The Olympics starts tonight with an opening ceremony, and events are already underway. If you’re like me, you want to make sure you have all of the latest tech innovations to make it seem like you are really in Pyeongchang, South Korea sitting in the bleachers. Here are my top tips and gear suggestions to make it all seem more vibrant and realistic.
1. Go with HDR
My biggest tip is to make sure you’re watching with HDR enabled. High dynamic range adds extra pop to every luge event, making blacks look rich and every color more distinct. To use it, I recommend something like the LG E7 OLED 4K ($3,500) television, which has a massive 65-inch size that will help you see every pained expression during events. If it’s too pricey, consider the TCL 49S405 49-Inch 4K Ultra that costs just $330 right now.
2. Upgrade to 4K
HDR is important for quality, and so is the resolution you’re using. HD just won’t cut it for this competition, so upgrade to 4K if you can. Not all televisions support this resolution, even the newer models. And, you’ll need something like the DISH Hopper 3 which can broadcast in both 4K and HDR. To watch all of the Olympics channels and the 2,400 hours of coverage, you’ll need to add your local NBC affiliate, NBCSN, CNBC, and USA–plans start at $60 per month on DISH. Don’t care about 4K? Stick with a livestream of the events, available from any browser. You will still need to select a cable subscription provider.
3. Find your center…channel
Sporting events tend to have weird surround-sound if you’re using multiple speakers. I’ve tested the Fluance Signature Series Tower Speakers before with front, back, and center speakers and a subwoofer. The sound quality is crisp and life-like and the price is not bad at $799 per speaker set, even if Fluance is not as recognizable as a brand. However, it’s important to learn how your audio receiver processes the audio. If you use the wrong settings, all you’ll hear is background noise and the crowd; you won’t udnerstand what people are saying. The best tip is to increase the center channel volume.
4. Get a projector
If 4K is not an option, another smart binge-watching strategy is to use a home theater projector. I’ve tested the Epson LS100 Home Cinema LS100 Ultra Short-Throw Laser Display ($3,000), which has a massive 10-foot diagonal image and is super bright, at 4,000 lumens. The downside is that you lose the higher resolution of 4K and this model doesn’t support HDR (high dynamic range) but it’s still theatre-quality home viewing. A lower-cost option that still projects onto a wall? I like the Asus S1 mobile projector, which costs only $300 and weighs .75 pounds. It’s only 200 lumens, though.