NHK to Update its Ultra HD with 22.2 Surround Sound

NHK in Japan continues work on an experimental ultra Hi-Vision system that boasts more than 4,000 lines and an audio scheme featuring 22.2 channels. First outlined in a paper released back at NAB2004, an NHK update will be featured at April's Broadcast Engineering Conference (BEC) at NAB2005.

Whereas the 1080i format of today's HD consists of a 1080 x 1920 pixel count, the Hi-Vision version is 4320 x 7680. Depending on screen technology, today's HD can have a viewing angle as limiting as 30 degrees horizontally; ultra Hi-Vision's angle is more than 100 degrees. And where motion picture quality in 1080i and 720p is about equal to 35mm film, the NHK experimental version is said to be more than double the quality of 70mm.

The 22.2 multi-channel audio system consists of three layers of speakers--an upper layer of nine speakers, a middle layer of 10, and a lower layer of three--aimed at reproducing an immersive, natural three-dimensional sound field with highly enhanced presence. The hyper-HD experiment is currently on display on a 50-foot screen at NHK's Super Hi-Vision Theater until September at the World Exposition in Aichi, Japan.

At NAB, NHK's update of ultra Hi-Vision is scheduled for the "Leading Edge Technologies" BEC session at 1 p.m. on April 19 in Room N-112 of the LVCC.