Dolby Atmos will bring the 2018 Olympics with all the thrill, none of the chill

PyeongChang winter olympics 2018
International Olympic Committee/Jean Chung
The 2018 Olympic Winter Games are about to get underway, and there are more ways than ever before to feel like you’re right there in PyeongChang, including virtual reality. If you’re less interested in strapping on a headset than kicking back on your couch, Dolby has partnered with DirecTV and Comcast Xfinity to bring you the next best thing to being there.

Both Comcast and DirecTV will be offering coverage from the Olympics in 4K HDR, complete with Dolby Atmos for sound. If you aren’t familiar with Atmos, it takes standard surround sound even further by adding height information, meaning it can emulate sounds coming from above, in addition to your left, right, front, and back. In a theater with Atmos sound, you’ll hear objects moving through the theater, and while that can’t exactly be done with a sporting event, this will still be the most immersive way to watch the games on your TV.

Movies using Atmos are slowly crafted, mixing different sound sources to get the desired result, but that won’t be the case with the Olympics. Instead, what you hear will be captured and produced live using well-placed microphones – a first for Dolby Atmos in the U.S. This means not only will you hear a new dimension of sound, but you’ll likely hear things you’ve never noticed while watching the games before. Events captured with Dolby Atmos will include the opening ceremony, Hockey, Ski Jumping, Snowboard Big Air, and Figure Skating.

While the content will be produced live, you won’t be able to watch it live, at least not with 4K HDR and Dolby Atmos. In the case of DirecTV, it will be airing the Dolby Atmos content on its 4K channel, which is on a time delay, while Comcast Xfinity will be offering Dolby Atmos on-demand. Since Dolby can produce its Atmos for live sports in real time, however, it may not be long until we’re getting live sports with Atmos sound more regularly in the U.S.

To make the most out of Dolby Atmos, speakers either mounted in the ceiling or firing toward the ceiling are used, but you don’t necessarily need these to benefit. If you’ve got a TV with Dolby Atmos built-in like LG’s OLED or Super UHD TVs, or if you’ve got a sound bar that supports Dolby Atmos in some way, you’ll still be getting better overall sound than if you were watching with standard surround sound –more sound sources makes for better sound!

The fact that both Comcast and DirecTV have chosen to air the Olympics with Dolby Atmos, even in this limited fashion, is a testament to how the technology is catching on. That said, they aren’t the only ways to watch. If you’re looking for more ways to stay caught up on the games, make sure to check out our guide on how to watch the 2018 Olympics.

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Folding canoes and ultra-fast water filters

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Home Theater

Looking for the best 4K Ultra HD TVs you can buy? Here are five great options

If it's time to upgrade your old 1080p to a new 4K model but you don't know what to look for, fear not, as we're here with a list of the best 4K Ultra HD TVs to help make your buying process as easy as possible.
Home Theater

New TV? Here's where to go to watch the best 4K content available

Searching for content for your new 4K UHD TV? Look no further. We have every major source of the best 4K content, along with the cost, hardware requirements, and features that make each service worth a look.
Home Theater

How to know if you’ve got great Dolby Atmos sound

Dolby Atmos surround sound has become the holy grail for home theater lovers who want the best possible sound from their systems. But getting Dolby Atmos isn't as straightforward as you might think. Compatibility problems between components…
Movies & TV

Out of movies to binge? Our staff picks the best flicks on Hulu right now

From classics to blockbusters, Hulu offers some great films to its subscribers. Check out the best movies on Hulu, whether you're into charming adventure tales or gruesome horror stories.
Movies & TV

The best new movie trailers: ‘Avengers: Endgame,’ ‘Bumblebee,’ ‘Alita,’ and more

Everyone loves a good trailer, but keeping up with what's new isn't easy. That's why we round up the best ones for you. This week, it's the first trailer for Avengers: Endgame, as well as new trailers for Alita: Battle Angel and Bumblebee.
Deals

The best 4K TV deals under $500 and over 50 inches

Big-screen TVs with high-resolution displays and 4K color have dropped so far in price that you can find highly rated 50 to 55-inch models under $500. We searched major retailers for the best deals on 4K UHD TVs.
Movies & TV

The best movies on Amazon Prime right now (December 2018)

Prime Video provides subscribers with access to a host of fantastic films, but sorting through the catalog can be an undertaking. Luckily, we've done the work for you. Here are the best movies on Amazon Prime Video right now.
Movies & TV

Best new shows and movies to stream: ‘The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel’ and more

Need something to watch this weekend? Check out our list of the best new shows and movies to stream right now. On the list this week: The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel season 2, Neo Yokio: Pink Christmas, and more.
Movies & TV

'Prime'-time TV: Here are the best shows on Amazon Prime right now

There's more to Amazon Prime than free two-day shipping, including access to a number of phenomenal shows at no extra cost. To make the sifting easier, here are our favorite shows currently streaming on Amazon Prime.
Movies & TV

'Stranger Things' season 3 teaser reveals the new episodes' titles

With a sophomore season as strong as its first, Stranger Things is now moving on to season 3. Here's everything we've learned so far about the Netflix series' upcoming third season.
Home Theater

Wireless headphones are finally awesome, and these are our favorites

Between sleek form factors, prime audio quality, and the freedom of untethered listening, there has never been a better time to pick up a pair of wireless headphones. These are the best ones currently available.
Home Theater

Stranger Things season 3 predictions: Decoding the episode titles

Netflix has revealed the episode titles for season 3 of Stranger Things, and the eight titles could shed light on what we can expect to see when the hit show returns in summer 2019.
Deals

This one-day Skullcandy sale gets you wireless earbuds for under $30

Today only, you can save 40 percent on wireless earbuds, noise-canceling headphones, and classic earbuds direct from the Skullcandy website. If you're hoping to get a pair of headphones before the holidays arrive, now is the time.