Japanese telco NTT Plala is to start 4K/Ultra HD services on October 27th. The commitment emerged during MIPCOM’s 4K series of screenings and panels in Cannes.
NTT Plala is a major Japanese ISP and was established in 1995 and is the latest enterprise to join what is now clearly a gathering rush towards 4K content availability. Sky Perfect JSAT has already promised a launch of its 4K service which will start in March 2015. Some key cable operators are already committed to following suit in 2015.
While the numerous 4K transmissions now promised for 2014-15 and now readying for launch (and in addition to the NexTV Forum’s ‘experimental’ channel already on air) it is likely that Japan will have 2-3 Ultra-HD channels on air in time for the Rio Olympics, plus an additional channel in 8K described again as ‘experimental’.
During 2016, according to Keiya Motohashi from Japan’s NexTV Forum, a complete transponder on a satellite operating from 110 deg East will be used for a mix of 8K and 4K programming with up to 3 channels in 4K as well as the 8K ‘experimental’ channel. The 100 Mb/s available from the transponder will be allocated in key time slices to either 4K or 8K ‘channels’.
Motohashi said all of this work is being driven by the goal of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, and will be operating well beyond the experimental services promised for 2015-16. He said that by 2018 Japan would have a wide range of 4K channels on air, s well as the 8K channel, and with satellite, cable and telco-based service providers.