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Japan’s NHK has successfully broadcast long-distance DTT signals for its Super Hi-Vision 8K format, sending huge amounts of data over UHF airwaves, but despite this test, it’s unclear if many Japanese will be watching 8K TV by the time Tokyo hosts the Olympics Games in 2020.
The public broadcaster’s Science & Technology Research Laboratories conducted the test from its bureau in Hitoyoshi, southern Japan, and managed to send the 8K Ultra Hihg HD TV signal to a receiving station 27 kilometres away using a single UHF channel.
“The success of this experiment is a big step forward toward the realisation of 8K Super Hi-Vision terrestrial broadcasting,” NHK Labs researcher Tomohiro Saito said. “We’re now working on overcoming one challenge at a time to implement it.”
“NHK’s successful 8K trial has demonstrated technical feasibility,” said Damian Thong, a technology analyst at Macquarie Securities in Tokyo. “This was never really in doubt given the technological capability of the NHK and its partners.”
”The real question is whether there will be a commercial argument for 8K adoption just based on resolution,” Thong added. “Simply, for most typical television viewing distances, normal humans may not be able to discern the difference between 8K and 4K. The more compelling argument for migration may be in other aspects of picture quality that will also improve with the migrations to 4K and beyond, including frame rate, color, and dynamic range. The move to 4K and 8K will be costly for broadcasters and other content providers. As it stands, the 4K migration will run into early next decade as there will be some initial conservatism all round. After that there will be a period, probably lengthy, when the focus will be on making investments pay off.”
”So I do not expect 8K to be mainstream, if at all, till perhaps 2030 or so,” he concluded.