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NHK broadcasts 8K Hi-Vision content at IBC

Last week, a trio of broadcasters demonstrated an 8K Super Hi-Vision system at IBC. That’s 16 times the resolution of standard HD, with 22.2 channels of audio.

Japan’s NHK, Italy’s RAI and the BBC joined to do a demonstration that drew large crowds and “wows” from the audience. Images were delivered to Amsterdam’s RAI Convention Center from a live camera in London over fiber and from a video server in Torino, Italy, via satellite.

Keiichi Kubota, director general of the Science & Technical Research Laboratories of NHK, told that his network hopes to deliver SHV quality to homes in about 10 years. “Before TV applications, I think SHV will be used for public viewing sites (such as museums),” he said. “That is easier to deploy.”

The possibilities for digital cinema were also clearly obvious, though Kubota said NHK will not actively market the technology to the motion picture industry. “Since we are broadcasters, we don’t want to push our system on people in a different area,“ he said.

The trio of broadcasters is already developing a range of SHV production and viewing equipment — including cameras and TV sets. A key challenge to successful use of SHV, however, is screen size. To really see the difference the resolution makes, it takes a display with a 70in to 100in screen.

“From a technical point of view, it is difficult to make SHV sets smaller and still appreciate the quality,” Kubota said.