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Japan's NHK begins world's first 8K TV broadcasts

Japan's NHK begins world's first 8K TV broadcasts

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Japan's public broadcaster NHK has begun the world's first regular TV satellite broadcasts in 8K resolution. The "Super Hi-Vision" test channel launched on Monday and has a mix of content in both 4K and 8K resolution, which at 7680 x 4320 pixels is four times as sharp as 4K and 16 times as sharp as 1080p; the spec also allows for 22.2-channel audio.

8K content on the schedule for today includes a concert by J-pop star Kyary Pamyu Pamyu, highlights from the London 2012 Olympic Games opening ceremony, and footage of famed Japanese conductor Seiji Ozawa in a Beethoven concert. The channel broadcasts from 10AM until 5PM, but since no one actually has the equipment necessary to receive the channel at home, NHK is installing viewing stations around the country for the public and will hold events designed to showcase footage from the Rio Olympics.

If you're wondering exactly why all this is happening before you've even gotten around to buying a 4K TV yet, it's because NHK perennially pioneers new viewing formats. The company started HD broadcasts in the '80s, for example, well over a decade before the technology became mainstream — so don't take this as a sign that you'll need to upgrade soon.