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4K? Schmore-K: NHK to test 8K Ultra HD TV via satellite in 2016

Japanese broadcaster NHK will begin transmitting 8K content sooner than you might think. 

Next year, NHK will trial live broadcasts of 8K Ultra HD – aka Super Hi-Vision – broadcasts via satellite. 

The broadcaster confirmed its plans to begin testing the new format, which has long since been in the pipeline, at an event hosted at its own Science & Technology Research Laboratories in Setagaya this week.

Attendees were also treated to a demonstration of the new tech, which showed live 8K content of the Tokyo Bay area beamed in via satellite. 

What are Super Hi-Vision, Ultra HD, 4K and 8K TV?The company plans to begin publically testing 8K over satellite in 2016 with a view to rolling the technology out by 2018, possibly over the airwaves as well. The ultimate goal is for it to be the broadcast standard in time for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

In order to broadcast in such high resolutions, the company has had to develop camera technology which is able to capture it, and the huge data requirements associated with such high quality content haven’t been easy to deal with.

8K Ultra HD runs at a whopping 7,680 by 4,320 pixels, making it four times the resolution of 4K and, uncompressed, the content can demand as much bandwidth as 72Gbps, with 25Mpbs of that gargantuan figure gobbled up by the content’s accompanying 22 channel surround sound.

Of course, while our industrious Japanese cousins are hard at work, pioneering these extraordinary new technologies, which will transform broadcast media, we here in the UK are still sat, twiddling our thumbs waiting for 4K – though Sky and BT are said to be readying the tech for some time in the coming months – by which time it could well be obsolete.


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