The Japanese government plans to start the world's first 4K TV broadcasts in July of next year, according to a report in the Asahi Shimbun. If true, this would mean that we'll be seeing Ultra HD TV a lot earlier than expected — the government had previously set a target of 2016 for 4K broadcasts, though the publicly-owned NHK recently announced that it will test 8K content that year. The 4K transmissions will reportedly start using CS (communication satellites) channels before moving to BS (broadcast satellites) and terrestrial digital at a later date.

The faster rollout is intended to stoke demand for 4K TVs, many of which are manufactured by Japanese companies such as Toshiba, Sharp, and Sony. For the rest of us, the move may be a promising sign of reasons to justify the considerable cost of a 4K set, which currently have next to no content available; as the report notes, the July 2014 start date will be just in time for the latter stages of the soccer World Cup in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.