Super Hi-Vision 8K TV standard approved by UN agency

 
NHK Super Hi-Vision television Approval for the 8k format heralds the way for much larger television screens

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A new high-resolution television format has been approved by the UN's communication standards setting agency.

Broadcasts in 8K will offer a resolution of 7,680 by 4,320 pixels - roughly the equivalent of a 32 megapixel photo.

That is 16 times as sharp as current HD TVs offering about 2MP resolutions.

Japanese broadcaster NHK showed off the technology in London during the Olympics, where audiences said it gave them a sense of being at the events.

The firm has developed three cameras that can capture the higher resolution - which it calls Super Hi-Vision - at 60 frames per second but aims to double that to 120 frames per second.

By contrast the BBC currently broadcasts HD TV programmes at 25 fps.

"The experience of viewing and listening to live sports and entertainment coverage is dramatically enhanced by Super Hi-Vision, and Ovum envisages it representing the logical next step in TV transmission technology, following on from regular HD," wrote the consultancies' analyst Jonathan Doran in a report.

"In our view, it is a far more significant development than 3D, which offers a limited range of use-cases."

Mega screens
Super Hi-Vision camera There are only currently three Super Hi-Vision cameras in existence

The UN's International Telecommunication Union (ITU) discussed the standard in May and offered broadcasters the opportunity to file objections. Because no-one did, it sent out letters at the end of last week confirming the format's approval.

A press release from NHK said the specification would "reproduce the feeling of life and offer a sense of being present" in a way that had been impossible to do before. The news was first reported by Techworld.

NHK has used a 145-inch (3.7 metre) prototype display co-developed with Panasonic to show off its footage.

But it will be some time before such models become commercially available.

TV makers are currently focusing efforts on launching 4K enabled devices offering a quarter of the resolution. This is the format currently used by most digital cinema cameras.

LG unveiled the biggest 4K television set to date earlier this week - an 84 inch screen costing more than $22,000.

But manufacturers are likely to want to offer 8K screens by 2020 when NHK aims to begin its first experimental broadcasts in the standard.

Photographers' friend

One analyst said the displays would probably remain beyond most people's budgets for more than a decade.

NHK Super Hi-Vision screen graphic NHK says Super Hi-Vision screens will offer users the opportunity to enjoy wider viewing angles

"I suspect that we won't see this become available to consumers below $10,000 until 2025," Paul O'Donovan, principal analyst at the tech consultancy Gartner, told the BBC.

"Those will be in sizes 55 inches and above. You will still get a benefit at that size because it offers a greater colour depth and contrast as well as a sharper picture.

"But when the screens are even larger you get a sense of being there - it's like looking through a window.

"Beyond better looking TV programmes they will also appeal to photographers. Many people have cameras with lots of megapixels and this gives them a way to see their pictures back at the same resolution they took them in."

 

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  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 143.

    Great! We get to pay more for Soma, but will it really taste better?
    I'm sure the quality of the pictures will be amazing, but the quality of programmes means that I watch less and less TV each year.
    I can just see the set designers and make-up artists quaking in their boots!!

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 142.

    @ bob 133: "all this newfangled stuff will soon only be available for the ultra-rich..."

    Perhaps, for the very latest items. But, if a quick look at the historical affordability of electronic goods tells you anything, the continuing improvement of these technologies tends to lower prices.

    So, you just have resist the urge to buy only the very newest gadgets as they come out, and wait a year.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 141.

    What is the point of this until the quality of programs improves? The drivel presented to us - Eastenders, X Factor, Big Brother - continues to destroy the social lives of the majority of the population and the best we can do is to make it even more lifelike and even more addictive! What hope for the human race is there.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 140.

    139. John - you hit the nail on the head. These resolutions are becoming too big for the average size of a living room in the UK. It's fine watching in the cinema when figures appear more than life-size but as soon as you introduce that to the family home it becomes very disconcerting. Imagine watching Jeremy Clarkson as bigger than life size ! No thanks

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 139.

    It's a resolution vs distance/size issue which has almost no relevance to home TV or even home cinema.

    If you sit at a comfortable distance to a large screen TV, 1920 x 1080 is more than the eye can resolve. The biggest problem by far is when the image is moving quickly, when the broadcast compression scheme/bandwidth limits are reached first.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 138.

    Does there not come a point where wonderful though technology is,be it TVs,Sound systems,headphones etc,it is simply the case that the eyes and ears are not sensitive enough to notice the difference or indeed justify the expense!
    50 aoxomoxoa
    There's a balance to be struck,and for a lot of people house bound or indeed the costs of transport or going out are prohibitive,cant always read a book etc

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 137.

    Tech question - isn't it the vertical resolution, not the horizontal that describes the relative definition? I.e. this article should say 4k tv, not 8k. Still not as high as the 5k resolution Peter Jackson has been using to film his Hobbit films. Like those, it's the increased frame rates that will be most interesting to see compared with current fare.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 136.

    Wow that's amazing. I'm so going to have a TV wall in my house like on the old Total Recall film!

    Plus i'm sure it'll have other applications as well, just not as fun! :-)

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 135.

    TV is already in 3D the stuff that's further away is smaller. Secondly someone on here mentioned changing the screen dimensions; I simply cannot remember the last time I watched something and it fitted on the screen. We should standardize the screens to a square. For those with poor reception, please broadcast just the sound on another channel, we can then at least listen to programmes.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 134.

    I simply love the technological age we live in.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 133.

    Just when you've finally sold your five year-old 42 inch LCD and bought a 3-D telly, along comes new technology. As with computers, the latest greatest thing no longer seems to be the latest greatest thing. Exponential growth in technology means that all this newfangled stuff will soon only be available for the ultra-rich.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 132.

    I'm still pondering over upgrading my black and white TV . Maybe I'll hold on until this comes out?

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 131.

    I can see the world in 3-D, in even much higher definition and free of charge when I look out of the window.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 130.

    It is interesting to read the breadth of opinion here - from the obstinate anti-TV chap to the early adopter! Many comments miss the point and question why we would want Super Hi-Vison as they are perfectly happy with their existing set. To them, I'd say apply a little imagination and take a look at history and ask yourself if you honestly would be willing to return to a 625line telly? No??

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 129.

    @109 TechRyze
    "...Wait 15-30 years..."
    By which time, things will have moved on to (the equivalent of) 16K, 32K, 64K etc.


    To all others moaning about the quality of TV programmes: "The number of available channels, times the average programme quality, is a constant". (Dunno who said that first, but it's a darn good maxim!)

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 128.

    and what exactly is the point?

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 127.

    I am not an ardent viewer of TV but without innovation there is no future. What we take for granted started just like this.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 126.

    O yea so the BBC's HD covarage of the Olympics only reached circa 63% of the poulation although they paid the same fee as the more affluent in society. Are we to expect the Beeb to now invest billions of the fee payers money to develop a system that perhaps only 10 % of the poulation may view it.TYhe BBC acclaimed its coverage of the games as an unqualified sucsses perhaps rip off would be better

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 125.

    But can the cameras stop the rain getting on the lens at live events like the Jubilee river pageant or will we just see the rain drops much clearer?

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 124.

    I was fortunate enough to see the Super Hi vision during the Olympics and was blown away by the quality - it is literally like you are seeing (and hearing) it first hand.

    For those who appear to be drugged by their television - there is an off button and a big world out there.

    The word is balance.

 

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