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NAB2007: NHK Brings Back Ultra HDTV Theater

NHK Science and Technical Research Laboratories is returning with its Ultra HDTV Theater to NAB this year (Central Hall of the LVCC, Booth C12117) where Japan's public broadcaster promises will feature a new 18 minute video for display on the 400-inch screen. The UHDTV set-up boasts no fewer than 22.2 channels of surround sound.

The especially sharp 16:9 format (also known as Super Hi-Vision) is 7,680x4,320 with 60 fps. Its audio-channel array includes nine speakers above ear level; 10 at ear level; three below ear level; and two for low-frequency effects. Though not 3D, per se, the system's sensory effect can provide an extremely high sense of realism.

Since its appearance at last year's NAB show (and at a handful of other confabs such as IBC2006), UHDTV has not received a lot of media attention in North America. Publicity about its return appearance in Las Vegas next month is also subdued, and limited to a single sentence on the official NAB2007 Web site.