliable internet connection to stream Olympics events as they happen, whether you’re watching on a laptop or on your big screen. The ability to stream has also made it possible to see more events than just what’s on the Olympics broadcast—remember when everyone got really into curling? Now you can feel the thrill of victory right along with the medal winners and see every moment you can stay awake for, thanks to the power of streaming TV.

What’s new this Olympics?

The 2020 Tokyo Olympics, which is rescheduled for 2021, will debut a number of pretty incredible features for fans, starting with the opening ceremony on Friday, Jul 23. This Olympics, tech plays a key role in the wall-to-wall coverage of the games. Here are just a few of the enhancements that are sure to level-up your viewing experience.

Native 4K production

Having the entirety of the Olympics shot and produced in 4K resolution with HDR production means you’ll get to see individual droplets of water coming off swimmer Katie Ledecky’s arms as she competes for gold.

Augmented reality

NBC will be using technology based on Epic Games’ Unreal Engine to integrate augmented reality elements into their Olympic broadcasts. This tech, which has been used to film TV series like The Mandalorian, provides a real-time virtual background that is almost indistinguishable from reality. Viewers and commentators will be able to drop into events for immediate, close-up, and in-depth analysis that’ll make you feel as though you’re right there watching Simone Biles do the impossible.

3D athlete tracking

3D athlete tracking enabled by Intel will support this analysis as well. This method of processing visual data will allow broadcasters to instantly generate 3D models of the athletes that commentators and analysts can use to show exactly how the incredible, physics-defying feats are being accomplished.

Intel’s 3D Athlete Tracking solution shows velocity, acceleration and bio-mechanics from a sprint. Image credit: Intel Corporation

8k immersive virtual reality

There will also be an abundance of virtual reality content for the Tokyo Games. Short of physically being in Tokyo, there’s no more immersive way to experience the events than 360-degree VR. NBC tested out live virtual reality streaming in the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, and fans were so enamored that NBC will continue to offer live VR, a first for the Summer Games. The opening and closing ceremonies will be available to stream in VR, along with select events in gymnastics, beach volleyball, and other sports.

What do I need to stream the Olympics?

While media companies like NBC will be using a host of tech to deliver live 4K footage to you wherever you are, all you need to enjoy the Games is a screen and a solid, reliable internet connection.

Whether your screen is the big one in your living room, a slightly smaller one on your desk, or the one in the palm of your hand, your preferred option may already support 4K viewing. The most important thing is ensuring that your internet connection can handle that breathtaking clarity without skipping a beat. A fiber internet connection can handle all of the thousands of hours of glorious 4K athletics that NBC is preparing to deliver.

Olympics tech has seen some tremendous upgrades, even in just the last two Olympic Games—it may be time for your internet to upgrade with it. Enhance your Olympics experience with Streaming TV and crazy fast fiber internet from Ting.

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