Japan plans 8K TV broadcast testing in 2016, with full service by 2020 Tokyo Olympics

Japanese broadcaster NHK has confirmed it wants to push for 8K broadcasting as soon as possible and will begin testing a service by 2016.

NHK wants to offer "a full [8K] broadcasting service by 2020, the year of the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics".

Currently 4K UHD is the best service on offer. But 4K televisions are expensive and content is sparse at best right now. Nonetheless NHK is pressing on and plans to show off its 8K tech at the NAB broadcasting show in Las Vegas this April.

NHK will be displaying footage taken on its own 8K Cube camera which has been made to weigh just 2kg. The film will be displayed on a huge 350-inch screen with 22.2-channel surround sound.

The 8K broadcasts will produce a resolution of 7680 x 4320, double that of current 4K efforts that manage 3840 x 2160. We saw an 8K screen at CES a while back and were blown away by the realism. On display was a lion in a cage and owing to the huge screen it really was lifelike - as if we were looking through real bars at the beast.

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When 8K will reach the rest of the world is another matter. The UK still doesn't have 4K broadcasts yet; House of Cards on Netflix via the internet is as close as it gets. And UHD TVs are still not really cheap enough for mass uptake.

But the BBC, Sky and BT Sport are all working on delivering 4K – there just isn't a time frame set out as yet. So upgrading to a 4K TV should still be worth doing to get a good few years of life out of it at least.

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