NHK Shows World’s First 8K Movie at Cannes Film Festival

Japanese National Broadcasting Company Demos 8K Movie, Content to Film Industry

by Anton Shilov
05/16/2013 | 07:57 PM

Japan Broadcasting Corporation (NHK, Nippon Hoso Kyokai) holds the world’s first public screenings of content in its cutting?edge 8K/Super Hi?Vision (SHV) format at the Cannes Film Festival. A highlight will be the first 8K narrative film, a short comedy called Beauties À La Carte. In addition, NHK will showcase other types of content on 220” screen with the highest-resolution available today.


The public screenings of 8K video technology will be held on May 16 and May 17 at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival. Beauties À La Carte, a 27-minute comedy directed by Toshio Lee (Detroit Metal City), will be shown on a 220” screen to demonstrate benefits of 8K/SHV (7680*4320), which boasts 16 times the resolution of current full-HD (1920*1080), to the global film industry. The format features a 22.2-channel audio system that was also developed by NHK, reports The Hollywood Reporter.  

NHK performed the live 8K transmission from London Olympics venues in 2012 and aims to begin experimental 8K broadcasts in Japan in time for the Rio de Janeiro Olympics in 2016. Most recently, NHK joined hands with Brazilian commercial broadcaster TV Globo in February 2013 to shoot the Rio de Janeiro Carnival in 8K.

Viewers at the public screening in Cannes will experience spectacular coverage of the Carnival along with content in the genres of wildlife, entertainment, arts, and sports.

“The new technology is driving new content. We learned from our 8K initiative at the London Olympics that viewers and broadcasters are tremendously excited about 8K. The production of Beauties À La Carte is part of our efforts to understand the technical challenges of producing drama in this new format. I hope we can work with film?industry professionals to further explore the possibilities of using 8K for feature films,” said Nobuhiro Haneda, NHK’s senior manager in charge of 8K content production.

NHK began developing Super Hi-Vision technology in 1995. The 8K format has resolution of 7680*4320 pixels – four times the resolution of 4K and 16 times that of current HD – as well as 22.2-channel audio. The annual R&D budget of NHK is around $77 million. Having spent well-over a billion of dollars on R&D since 1995, NHK has developed plethora of technologies not only for 8K/SHV, but also for other applications.

The equipment for 8K was designed in partnership with Japanese leading manufacturers of electronics, including Fujitsu, JVC, Panasonic and Sharp, according to Kimiyo Hamasaki, technical director for the Cannes screenings and a leading engineer for the audio system that NHK developed in-house.

“Actually NHK is required under Japan’s Broadcast Law to carry out research into improving broadcasting technology,” explained Masayuki Sugawara, a senior engineer in the advanced television research division at STRL.