Japan’s SkyPerfecTV, owned by J-Sat, is broadcasting two 4K/UltraHDTV channels.
The broadcaster says it has invested some 200 million Yen (about $1.5m) to start up the channels, having asked Japan’s major production companies to help create unique 4K content for the services.
The first channel mainly shows sport and music, along with factual documentaries, travelogues and similar material. It transmits for about 14 hours each day. The channel is free to existing subscribers.
The second 4K channel is charged extra and comprises 4K-scanned movies and other high-quality programming, This channel is also offered on a PPV basis.
SkyPerfecTV is promising ‘first run’ programming in 4K every weekend. The channels went ‘live’ on March 1. They will also go ‘live’ on the fibre circuits of telco giant NTT on April 4.
They are broadcasting from their satellites operating at 124/128 degrees East and are targeting the 1 million or so subscribers who also take services from these satellites.
Japan’s public broadcaster NHK is also following its own ‘roadmap’ and intends testing 4K channels this year, building up to three 4K channels by 2018, and to have 6 channels on air, including some in 8K (“Super Hi Vision”) by 2020 in time for the Tokyo Olympic Games.