NHK outlines 4K and 8K channel plans

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Japan’s public broadcaster NHK used MIPCOM to expand on its December 1st launch date for two new Ultra HD channels. One will broadcast in 4K, and the other in ‘Super Hi-Vision’ 8K – a world’s first for this maximum-definition broadcasting model.

Mika Kanaya, NHK’s Senior Producer in its Global Content/Programming Division, told MIPCOM delegates that the 4K channel will transmit 18 hours a day of new, native 4K programming – including drama, documentaries, sports and entertainment. NHK will also be producing a nightly news show in 4K.

“There will be something for everyone,” Kanaya explained. “It will be the premium destination for those inspired by new images.”

Highlights of the opening day’s transmission will be live transmissions from Antarctica. NHK’s producers are taking an OB truck around Europe to capture dedicated programming from some capital cities. This coming week they will be on a three-day shoot at London’s spectacular Royal Botanical Gardens, at Kew.

The 8K channel also launches on December 1st, and specially shot programming will feature. 8K has been 15 years in development, and Kanaya said the channel’s launch will be a milestone for NHK, and would “reinvent the way TV is watched”.

One impressive new documentary has an underwater team exploring the gigantic Cenote cave system in Mexico, and which resulted in spectacular 8K footage.

Other programming features Europe’s most renowned orchestras (Vienna Philharmonic, Berlin Philharmonic, and the Dutch Royal Concertgebouw). A four-part programme on the Paris Louvre museum is also scheduled.  The opening night will feature a live transmission from a major Italian city.


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