NHK is also planning public demonstrations of 8K—16 times the resolution of HD–in Los Angeles and New York.
Japan’s government and NHK are bullish about giving Japan a broadcast system that supports ultra-sharp 8K — 16 times the resolution of HD — in time for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. And now, Japan’s public broadcaster is not ruling out virtual reality as a possible future use of the format.
“Virtual Reality is possible [with 8K] in the future on smaller screen such as Oculus Rift displays,” Narichika Hamaguchi, a senior manager at NHK’s research lab, told The Hollywood Reporter.
For broadcasting, NHK finds that the bigger the screen, the better for visual perception. So at NAB, it was demoing its 8K images on TVs larger than 70-inches, as well as in a theater presentation. But it was also showing a smaller 13-inch OLED screen that was research work from SEL, signaling an effort to bring the format to smaller screens for additional uses, potentially VR.
Meanwhile, NHK is planning public demonstrations of 8K broadcasting in Los Angeles and New York. They will be held this summer when NHK tests its broadcasting system during the FIFA Women’s World Cup, which is being held June 6-July 5 in Canada.
It’s also planning trials at the 2016 Rio Olympics, and aims to start offering limited 8K services in Japan during 2018, when the FIFA World Cup will be held in Russia and Olympics in South Korea.
From the content standpoint, NHK is currently focused on live broadcasting, particularly sports, and has already tested the system at big global events including the 2012 London Olympics as well as last year’s Sochi Olympics and FIFA World Cup. The ultra-sharp picture puts the viewer in the stadium with more detail that currently possible, allowing them to see more of the drama from the players and spectators, and not just in close ups.