Didn't Get Tickets? Here's How to Watch the Olympics in UltraHD, on TV and on the Go

By Chris Mills on at

What with tickets for the Olympics running you stupid prices, and London's transport descending into chaos, you might decide to give the live events a miss for this year's Olympics. Don't worry, though, Locog and Auntie Beeb have got your back with big screens, TV coverage, streaming sites and more apps than you can shake ten multicoloured Olympic sticks at.


Big Screens

If you're the sort of person who turns their nose up at anything less than 1080p, have a look at the BBC's Super Hi-Vision (modest name, huh?). Also known as UltraHD, it's an 8k video that's being streamed live to a few select locations -- London, Glasgow and Bradford. The quality of the cameras and projection equipment is good enough that you'll be able to see the individual beads of sweat rolling down Chris Hoy's face as he's doing a victory lap (if that's your thing -- I'm not judging). Tickets are needed, which can be got through the BBC or Media Museum websites. Be quick though, places are limited!

If you're happy to settle with a (hopefully) fun atmosphere and gigantic screens, then the Locog Live Sites might just be enough. There's a whopping five screens in parks around London, and in most major cities across the country, so if you fancy the Olympic atmosphere without all the hassle of actually going through a million G4S security posts, then this might be a good option. In London, BT's even going all out with musical performances from the likes of Tom Jones, and bungee jumping for the more adventurous among you.



For those of you who prefer the comfort and dryness of your own sofa, the BBC's got 765 staff producing more than 2500 hours of footage over the 17-day period (17 days acutally only equates to 408 hours, in case you were wondering). There will be 24 Olympic channels with HD and SD feeds from every sport and every venue, available on the BBC main channels and the red button. They're also getting pushed free-of-charge to Sky, Virgin and Freesat, so pretty much all the bases are covered. For the 3D fans in the crowd, the BBC will broadcast the opening and closing ceremonies, and the men's 100m final in 3D, but you're stuck with Eurosport for 3D coverage the rest of the time.



Even if you're stuck with a bog-standard computer instead of a swanky HDTV, you can still get your Olympic fix from the BBC's website. All 24 channels that are available on TV are mirrored on its website, though the live streaming also gives you the option to switch feeds and rewind any of the streams instantly, using a new technology called "chunked streaming" that they're intro-ing 'specially for the Games. The website will also have a whole shedload of stats and analysis for your inner armchair coach.



Auntie's coverage is unrelenting here, with iOS and Android apps up for grabs to let you stream all that lovely video over Wi-Fi or 3G (if all the networks haven't crashed by then). If O2's network does go tits-up again, then you might want to switch to the Locog Results app, which will give you all the results without any of those time-and-data-consuming live streams.

So, all in all, unless you're living in a cave with a BlackBerry on O2, you probably won't be able to escape Olympics coverage for the next month or so -- assuming, of course, that the M4 hasn't collapsed and killed the entire American team by the time the opening ceremony rolls round.

Image credit: Olympic rings from Shutterstock

This article was originally published on July 17th.