Japan runs 8K video broadcast test, makes your new 4K TV obsolete

Just when you figured getting a new 4K TV would make you the coolest tech guy on the block, Japanese broadcasters are pushing ahead with plans to roll out Super Hi-Vision, the 8K standard that makes 4K look like a VHS tape played through a 1980s Sony Trinitron TV.

In a test by Japanese broadcaster NHK, an uncompressed Super Hi-Vision signal was sent about 17 miles over the air to a receiver, while occupying just a single UHF TV channel. That's quite a trick when you consider that the 7,680 by 4,320 pixel 8K image has four times the resolution of 4K video, and 16 times that of the plain old 1,920 by 1,080p HD video we get from Blu-ray discs. Put another way, Super Hi-Vision is equivalent to about 60 32-megapixel photographs being sent every second. As if that's not enough, Super Hi-Vision also has the capability of doubling the frame rate to 120 frames per second, and also comes with a 22.2 channel audio soundtrack.

NHK has been recording various events in 8K Super Hi-Vision for a while now, most notably the 2012 London Olympics where it set up closed-circuit viewing theaters around the world. The difference there was that in 2012 it required an ultra high-speed data connection, as it hadn't yet developed the technology to cram it into a broadcast channel. To make that leap, the new test used a coding method borrowed from Wi-Fi technology called orthogonal frequency-division multiplexing (OFDM), along with multiple-input, multiple-output (MIMO) with multiple antennas at both the broadcasting and receiving ends.

Even though NHK has now proven that the technology works, analysts say that you shouldn't expect to get Sunday Night Football in Super Hi-Vision over your rabbit ears antenna anytime soon. At this point broadcasters are only just beginning to adopt 4K, and it'll want to amortize the cost of that technology before moving on to the next one. Similarly, most consumers don't want to feel like that fancy new 4K TV they just bought has suddenly turned into a doorstop. Remember, it was NHK that was recording the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics in HD, a good 15 years before most people even considered buying a HDTV for their home.

Via PC World

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