Japan to broadcast 4K UHDTV in 2014, 8K as early as 2016

By on January 30, 2013, 9:30 AM

If CES was any indication, Ultra-High Definition televisions will soon be all the rage. While increasing pixel counts are always proportionately more awesome, there's a minor snag: 4K UHD content is nearly non-existent. Japan is aiming to wrestle this problem head-on though with a government-led initiative to roll out 4K UHDTV broadcasts by 2014. In doing so, the country has positioned itself as a 4K pioneer.

Most upcoming UHD/4K sets are 3840 × 2160 or about four times the pixelly goodness delivered by typical 1080p video. Although 3840 × 2160 is technically not true 4K in the strictest sense, standards committees thought it best to keep the math simple by essentially doubling the dimensions of 1080p rather than sticking to a long-standardized width of 4096 pixels. The European Broadcasting Union decided "4K UHD" sounded good earlier this year -- I'll be using this from now on to describe UHD as using "4K" still feels dirty. When the public zeitgeist seems to overwhelmingly favor 4K though, perhaps I'll give in...

Another hurdle, aside from the lack of content, is the tremendous amount of bandwidth 4K UHDTV requires. Using the limited spectrum currently allocated to digital TV broadcasters, transmitting 4K UHDTV video streams -- although technically possible -- is not exactly practical. To conquer this issue, Japan will begin supplementing TV broadcasts with satellite transmissions until a satisfactory method of delivering such pixel-dense content materializes.

Also, if 4K already sounds dated, Japan is also flirting with the idea of pushing 8K UHD by 2016. Yep, that's 7680 × 4320 pixels -- an increase from 4K UHD's 8.2 million pixels to a whopping 33.1 million. Uncompressed, 8K UHD would require about 48Gbps of bandwidth. Moving that much data through the air sounds like an interesting problem for Japan to solve.




User Comments: 23

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LukeDJ LukeDJ said:

This is good for everyone. The rest of the world can learn from the methods Japan use to broadcast 4k (and maybe 8k) signals, and potentially match or improve on them.

Good on em' I say

mls067 mls067 said:

And America will follow in the next 2 decades..lol

btw, I was being facetious!

3 people like this | VitalyT VitalyT said:

Moving that much data through the air sounds like an interesting problem for Japan to solve.

As of today scientists haven't been able to figure out how Egyptians and even older civilizations managed to move humongous construction blocks.

Moving air-lite stuff through an empty space - our ancestors would be laughing

1 person liked this |
Staff
Per Hansson Per Hansson, TS Server Guru, said:

Hmm, will this tech include eye surgery so that we can perceive this resolution?

Or perhaps we should sit 1 meter from our 60" TV's so we can enjoy it?

Because at normal viewing distances 1080p is enough.

So unless you are getting a 80" plasma...

For projectors I see the use though, but the costs for projectors with high-def screens and lenses are exorbitant!

[link]

VitalyT VitalyT said:

I think I know how to solve the traffic problem...

Caching pre-ordered content on ISP side. The most demanded content is easily predicted, and if cached by your ISP, will be give fast access for their clients, easily covering 90% of the traffic. In this case clients only have to download content themselves when it is very individual.

3 people like this | MilwaukeeMike said:

What's the fascination with more pixels? When people sit down to watch TV they don't sit there and wish their HD was clearer. They want to sit down, watch the latest CSI and not have to fuss with finding it between Hulu, the DVR or some other content provider. They want to sit down and watch a good movie, without having to browse 4 different content providers.

We want a dashboard that shows our favorites when we turn on our TV. New recommended movies right next to the latest episodes of our favorite shows, right next to my kid's favorite shows. When I pick a movie, I want it to start and let the TV figure out if it's on my HTPC, Netflix or wherever. When I start off a kid's show, let the TV figure out if it needs Disney Jr.com or my DVR.

Stop making things bigger and start making them better.

LNCPapa LNCPapa said:

My next TV will be at least 80"... I'm hoping that Sony 84" drops in price rather quickly.

amstech amstech, TechSpot Enthusiast, said:

Hmm, will this tech include eye surgery so that we can perceive this resolution?

This doesn't make any sense.

Because at normal viewing distances 1080p is enough.

I have a 60PA5500 and 1080p is just enough.

Lionvibez said:

Hmm, will this tech include eye surgery so that we can perceive this resolution?

This doesn't make any sense.

Because at normal viewing distances 1080p is enough.

I have a 60PA5500 and 1080p is just enough.

It makes perfect sense. There is a direct correlation between screensize/resolution and viewing distance. A Person that buys an 80inch tv to just sit 5 feet from it is an ***** or has very poor eye site.

[link]

amstech amstech, TechSpot Enthusiast, said:

It makes perfect sense. There is a direct correlation between screensize/resolution and viewing distance. A Person that buys an 80inch tv to just sit 5 feet from it is an ***** or has very poor eye site.

[link]

Hmm I don't know why you quoted me nothing you said responds to anything I said but I will comment on the view distance thing because for the most part, its a load of crap.

I have a, 23", 30" 1600p, 42" and 60" and when I jam games with friends we stand in front of it, only a couple feet away. The "correct" distance is further but since 1080p is so low of a resolution for 60 inches of screen, to see things clearly you need to be a little closer for a good snipe, regardless of your eyesight quality.

Let people be the judge, not some meaningless generic mathematical statistic. I do agree that you don't need a jumbo screen if your 4 feet away, but my 42" you need to be 5-6 feet or closer to game on it.

VitalyT VitalyT said:

As larger-screen TV-s are becoming more available, their size alone will not provide enough incentive for people to buy.

Arguments like the ones above are pointless. Some people have better vision than others, and there is a theory even that says many people perceive visual reality differently.

The average recommendation is that a 1080P TV makes visual difference from 720P from 2+m distance, starting from 40" and up, while 4K makes a difference from 1080P from 65" and up (same 2+ m distance).

84" TV-s, for instance, show a very granulated picture in 1080P resolution, and 4K makes a huge difference on them. At the same time, a 4K TV that's 50" or less is a complete waste of the technology potential. If you are looking for a different experience, and not satisfied with the current 3D offer, then try movies in 60fps I watched Avatar in 60fps like a new movie, quite awesome.

1 person liked this | yRaz yRaz said:

"but can it play crysis" will become relevant again at these resolutions.

1 person liked this | St1ckM4n St1ckM4n said:

Yay, something better than current 576p broadcasts!

spydercanopus spydercanopus said:

Until you watch an 8k video, you really have no business saying "who needs it". When mixed with oleds I imagine the picture to look amazing, beautiful, real. And then put it in 3D... omg I want one.

ikesmasher said:

Insert 1000 PPI phone screens here.

LukeDJ LukeDJ said:

Yay, something better than current 576p broadcasts!

I agree, getting reaaal sick of standard definition broadcasts.

avoidz avoidz said:

There isn't much in the way of 1080 broadcasts here in Australia in 2013. Mostly 576. 4K (let alone 8K) isn't even worth thinking about for a long long time for consumer use.

9Nails, TechSpot Paladin, said:

What I thought:

1920 x 1080 = 1K

3840 x 2160 = 2K

7680 x 4320 = 4K

What you're telling me:

1920 x 1080 = 2K

3840 x 2160 = 4K

7860 x 4320 = 8K

I always thought it was about the horizontal lines or resolution. That's why everyone made such a big deal a few years back about 1080, 720, 480... But at least I get a free upgrade to 2K HD now =)

What of tech reporters saying that you need really large screens to appreciate this much detail, fact or fiction?

LNCPapa LNCPapa said:

2K, 4K, and 8K are all standards that have been around for a while (though 2K is actually 2048x1080) and those numbers have never been related to the number of horizontal lines. All of the #K resolution standards are based on [# * 1024 points per horizontal line] X [# * 540 horizontal lines]. 1080p came about to differentiate from 1080i which is a distinction in the rendering method of the source. 1080p renders all 1080 lines for every frame where 1080i only renders 540 lines every other frame and the other 540 lines on the alternating frames.

It is true that sitting a typical distance from a display there are diminishing returns on image quality as resolution goes up. Not every person is the same so there is no one set number, but many people have problems telling 720 vs 1080 up til about 32-37" if used as a television (totally different if you're trying to use it as a computer monitor). It also greatly matters what type of image you are displaying at those resolutions and sizes.

TianaWolf TianaWolf said:

What's the fascination with more pixels? When people sit down to watch TV they don't sit there and wish their HD was clearer. They want to sit down, watch the latest CSI and not have to fuss with finding it between Hulu, the DVR or some other content provider. They want to sit down and watch a good movie, without having to browse 4 different content providers.

We want a dashboard that shows our favorites when we turn on our TV. New recommended movies right next to the latest episodes of our favorite shows, right next to my kid's favorite shows. When I pick a movie, I want it to start and let the TV figure out if it's on my HTPC, Netflix or wherever. When I start off a kid's show, let the TV figure out if it needs Disney Jr.com or my DVR.

Stop making things bigger and start making them better.

I agree with you totally. I used to love watching stuff on the net as cable tv remotes along with cable period needed "a how to hit buttons for dummies book". But now on the net, they are putting in commercials, laggy applications that slow down how you can navigate a website and if I am paying for internet service, phone service, cable service and the whole all in one package then why should I pay or sign up for extra stuff like hulu plus, xfinity on demand.. and I am so sick of inputting passwords for every lil thing under the sun. Seriously it's enough to make ya go bonkers. I don't need High Def.. and has anyone else noticed how high def makes awesome movies look like B movies?

The only thing I really enjoy in high def is hubble pictures. the rest I could care less on.. just want ease of use with no hassles. However on the flip side, as I do see both sides of things at times.. high def makes my games look awesome on a TV .. its sure come a long way from the old Atari :P

St1ckM4n St1ckM4n said:

.. and has anyone else noticed how high def makes awesome movies look like B movies?

1080p doesn't do this. It's called 'hyper-realism' effect and is caused by 100Hz TVs or post-processing performed on the TV. Turn this off and you'll get that nice familiar blurry layer over the content again.

Guest said:

I like what Japan does with the technology (and in their entertainment, hehe).

It's going to be hard to get 2160p videos for me though.

Guest said:

Those are 2 different things sir, your talking about bigger vs better. (obviously).. however bigger comes from a technical standpoint, or from hardware advancement.. better (the way you speak) comes from a UI/software perspective.. 2 completely different things which require completely different people to accomplish, but I agree tvs should have a better way to search between different content providers, maybe a "master search bar" that peruses all content providers you have accounts for?

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