How to watch or stream the Tokyo Olympics in 4K HDR

The Olympic rings float in Tokyo Bay near Odaiba Marine Park, venue of the triathlon and marathon swimming events during the Tokyo Games. 

Akio Kon/Bloomberg/Getty Images

After some major pandemic-enforced delays the 2020 Tokyo Olympics are set to open next Friday, July 23. While the Olympics won't allow spectators, you already have the best seat in the house at home. For the first time ever, the Summer Games are going to be broadcast and streamed in 4K HDR.

How can you watch?

Will it stream on your favorite service? What about Peacock? Here's what you need to know. 

Which providers will offer the Olympics in 4K HDR? 

NBC will be broadcasting the games in 4K HDR with Dolby Atmos sound, though not every cable provider or streaming service will offer it.

As always, you will need a 4K TV and a compatible app or box to view content in 4K HDR.  

Broadcast

Those with Comcast, which owns NBCUniversal, will be offering those with its Xfinity X1 service the ability to watch in 4K HDR with Dolby Vision.  Cable provider Optimum (channel 200) and satellite network DirecTV (channel 105) will also offer the games in 4K, though not with Dolby Vision.  Dish says it will offer the Golf Channel and the Olympic Channel in 4K HDR in its "usual 4K channel slot" at channel 540 as well as in an "Olympics-centralized location" at channel 148.

It notes that "timing will coincide with the events being covered on the Golf and Olympics channels." Verizon will offer the Olympics in 4K to those with its Fios One service. Channels will include NBC (Fios TV channels 1491 and 1492), the Golf Channel (1493) and the Olympic Channel (1494).

Streaming

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Those looking to stream in the highest resolution available will be able to do so on FuboTV or with YouTube TV, but there are few things to keep in mind. 

YouTube TV -- our go-to pick for a streaming TV service -- will have 4K channels available for NBC, NBC Sports, Olympic Channel and Golf Channel, according to The Streamable. You will, however, need to be signed up for the company's new 4K option that runs an extra £20 per month on top of the £65 regular monthly rate.  

FuboTV's home screen on an Apple TV is uncluttered and friendly.

Ty Pendlebury/CNET

FuboTV doesn't charge extra for 4K, but its higher resolution feeds from NBC, the Olympic Channel and Golf Channel will only be available to those in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas-Fort Worth and Boston.   

What about Peacock?  

NBC has confirmed that Peacock will not be streaming the games in 4K. While it won't be in 4K, the service will stream some of the major games and competitions for free.

This includes events such as men's and women's gymnastics and men's and women's track and field. It will not, however, be streaming the US men's basketball games for free. For that, you'll need to pony up for a Peacock Premium subscription, which starts at £5 per month for an ad-supported plan, or £10 per month for the Plus option that offers on-demand content ad-free.

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When do I need to set my DVR for? 

The Olympics start on July 23 with the opening ceremonies expected to begin at 4 a.m.

PT (7 a.m. ET). The final day of the competition, as well as the closing ceremonies, will take place on Aug.

8.  The first matches of the competition will actually begin three days before the opening ceremony on July 20 (July 21 in Japan).  Read moreHow to watch the Tokyo Olympics

Which channels will be broadcasting the Olympics? 

The many NBC channels and websites broadcasting the Tokyo Olympics in the US. 

NBCUniversal

NBCUniversal owns the US rights to Olympics broadcasting and will once again be using its variety of networks to show competitions from the Summer Games.

This includes the main NBC channel, as well as NBCSN, USA Network, CNBC, the Olympic Channel: Home of Team USA, Golf Channel, Telemundo and Universo.  Per an NBC press release, the main NBC channel will have 17 "consecutive nights of primetime coverage" as well as a live primetime show.  

What about COVID? Will fans be allowed in the stands? 

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to plague countries around the world, with new cases in Tokyo surging to a six-month high on Thursday.

As a result, Tokyo is currently operating under a state of emergency, and while the Olympics are still due to take place, fans will be barred from attending the games in person.

Officials are also asking that people not congregate on roads alongside outdoor events like the marathon, according to The Washington Post