There are now five 8K television services available, although the longest-established service (BS8K) is only available in Japan. The other 4 services are available internationally, and include:
· NASA, an OTT service launched in 2018
· Rakuten TV, OTT launched in 2018
· The Explorers, OTT available since 2019
· YouTube, OTT, since 2013
Japan’s BS8K will be in maximum use with the the upcoming Olympics, and dual-emitted with the nation’s 4K transmissions.
Ben Schwarz, writing for the Ultra HD Forum, reminded readers that other 8K trials are taking place, notably in China and South Korea.
“You may expect new 8K services to appear mainly on OTT streaming platforms,” said Schwarz. “As for terrestrial broadcasters and cable operators, the bandwidth is just too limited today. With IPTV and especially satellite delivery, there’s more room. However, with an 8K channel taking up as much space as four 4K channels, 16 HD channels, or a few dozen SD channels, it’s easy to see how it’s still hard to make a business case for 8K delivery over managed networks. Streaming service providers don’t have the same investment concerns, which may explain why they currently own 80 per cent of the market.”