TV Answer Man, my family wants to watch the Oscars tonight. Two questions: Can you get it in 4K? And is there any way to stream it for free? — Bucky, Greensboro, North Carolina.
Bucky, the 94th Academy Awards, better known as The Oscars, will start tonight at 8 p.m. ET. The Best Picture nominees include Dune, Nightmare Alley, Coda, The Power of the Dog, Licorice Pizza, Belfast, Drive My Car, West Side Story, Don’t Look Up and King Richard. And if you didn’t watch many, or any, of the nominated films, that’s okay. Neither did most Americans.
But it’s still the Oscars, which means millions will still watch, although the number of viewers could hit an all-time low, according to many analysts who say people have grown tired of awards shows.
If you do watch tonight, it will be broadcast on ABC as well as streamed on ABC.com and the network’s apps. However, to access the stream, you will need a user name and password from a pay TV subscription service such as cable, satellite or a live streaming service. That means the stream won’t be free. The only way to watch it online for free is to sign up for a free trial from a live streamer such as YouTube TV or DIRECTV Stream. (Of course, you could also watch it for free via a TV antenna if you can pick up the local ABC station’s signal at your home.)
More bad news: The Oscars telecast will not be available in 4K, which shouldn’t be a major surprise to 4K enthusiasts. While ABC’s sister network, ESPN, has done live college basketball and football games in 4K, ABC has never done a single event in the format.
Bucky, hope that helps. Happy viewing and stay safe!
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— Phillip Swann