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How to watch the Tokyo Olympics in 4K: Where to see the games in UHD

Olympics in 4K
(Image credit: Atsushi Tomura / Getty)

Yes, you can watch the Tokyo Olympics in 4K, and that's only right. We've waited an extra year for this edition of the games to actually take place, so we might as well be able to see them in the crisp picture quality you get with the best 4K TVs. There's just one catch.

Even though NBC itself is streaming the Olympics in 4K, not every service or provider will distribute 4K streams. This is not ideal for those who haven't cut the cord, as not all cable providers will have UHD olympic streams — a shame, they should considering you've stuck with them as everyone else jumps away.

The good news is that anyone can get 4K Olympics streams right now, thanks to a couple of streaming services. And so we'll break down everything you need to know about who has the Olympics in 4K and who doesn't.

Where to watch the Tokyo Olympics in 4K online

You have two options for streaming the Olympics in 4K online, and neither is that cheap. One, however, is much more expensive.

Your first (and more affordable) option is Fubo TV — currently free for the first seven days for new subscribers. The $65 per month streaming service has 4K streams of everything from the Tokyo Olympics Opening Ceremony, to many events from the games, such as tennis, golf and the general "primetime coverage" block from NBC. 

Fubo TV has 4K versions of the Olympic Channel and the Golf Channel, where you'll find this coverage — but its 4K NBC screams will be limited to select markets and channels: Boston, MA and Manchester, NH via WBTS; Chicago, IL via WMAQ; Dallas and Ft. Worth, TX via KXAS; Los Angeles, CA via KNBC and New York, NY via  WNBC.

Fubo TV

Fubo TV: If you love sports, you probably want to check out Fubo TV. It's got a 7-day free trial so you don't need to pay up front. Fubo's dozens of channels include local networks like ABC and ESPN. You can also add on NBA TV. Fubo doesn't have TNT.

The other, much more expensive option, is to go through YouTube TV's new 4K Plus package, which will offer the Olympics in 4K HDR. This package will cost $19.99 per month on top of your normal YouTube TV bill (which starts at $64.99 per month), but early adopters get it for half-off, at $9.99 per month. 

As for the question of whether YouTube TV will have NBC 4K streams nationwide regardless of market, it appears possible. YouTube TV doesn't list NBC as one of the 4K channels it will offer on its FAQ page online, but in our testing of YouTube TV's 4K Plus package, NBC programming, such as the opening ceremony, is included.

That's still $9.99 more than Fubo TV, though, and so it's not exactly the best option for all. That said? It's got an unlimited capacity DVR, so you can record all of the events you'd want.

No Tokyo Olympics in 4K on Peacock

You know how NBCUniversal's Peacock is being promoted as the place to stream the Olympics? Well, it won't have 4K streams. That said, Peacock appears to be the exclusive home for some events, such as Team USA Men's Basketball, so the $4.99 Peacock Premium package will be a must for some.

Peacock

In addition to the Olympics live streams, Peacock also has huge library of licensed content drawn from various brands. That includes shows like 30 Rock, The Voice, Battlestar Galactica, Law & Order: SVU and This Is Us.

How to watch the Tokyo Olympics in 4K with cable

4K streaming all depends on your provider. For example, some TG staffers subscribe to Spectrum cable in NYC, which does not (and has never done) 4K streaming. 

Cox has 4K versions of NBC and the Olympic Channel and the Golf Channel.

Comcast customers will need the Xfinity X1 box (and not the Xfinity Flex) to stream the Olympics in 4K HDR. Coverage will include the NBC primetime coverage shows, opening and closing ceremonies, gymnastics, track and field, swimming, beach volleyball, golf and tennis. Unfortunately, this is not available in all markets, check here to confirm your availability.

DirecTV has a 4K channel (105) with content that's one-day delayed.

Dish will have 4K channels for the Golf Channel (148) and Olympic Channel (150).

Optimum and Altice One in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut will have 4K NBC coverage on channel 200. 

Verizon Fios will have 4K streams on the Golf Channel (1493) and Olympic Channel (1494), while live NBC 4K feeds are going to be available for Fios TV One customers in New York and Philadelphia.

Can you watch the Tokyo Olympics in 4K in the UK?

This is a murky situation, but all signs point to "nope." We've tried on our end to turn on UHD streams of the Olympic games on the BBC iPlayer, but failed to get them. Previously, for the Euro 2020, we got an option to "watch in UHD" — and that option isn't available for the Olympics for us at the moment. We'll update this section if and when we learn more.

Henry T. Casey

Henry is a senior editor at Tom’s Guide covering streaming media, laptops and all things Apple, reviewing devices and services for the past six-plus years. Prior to joining Tom's Guide, he reviewed software and hardware for TechRadar Pro, and interviewed artists for Patek Philippe International Magazine. He's also covered the wild world of professional wrestling for Cageside Seats, interviewing athletes and other industry veterans.