The Japanese government is hoping it can spur the deployment of UltraHD service by 2016 with the goal of seeing 8K deployments in time for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, according to published reports.
Japan already has begun testing 4K broadcasts to more than four-dozen viewing sites around Japan, giving consumers a taste of the UltraHD content. A group of companies called the NexTV Forum has created 15 pieces of content in 4K and is supplying six hours of programming daily for the project.
The 4K testing is being broadcast through the SKY Perfect JSAT satellite service.
The plan was laid out Tuesday for attendees of the SCTE Cable-Tec Expo in Denver.
This isn’t the first time news of Japan’s desires for 8K at the Olympics has come to light.
In March, public broadcaster NHK said it plans to begin testing an 8K service by 2016 with the express goal of having it ready and deployed for the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics. 8K broadcasts produce a resolution of 7680 x 4320, double that of current 4K, which produces 3840 x 2160.
Scientists say most humans may not be able to discern the difference between 4K and 8K, and some in the industry say it will take decades for consumers to adopt the 8K format.
While some pundits also suggest 4K is still a long way off let alone its 8K big brother satellite operators pretty universally have begun real-world testing of the format, and many have announced plans to deploy by the end of 2014.
In Denver, Satoru Wajiki, MDof the Japan Cable Telecommunications Association, was more upbeat, and told attendees they shouldn’t be too concerned about bandwidth required for 4K.
From a cable TV operator’s standpoint, 4K is rather easy to deal with, because the bitrate of 4K/60P/HEVC content, estimated to be between 20-35 Mbps, will easily fit within the maximum payload that one 256-QAM channel can carry,” he wrote in a paper distributed to attendees. If we want to transmit 4K over IP, current DOCSIS 3.0 technology provides enough room for multiple streams.
Follow me on Twitter @JimONeillMedia