The annual Academy Awards celebrates the best in movies released during the previous year and is watched on TV by millions around the world. The Academy Awards is televised to a Worldwide audience annually in February or early March.

The 2020 Oscar telecast, which honors films released in 2019, is scheduled to take place on Sunday, February 9, 2020, at 8 p.m. ET on ABC. Can’t receive via antenna or don’t have cable? Stream the show live in select markets and services.

Family Watching Television

Getty Images – ONOKY – Eric Audras – Brand X Pictures

Receiving and Watching the Telecast

For antenna, cable, and satellite viewers, here are some important tips that will enable you to get the best reception and viewing results.

  • Make sure your antenna, cable, or satellite box is functioning properly and that you will be able to receive the ABC broadcast. If you have an HDTV, make sure you are receiving ABC’s high-definition channel feed.
  • Although the Oscars will be telecast in High Definition, ABC broadcasts in the 720p resolution format. However, although the Oscars are not going to be broadcast in 1080p or 4K, your Oscar viewing experience may still be further enhanced on a 1080p or 4K Ultra HD TV, if you are using one to watch the event. These sets provide upscaling, which will add more perceived detail from the HD broadcast signal.
  • If you are receiving the telecast via your cable/satellite box, you have a couple of additional options. First, check to see if your cable/satellite box has output resolution settings that include 1080p, if so, use that setting – OR – you if you have a home theater receiver that provides 1080p upscaling, you can send the 720p cable or satellite signal (via HDMI) through the receiver for upscaling and then the receiver can send the 1080p upscaled signal to your HDTV via its HDMI output.

The Sound of the Oscars

The Oscars will be telecast with Dolby Digital 5.1 Channel Surround Sound (subject to how your local ABC affiliate, cable, or satellite services pass along the Dolby Digital signal). Either way, to get the best sound experience for the Oscars there are several ways to go, depending on what you have to work with.

TV Audio Output Connection Options

  • If you are going to receive the Oscar telecast via over-the-air antenna, check to see if your TV has a digital optical audio output Connection. If so, and if you additionally have either a home theater receiver or soundbar that has a corresponding digital optical audio input, connect the digital audio output of the HDTV to the digital audio input of the home theater receiver or soundbar and you will experience better sound (if using a soundbar) or the full surround feed (if using a home theater receiver and 5.1 channel speaker setup) for the Oscars provided, as mentioned above, your local station, cable, satellite services pass along the full surround sound signal.
  • If your TV does not have a digital optical audio Output but has a set of analog stereo outputs, then connect those to your home theater system or soundbar. Also, if connecting to a home theater system, check to see if the system has a Dolby Prologic II, IIx, or DTS Neo:6 setting option. If so, then you will be able to extract a surround sound signal from the stereo signal, it just won’t be as effective as the digital optical audio connection option.
  • Another audio connection option is Audio Return Channel (ARC). To take advantage of this option, both your TV and Home Theater Receiver/System or Sound Bar have to incorporate this feature.
  • If you subscribe to Cable/Satellite, your cable or satellite box should have a digital optical audio output connection. If this is the case, connect directly from the box to the digital audio input connection of your home theater system or soundbar. You will be able to access the surround sound signal from the high definition cable or satellite feed.
  • If you have a home theater receiver that has HDMI audio access, and your Cable/Satellite Box has an HDMI output, the best option is to connect the HDMI output from your Cable or Satellite box to your home theater receiver and connect the output of your home theater receiver to your HDTV. You will be able to access audio and video using a single connection from the box to the home theater receiver, and then to the HDTV.

Once you have your system all set-up and ready to go, and you have an iPhone, iPad, iPad mini or Android Phone, check out the useful THX Home Theater Tune-Up app.

Streaming The Oscars

As mentioned previously, to supplement the Oscars TV broadcast available via antenna, cable or satellite, portions of the ceremony, as well as special backstage looks are streamed via The Oscars Live Web page.

In addition, comprehensive Oscar Night streaming coverage is available through and the ABC mobile app. For all the details on how to access ABC’s streaming coverage in select markets as well as other possible alternatives, check out our companion article: How to Live Stream The Oscars Online.

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