Japan Promises 8K UHD Anime “In 2020”


4k nichijou

Following from the confirmation that Japanese TV will start 4K UHDTV broadcasts in 2014, 8K broadcasts are now firmly on schedule for 2020.

The Japanese government has already decreed 4K UHD (or “Super Hi-Vision” as UHD will be known in Japan) will begin broadcasts in 2014, with full 8K UHDTV now confirmed as scheduled to start in 2020 – to coincide with what they undoubtedly hope will be the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

A trickle of 4K (2160p, or 3840×2160) capable TVs has already hit the market at high prices, but with content at the new higher resolutions almost non-existent (an entirely new generation of Blu-ray discs and players is required in addition to a complete overhaul of broadcast infrastructure) it seems sales pick up until NHK finally gets the ball rolling with its gripping sumo coverage.

It will likely be many years more before any content in the 8K resolution is widely available.

Whatever the merits of such extremely high visual fidelity, there is widespread scepticism about what is widely believed to be a carefully contrived marketing ploy by the Japanese government and consumer electronics giants to provide an upgrade treadmill to drive TV sales for years to come, not a surprising concern given the decades long failure of pseudo-3D and the fact that TV screen sizes now outstrip available living room sizes, particularly in Japan:

“Still trying to drum up demand by forcing everyone to buy new TVs I see.”

“So the ministry is going to turn off HD broadcasts in a few years in favour of 4K and 8K to make everyone buy new TVs?”

“Where the hell are we expected to put these huge things? The ceiling is about the only place they’d fit.”

“Honestly, with the gap between 4K and 8K being so short I rather suspect a lot of people will hold off buying 4K ones.”

“Everyone will skip 4K.”

“As soon as the talk of 8K started they made skippers the main type of consumer.”

“The price will differ though. People who don’t care about image quality will just be able to wait it out with a cheap one.”

“I can’t wait to watch Go matches in 8K, can you?!”

“As if there is anything worth watching on anyway.”

“Anime really adapted well to HD, despite people saying it would kill it.”

“It really came into its own with HD! The lavishly detailed backgrounds and scope of artistic expression possible with HD really helped it.”

“I can see it being great for nature and sports, but for celebrities and variety shows it is pointless, and it’ll just make dramas look cheap.”

“Those poor tokusatsu shows…”

“The leap from an old CRT to an HD TV was pretty massive and anyone could see that… I wonder about these new ones though.”

“4K and 8K seems a bit like 720p and 1080p. It doesn’t seem full diffusion will be likely until 2030 either. Although I guess PC displays will be that high as a matter of course.”

“Over 32 inches on a PC display seems too much. And you only need to see 100 degrees, anything else is wasted.”

“I still have a CRT TV! I see I was right to keep waiting for this.”

“The TV back then actually still had some merit too.”

“It is doomed, there are simply not that many people that interested in this level of quality.”

“I really want one of these – to use as a PC display.”

“That’s all I ever use mine for.”

“The TV stations are just going to drop the resolutions all the time so there is no point.”

“Even now you still see CMs in SD. They’ll never catch up.”

“That’s just for local stations. Anything new is in HD.”

“Can we please have channel flipping as fast as analogue TV?”

“It needs more tuning hardware, so it’s a cost issue. High-end models like Regza can manage it even now.”

“We need a holodeck, not just higher resolution.”

“I just wish they would make their AC adapters smaller…”

“Why does everyone bash UHD? I really don’t get the Japanese objections to this.”

“I guess we are going to 16K, 32K and 64K next?”

“I’ll wait for 128K.”

“Over 8K and the human eye will not be able to discern much of a difference, so what is the point?”

“What’d be really amazing is if the TV industry manages to survive in its current form to 2020.”

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