While U.S. broadcasters are wrestling with how and when to utilize 4K (aka Ultra High Definition or UHDTV) in their production workflows, or if at all, the Japanese broadcast industry is determined to move to a higher resolution level, namely 8K.
That's 16 times the resolution of 1080-line HD, or 7680 × 4320 (33.1 megapixels, 12-bit processing). Uncompressed, an 8K 60fps image produces a data rate of about 24 Gbps.
Japan's national broadcaster, NHK, plans to deploy equipment that complies with the bandwidth-hungry format at the Tokyo Olympics in 2020.
In January of this year, NHK's science and research laboratories said it successfully transmitted 8K television signals via a single standard UHF terrestrial broadcast channel over a distance of 27 km.
The field test, conducted on Jan. 20 was performed as a follow-up to a May 2012 demonstration in which the UHD signal was sent slightly more than four km.
For all those professionals trying to decide whether now is the time to buy a 4K camera, talk and testing of 8K systems is not doing anyone any favors.