Many of the world’s broadcasters are looking to the next stage in transmission, namely so-called Ultra-HDTV (usually called 4K). But NHK, Japan’s public broadcaster, is making a huge show in Brazil of its ultimate plan, which is to see 8K ‘Super Hi-Vision’ start broadcasting in 2020.
NHK is capturing some of the current FIFA World Cup games in 8K and beaming the signals back to Japan as well as showcasing the technology to some public sites in Brazil. The Japan vs Cote d’Ivoire game was shown in 8K, and the USA vs Ghana games also treated to 8K coverage. These games were shown at 4 special sites in Japan on giant screens.
The same signals will also be down-converted to 4K in order to test the conversion and transmission system.
Japan is concentrating on Brazil, not just because of the soccer, but because the nation is a user of the Japanese-developed digital terrestrial broadcasting system, ISDB, and is consequently seen as a prime candidate for adopting the advanced technology. Brazil’s 2016 hosting of the Olympic Games will provide another test-bed for trialling the systems.