For those who have not looked into TV panel technology in a while, 4K resolution – as in, four times the standard 1080 in current HD formats – is the up and coming thing. And Japanese consumer electronics manufacturers are banking on 4K super HD technology to drag their flagging TV businesses out of the doldrums and into relevance again, especially now that 1080 full HD TV’s have become the norm. To promote the new technology, a consortium of Japanese broadcasters and TV manufacturers have on Monday started test satellite broadcasts of 4K content in Japan.
The group calls themselves NexTV-F and they are backing on 4K technology to help boost consumer electronics sales, pushing to make Japan the center and prime provider for 4K TV technology. If they can somehow achieve this, it would be a great boost to Japan’s struggling economy. On Monday, the consortium, with the help of the Japanese broadcasters within the group, made available 4K content over a satellite broadcast for the first time globally. Yoko Kamikawa – vice minister of Japan’s Internal Affairs and Communication Ministry – said that this was a great breakthrough, as she watched the test broadcast commence. She also said that Japan is committed to pushing the technology forward, probably having 4K and even 8K digital content by 2016.
Having the screens to display 4K and 8K content is great, but the content side is also essential. With this in mind, Japanese public station NHK is already starting to hone its own 8K broadcast technology. For practical computation, 8K resolution will be 16 times sharper than current 1080 full high-definition TVs. Japan is hoping that by 2020 – when the Tokyo Summer Olympic Games will roll in – that Japan will be able to provide 8K coverage of the games. In perspective, other countries are also developing their own 4K and 8K technology for broadcasting. The onus is now on Japan to show if they are able to lead the way in pushing this new technology.