Japanese public broadcaster NHK will shortly consolidate its three digital satellite channels into two in order that extra HDTV programming can be shown. Currently NHK transmits three of its main channels over satellite, one in HD and the other two showing standard definition programming.
From April the two channels will be given a new look as BS1 and BS Premium. The main pillars of ‘BS1’ will be world affairs and sports. It will offer viewers the latest news from around the world, and live broadcasts of major sports events such as MLB, NBA, Serie A, etc. ‘BS Premium’ will be a channel designated for authentic entertainment and culture programs. Viewers can enjoy beautiful dynamic scenes of nature and powerful music performances provided by HD/Hi-Vision. Regular series of programmes featuring history, arts, and other genres are also planned to be on the line-up.
Next year is also important in terms of Japan’s analogue switch-off, on schedule to be completed by July 24. Until then, NHK’s analogue TV broadcasting, both terrestrial and satellite, will be a simulcast of the respective digital service.