At a ceremony in Tokyo on Saturday, December 1st, Communications Minister Masatoshi Ishida said he hopes Japan will play a leading global role in 4K and 8K broadcasting. NHK, Japan’s public broadcaster, at 10am local time, switched on the two new channels.
NHK President Ryoichi Ueda said the broadcaster will aim to spread the service by delivering exciting experiences for viewers. NHK is broadcasting the new services domestically on the satellite channels BS4K and BS8K.
The 8K ‘Super Hi-Vision’ channel kicked off with a newly scanned (in 8K) of Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey, and followed it up with 12 hours of 8K entertainment. One of the highlights was a special Outside Broadcast from Rome. NHK has had a three-truck 8K Outside Broadcast unit gathering material from most of Europe’s key tourist spots. At the end of October, it was in Kew Gardens, London, filming in some of the park’s famous glasshouses.
Since 8K televisions and receivers are highly priced (Samsung’s QLED- Q900R 85” 8K sets are on the market at about £7,000), NHK intends to showcase equipment and video in venues around Japan including public shopping centres and NHK retail outlets.