True Stereo-3D Will Require 330MP – 3.3GP Resolutions, Says Developer of 8K Video Format

NHK: 8K Is the Final 2D Format, All Future Formats Will Be in 3D

by Anton Shilov
05/16/2013 | 09:51 PM

A number of consumer electronics giants, including Sony Corp., Samsung Electronics, LG and others have invested heavily into development of current stereo-3D tech as well as 4K ultra-high-definition format. However, Japan Broadcasting Corp. (NHK, Nippon Hoso Kyokai), the leading developer of 8K format, claims that true three-dimensional pictures require resolutions simply impossible today. For 2D images, 8K (7320*4320) resolution is maximum needed.


“One of the main reasons we carried out research into 8K TV is due to the characteristics of human perception. Our conclusion is that 8K will be the final two-dimensional television format. The resolution involved is the highest that the human eye can process. Any further developments will be in 3D,” said Kimio Hamasaki, a senior research engineer at NHK science & technology research laboratories in Japan, in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter.

NHK began developing 8K technology also known as Super Hi-Vision (SHV) 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 equipment for 8K was designed in partnership with Japanese leading manufacturers of electronics, including Fujitsu, JVC, Panasonic and Sharp. The annual R&D budget of NHK is around $77 million, yet it is unclear how much the company has spent on 8K/SHV development. 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.

Demonstration of 7680*4320 UHDTV with 22.2 multichannel sound using 85" LCD at ITU HQ by ITU staff and NHK. Only two 8K UHDTV prototypes have been presented to the press so far.

Unlike many other consumer electronics companies, NHK skipped stereo-3D in its current form. Today, the company is well into development of next-generation video output technology, which will be three-dimensional and will emerge only in a very distant future. As it appears, a true stereoscopic 3D technology requires considerably higher resolution that is possible to display these days.

“The current stereoscopic 3D format just provides a different image to the left and right eye to create a 3D image in the brain. The integral photographic 3D that we are researching creates actual spatial images in front of the screen. Integral 3-D requires a lot of pixels. Super Hi-Vision needs about 33 million pixels, and integral 3D will take 10 to 100 times as many as that,” said Mr. Hamasaki.

With requirement to boost display resolution to at least 330MPixel and all the hassles with standardization and introduction to market, the advanced spatial 3D is at least a decade away.