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Japanese uncertain about 8K benefits

Japan has now been test-broadcasting its 8K services for a week. The coverage includes time-delayed transmissions of the Rio Olympics, plus other documentary and drama productions made in 8K ‘Super Hi-Vision’.

The Japanese public, however, cannot see the tests on domestic receivers. Instead NHK has set up ‘public viewing’ demonstrations in six locations around Tokyo and Osaka. Japanese public broadcaster

NHK’s president Katsuto Momii, speaking at the start of the demo, said: “A new page has been opened in the history of broadcasting. I hope viewers can appreciate the images and sounds that give you the feeling that you are there, which is only possible with the new technology.”

Currently only a handful of 8K TV sets are available, and they are veryexpensive. Sharp, for example, have a very nice 8K TV, at $130,000. LG and Samsung are each reported to be planning to introduce 8K units this year.

Ichiro Takagi, president of Sony’s TV business division, told The Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper that Sony were enthusiastic about heading toward the development of 8K. “As a Japanese manufacturer, we will closely follow the trend,” he said, and confirmed that Sony were considering introducing 8K sets in time for the Tokyo Games in 2020, but added that for the time being, Sony would concentrate their efforts on “developing the image quality of 4K, and improving content.”

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