Public demand for 8K TV uncertain in Japan reports that NHK has begun test broadcasting the ultrahigh-definition television resolution known as 8K (see below), starting with its broadcasting satellite (BS) channels. They aim to put the next-generation TV broadcasting technology into practical use in 2018, hoping its popularity spreads nationwide in time for the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2020.

TV broadcasting companies in the private sector, however, have expressed reservations about the new technology, as it requires a large financial investment. The demand for 8K resolution television sets, which will likely be expensive, is also unclear.

At a ceremony on Aug. 1 for the inauguration of the test broadcast, NHK President Katsuto Momii said: “A new page has been opened in the history of broadcasting. I hope viewers can appreciate the images and sounds that give you the feeling that you are there, which is only possible with the new technology.”

8K TVs have 16 times as many pixels as full high-definition models, a significant improvement on 4K technology, which has four times as many pixels as full HD.

Broadcasts using both 4K and 8K resolutions are now being tested, but cannot be seen with commercially available TV sets. Test broadcasts have been made available for viewing at NHK stations across the nation, giving visitors the opportunity to experience the new technology first-hand.


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