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(Pocket-lint) - Japanese broadcaster NHK has launched the world's first 8K TV channel.

BS8K started broadcasting at 10am local time on 1 December and launch night viewers were treated to an 8K Super Hi-Vision version of 2001: A Space Odyssey.

NHK asked Warner Bros to create an 8K master of Kubrick's masterpiece especially for opening night. The studio scanned the original film negatives to make the Super Hi-Vision version, which will undoubtedly stand as reference content going forward.

During the work, it also restored the film, eliminating scratches and other picture artefacts.

The channel also broadcast live footage from Italy, showing "popular tourist attractions from Rome", plus trailers for upcoming shows in the incredibly high resolution format.

As well as improved video, BS8K will also present audio in up to 24-channel surround sound - using tech created by NHK itself.

The broadcast plans to carry Super Hi-Vis footage from the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games.

Of course, considering how few 8K TVs there are out there - and how expensive they currently are - the Japanese channel is likely to be the only in existence for a while. And it will be some years before we get similar in the UK - we're still to get dedicated 4K HDR channels in the country.

Writing by Rik Henderson.