With 4K TV broadcasts only just gaining traction in the West, Japan is speeding ahead and is now broadcasting some programmes in 8K. The aim is to get 8K TV into homes in time for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

You may have just bought yourself a 4K TV, added an Ultra HD Blu-ray player and have just invested in Sky Q to get Ultra HD sports. The picture looks impressive doesn’t it? Well Japan clearly thinks differently because it’s been there, done that and got the 4K t-shirt, so the next thing on its agenda is 8K TV.

Japanese public broadcaster NHK is now broadcasting content in 8K, with a resolution of 7680 x 4320, 16 times the resolution of Full HD and four times that of 4K. NHK is calling it “Super Hi-Vision” and it also comes with 22.2-channel surround sound. 

NHK has launched a satellite channel that transmits a mixture of 8K and 4K content, and hopes to be able to beam 8K TV signals into homes in time for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics

The channel operates from 10am until 5pm, but will run for extended hours during the Rio Olympics, which start on Friday 5th August. Content is currently limited to the arts, sports, music and documentaries. 

Of course, with a higher resolution, the number of obstacles between camera and TV that must be overcome increases. Cameras, mixers, recording equipment, monitors and various other studio gear has to be specially built to handle uncompressed 8K video in real time, when data rates can reach 100Gbps.

More after the break

Fortunately, 8K isn’t new to NHK, as the broadcaster has been working on it for many years, and first demonstrated it in 2002. The live 8K transmissions can now be watched at several public viewing areas around Japan until consumer reception equipment becomes available.

MORE: NHK tests 8K TV broadcasts ahead of 2020 target

Source: PC World


con obrien's picture


Attended a demo of this in 2012 at the BBC Centre in Glasgow. They showed the London Olympics. However, the screen was "gynormous" and the 22.2 Sound immense. Interesting to see how it looks on smaller screens?? They are on track with their predictions as NKK stated at the demo that they intended to have this in Japanese homes in 2017 and we will be  a good bit behind at 2020. 

idp_1's picture


Yet another reason not to bother upgrading to 4K!

Erocia's picture


Will be sticking with my trusty full HD Sony, 4k 8k just seems a bit of a gimmick.
Next week it will be 12k.

Monder's picture

8K TVs?

What are the consumers watching it on?

lauwereyssens ludo's picture

8K tv -4K tv

Here in Belgium we recieve by cable only 720 or 1080i and not with each broadcaster. I have a good HD-ready 50 inch plasma tv and I have seen a lot of new 4k tv's who can't compete with my Fujitsu tv. I have connected my oppo blu-ray player with my Arcam Avr 600 reciever and the result is much better than with a 4 k tv led. I fear the moment when it Will goes broken. I'm a fan of plasma tv, led and oled are never a match for a good plasma screen. So give me a plasma screen in full HD and forget the rest.