4K Ultra HD TV format eyed for 2014

Kyodo, JIJI

The government plans to launch 4K ultra high-definition TV broadcasting from July 2014, in time for the World Cup soccer finals in Brazil, sources say.

The Internal Affairs and Communications Ministry plans to use the new TV format to prop up the TV market, which has become nearly saturated since the shift to terrestrial digital broadcasting in 2011.

Because 4K broadcasting requires sending massive amounts of data, the format will likely be debut on CS communication satellite broadcasting before expanding to BS satellite and terrestrial broadcasting.

The ministry initially eyed a 4K format launch in 2016 but decided to bring it forward in light of heated competition with South Korea and other countries, they said.

The 4K format has a resolution about four times higher than standard high definition TV. The ministry is also aiming to test the even higher resolution Super Hi-Vision format starting in 2016, earlier than planned, the sources said.

A new organization led by TV broadcasters and manufacturers is expected to be established to implement 4K broadcasts.

The ministry also plans to bring forward the start of 8K ultra high-definition TV broadcasts in time for the Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro in 2016, according to the officials.