Dolby Atmos has been on Sky’s roadmap for some time, but it's finally due to arrive tomorrow. The opening clash of the 17/18 season between Arsenal and Leicester marks the first of Sky’s programmes to be broadcast in Ultra HD and Dolby Atmos.
Sky says this is the first of 124 Premier League matches this season to be broadcast in both formats.
Sky showed the same number of matches in 4K resolution last season, so the inclusion of the immersive object-based surround-sound format will bring it in line with the technological achievements of BT Sport. It's been offering Atmos-supported UHD content to subscribers to its Entertainment UltraHD package since January.
Football seems to be the only sport getting the UltraHD and Atmos treatment right now, but we’d expect a wider range of subjects to follow from both broadcasters. After all, Sky has already expanded its 4K content to films and other sports such as Formula 1 and cricket, while the BT Sport 4K UHD channel also covers Aviva Premiership rugby.
BT has pipped Sky to the post with both 4K and Atmos broadcasts, but the race to HDR is still wide open...
Sky also used the announcement to tell us about two new features coming to Sky Q.
Firstly, there’s Watch From Start, which aims to give viewers greater flexibility in their viewing. Miss the start of the match getting the beers in? Simply head to the recently rebranded Sky Sports Premier League channel, press the red button for the Sky Sports app, and choose the option to either view a live event from the beginning or go straight to key moments.
And, slightly less compellingly, from 14th August Sky Q 2TB customers will also be able to access animated images - of the Mona Lisa or Premier League stadiums, for example – in UltraHD.