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Tokyo 2020 will be the world’s first 8K Ultra HD Olympic Games

Japanese public broadcaster NHK is pitching 2020’s newly-minted Tokyo Olympic games as a landmark for 8K Ultra HD TV.

The Japanese capital was today awarded the 2020 Olympics, giving NHK a target for the 8K technology it has pioneered under the name Super Hi-Vision.

Super Hi-Vision is 16 times more detailed than today’s Full HD, but more importantly it exceeds the limit of how much detail a person can see at typical TV viewing distances.

Tokyo 2020 will be the world’s first 8K Ultra HD Olympic Games
Start saving up for your 8K Super Hi-Vision TV now

Read Recombu Digital’s guide Super Hi-Vision, Ultra HD, 4K and 8K TVNHK’s executive DG of engineering, Dr Keiichi Kubota, told Inside CI’s Steve May: “Broadcast technology has always been developed in parallel with the Olympic Games. So if the Olympics were to come to Tokyo, then we would work very hard to start something new in time.

“The motto for the Olympics is faster, higher and stronger. Athletes strive to be better than the best. The same could be said for the people that work at NHK.”

NHK has been working on 8K Super Hi-Vision for more than a decade, screened its first clip in 2001, and has tackled many of crucial technology issues to make it a reality

Last year, NHK partnered with the BBC to record some of the 2012 London Olympics in Super Hi-Vision, which were shown during the games in London, Bradford and Glasgow.

Recombu Digital was fortunate to attend one of the BBC’s Super Hi-Vision screenings and interviewed Dr Kubota to talk about the future of TV.

NHK is one of the world’s few broadcasters to have an NHK roadmap, and has decided to ignore the halfway-house of 4K being pushed by TV manufacturers, which will be used at next year’s FIFA World cup in Brazil.

Plans are already drawn up to develop 8K coverage across Japan via satellite, before starting terrestrial broadcasts on Japan’s equivalent of Freeview.

Other public broadcasters may follow NHK’s lead, allowing 8K technology to develop before taking the expensive step of upgrading from HD.

Sky has recently experimented with 4K coverage of Premier League football, but insists there’s no plan for a commercial Ultra HD service, which would need a new generation of Sky boxes in customers’ homes.


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