Comcast and Hulu may have already revealed plans for Winter Olympics coverage, but today, DirecTV is letting us in on what it has in store for the next several days. In addition to the regular prime time coverage anyone with access to NBC’s family of networks is privy to, the AT&T-owned company has a few other things up its sleeve to enhance your viewing experience. We’re talking 4K HDR and Dolby Atmos, for starters, when the festivities kick off this Thursday.
While DirecTV will offer ultra crisp and vibrant 4K HDR visuals alongside immersive Dolby Atmos audio, those two features will only be available next-day and on-demand. If you’ll recall, Comcast is doing the same. Dolby tells me this is the first time Atmos has been live produced in the US, even though the audio format isn’t available for live viewing. The company is already working with BT Sport and Sky in the UK for live Dolby Atmos during Premier League and UEFA Champions League soccer, so viewers in the US could get the same soon enough. Of course, that’s if the content providers see fit to make it available. Dolby Atmos is also available for live events in several other countries too, so hopefully it’s only a matter of time before live broadcasts here in the US take advantage.
In terms of events that will feature 4K HDR and Dolby Atmos, DirecTV didn’t divulge a full list. However, it did mention the Opening Ceremony, figure skating, short track speed skating, ski jumping and snowboard big air by name, so it sounds like all of the popular items are covered. AT&T also says that both DirecTV and U-verse customers can take advantage of a 4-in-1 viewing experience for seeing multiple events at once. This also allows you to watch the action alongside event listings, athlete bios, medal counts and more. There will also be a library of over 500 on-demand videos from NBC that cover highlights, athlete profiles, a few full-event replays and, of course, medal ceremonies.
If streaming is more your style, DirecTV Now subscribers will have access to the NBCUniversal networks, but NBC proper is limited to about 44 markets in the US. DirecTV and U-verse customers will also have access to NBCOlympics.com and the NBC Sports app using their account credentials — just like subscribers to other cable and TV services. The Olympics are always popular, so it always nice to see cable companies and TV providers making the effort to enhance the viewing experience for customers, even if there are some caveats.