Japanese Government to Launch 4K UHDTV Broadcasting in 2014

Japanese to Launch 4K UHDTV Broadcasting in 2014, Test 8K UHDTV in 2016

by Anton Shilov
01/29/2013 | 11:59 PM

The Japanese government plans to launch commercial broadcasting in 4K resolution in mid-2014 and start test broadcasting in 8K resolution sometimes in 2016. While initially ultra high-definition (UHD) broadcasting will hardly be a thing for the masses, eventually it promises to become more widespread.


Japan's ministry of internal affairs and communications plans to establish the first broadcasting in 4K UHD resolution by the middle of the world’s football cup 2014. Those who are fond of soccer and own 4K UHDTVs will be able to enjoy the game in ultra-detailed and pristine quality. The government has specifically brought 4K broadcasting forward by around two years. The service will begin from communications satellites, followed by satellite broadcasting and ground digital broadcasting, reports Reuters news-agency citing Asahi news-paper.

Apparently, the Japanese TV-stations will not stop with 4K. Already in 2016 Japan Broadcasting Corp. NKH plans to test the broadcast in 8K (also known as Super Hi-Vision [SHV]) resolution, which is a much more complex technology than the 4K.

4K UHDTVs are currently available at the prices of around $20000 per unit from LG Electronics, Sony Corp., Panaconic Corp. and Sharp Corp.

Eutelsat Communications earlier in January announced it is launching a dedicated demonstration ultra HD channel for Europe on the Eutelsat 10A satellite. The first transmissions of content filmed in 4K have started earlier this month.

Eutelsat’s new channel is designed to benefit all actors in the broadcasting chain who want to acquire expertise in 4K, including production companies, pay-TV operators, rights owners and TV set manufacturers. The new channel will operate in progressive mode at 50fps. It will be encoded in MPEG-4 and transmitted at 40Mb/s in four quad HD streams. Eutelsat is partnering with Ateme, a video compression solution provider to the broadcast industry, for the transmissions that will be uplinked to the Eutelsat 10A satellite from its teleport in Rambouillet, near Paris.