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Japanese TV starts ultra-high format

AAP logoAAP 1/08/2016

Japanese state broadcaster NHK has begun test broadcasts in 4K and 8K ultra high definition to fine-tune the technology and popularise its use before the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.

This is the world's first test broadcast in 8K, the current highest ultra-high-definition television resolution with a resolution of 4320 pixels, 16 times more than the existing high-definition (HD) display.

The broadcasts will be carried out on NHK's satellite channels and are expected to be in widespread use by 2018, the broadcaster said.

However, viewers may not be able to view images in 4K (which has four times the resolution of the existing HD technology) or 8K with conventional sets and televisions so NHK plans to install 8K televisions in its headquarters and public places in the largest cities of the country to promote the new technology.

Although the 4K format has already been used in test broadcasts in other countries, Japan is one of the pioneers in the technology owing to projects undertaken by NHK in collaboration with Japanese universities and companies including Sony, Panasonic, Sharp and Toshiba.

For the past two years, a Japanese test channel called Channel 4K and operated by NexTV-F, has been offering free content in 4K ultra high definition produced by other broadcasters of the group for six hours daily.

NHK is planning to broadcast the opening ceremony of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics Games as well as swimming and athletics competitions in 8K.

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