NHK, Japan’s national television broadcaster, has revealed plans to begin transmissions in 2016 using the new Super Hi-Vision format, which features a resolution 16 times higher than the current HDTV standards. Having been in development in part by NHK for the last few years, the 7,680 pixels by 4,320 pixels resolution was given its first trial broadcast during last summer’s London Olympics.
Super Hi-Vision easily outclasses the latest “4K” high-definition standard that is just making its way into consumer television sets and being promoted by manufacturers as “the next big thing.” Broadcasting programs in the new format will be up to individual TV stations, and while some are resistant due to the high costs of upgrading, NHK seems ready to jump in without hesitation. Yoshiaki Shishikui, the head of research at NHK’s science and technology laboratory, says the test at the Summer Olympic Games was a great success. The Japanese station produced 6 channels of live coverage in the Super Hi-Vision format that were shown at several public viewing locations within the U.K. and back in Japan. Among the feedback from viewers, there were many responses of feeling like they were witnessing the events in person.
While NHK may be eager to put its new technology to use, there are certainly a number technical hurdles it needs to overcome. The uncompressed video in Super Hi-Vision runs at a large 24 gigabits per second, and editing that signal followed by compression and transmission to viewers will be very challenging. The station was originally planning to begin broadcasts via satellite in 2020, but now they have moved up their schedule.
[via MIS Asia]