World's First 8K TV Satellite Broadcasts Go Live In Japan, Just In Time For 2016 Rio Olympics


NHK, the national Japanese public broadcaster, recently debuted the first ever regular TV satellite transmitted in 8K resolution.

The so-called "Super Hi-Vision" test channel began its activity early this week with a cocktail of broadcasts featuring both 4K and 8K resolution.

NHK offers a lot of varied content in 8K: on Aug. 2, the station is scheduled to broadcast renowned Japanese conductor Seiji Ozawa at the helm of a Beethoven concert, a number of highlights from the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games and a concert by J-pop star Kyary Pamyu Pamyu.

The channel runs between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m., but unfortunately nobody has the required infrastructure at home to enjoy the pixel-rich media. That is why NHK deployed viewing stations throughout the country so that the public can enjoy the eye-watering resolution. What is more, NHK promises that it will organize events where sports fans will be able to watch footage from the Rio Olympics in 8K.

As the Olympic Games open up in Rio this week-end, a lot of the of this week's schedule will be targeted toward the sporting event. If you happen to be in Japan these days and you are interested in seeing for yourself what the staggering visuals are offering, check out the channel's schedule (PDF), here.

To give you a more technical idea, 8K delivers 7,680 x 4,320 pixels, making it four times as sharp as 4K (also dubbed Ultra High Definition) and 16 times sharper than 1080p (High Definition) resolution. To make it even more entertaining, the spec comes with 22.2-channel audio.

Those who already started feeling bad about their current 1080p television set, fret not. NHK has a history of pioneering new viewing formats, so any comparison with the Japanese channel is a stretch.

To have a broader picture, know that the company began HD broadcasts in the '80s, which is 10 full years before the technology even touched the mainstream.

Of course, if the article inspired you to think about purchasing a 4K TV, we are not here to stop you.

On the contrary, you might want to do a bit of reading into Sony's latest 4K Ultra HD TV with HDR and Android TV support. In July, Sony announced when fans can expect the XBR-X800D, the XBR-X700D and the XBR-X750D to arrive and how much each TV set costs.

Simply note that Sony asks users to shell out $999.99 for its smallest smart TV, the 49-inch XBR-49X700D, while the most expensive device, the XBR-65X750D, costs $2,299.99 and comes with an ambitious diagonal of 65 inches.

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