Super Hi-Vision: My Opinion

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So today I was lucky enough to go to BBC Broadcasting House and experience Super Hi-Vision for myself. Sure some other tech sites have down a write-up on what they thought but I'm just a regular old Joe and wanted to share what I thought.

For those who don't know. Super Hi-Vision is a branded version of UHDTV - 8K resolution video with 22.2 channel sound - developed by NHK. There are only 3 Super Hi-Vision cameras in the world and they were used to film the opening ceremony (of which I saw some highlights of) and also some swimming events. I watched all of this on a 400" screen (or so I heard) EDIT: "15 metre wide" screen with an 8K projector..

So, how does it look? In short: absolutely stunning. It exceeded any and all expectation I could ever have had before going in. The opening shot was a wide-angle view of the Olympic Stadium and from my seat a few metres back from the screen I could make out the detail on everyone's face as they got ready to wow the world. The resolution was so high, I honestly had a hard time believing that what I was looking at wasn't just real life being played out behind a window. The image is so clear and natural. Colours are amazingly life like.

The picture is only the start though, what really completes the Super Hi-Vision package is the mind blowing 22 channel audio. Speakers surround you from every single angle and it really immerses you. It was literally the best thing I have ever heard. It felt like I was sitting right in the middle of the stadium. It was literally impossible to tell if some of the clapping was from someone sitting behind me or someone in the stadium. It was honestly so engaging. I can't really put into words just how brilliant the whole experience was. Super Hi-Vision can't really come soon enough in my opinion. Watching HD just looks poor in comparison.

It still early days though however. I often found that when it switched to closer view of what was going on that what was in focus was not what I wanted to see. Almost as if me and the camera operator didn't want to watch the same thing. Occasionally, contrast was poorer on some shots and there was a some distortion but all of these will be corrected in the future as directors and cameramen learn to use the new technology.

So, to summarise my experience:

  • the clarity of the video was beyond belief.
  • the audio was the best thing I had ever heard. It really completed the package.
  • it was a truly immersive experience.
  • I hope this technology comes to market sooner rather than later.
  • the only gripes I had with what I was watching were more likely due to human inaccuracies or recording and editing instead of the tech itself.
  • if you can experience this, do not turn down the opportunity.

If you have any questions, do ask.

Further reading: BBC

p.s this was my first post, be kind!