8K TV: Japan aims for 8K broadcasts in 2020

Never one to rest on its technological laurels, NHK aims to "provide broadcasting and services of the world's highest standards, utilising leading edge technologies". And that means 8K TV, with 2020 the target year and timed to coincide with the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic games.

NHK confirmed its 8K project - first mooted last year - had been approved by its board of governors as part of the company's corporate plan for 2015-17.

MORE: OLED, 4K, 8K TV - the future of TV

8K resolution, 7,680 x 4,320, delivers 33,000,000 pixels, 16 times that of HD. NHK is also planning a 22.2-channel 3D sound system to accompany its "Super Hi-Vision" plans. Panasonic and NHK revealed a 145in 8K plasma display back in 2012, though we fear there won't be too many plasma panels around when NHK comes to test its wider 8K broadcasts, which are scheduled to start in 2016.

Next month, NHK will be holding an 8K "public viewing" in Tokyo of footage shot at the Sochi Winter Olympics using an "experimental live relay utilising [a] wireless 8K transmission device".

Realistically, the rest of us are more interested in 4K for now. Sky trialled a 4K broadcast back in 2013, while the BBC and Sony also demoed 4K at Wimbledon last year. There were also a few public 4K broadcasts of the World Cup. More concrete plans from the BBC, BT Sport or Sky are yet to materialise.

MORE: 4K Ultra HD TV - everything you need to know

Joe Cox
Content Director

Joe is Content Director for T3 and What Hi-Fi?, having previously been the Global Editor-in-Chief of What Hi-Fi?. He has worked on What Hi-Fi? across the print magazine and website for more than 15 years, writing news, reviews and features on everything from turntables to TVs, headphones to hi-fi separates. He has covered product launch events across the world, from Apple to Technics, Sony and Samsung; reported from CES, the Bristol Show, and Munich High End for many years; and written for sites such as the BBC, Stuff, and the Guardian. In his spare time, he enjoys expanding his vinyl collection and cycling (not at the same time).