A consortium of Japanese companies, including the telecoms operator J:COM, is to launch a nationwide 4K cable channel in Japan in December.
Called Cable 4K, the channel will be transmitted via JapanCableCast’s platform, broadcasting local Japanese history, arts and cultural programming as well as sports, music and food shows.
An initial 39 participants are involved. According to the Japan Cable and Telecommunications Association more than 110 further companies have expressed an interest in contributing.
Japan Digital Serve will handle the programming mix.
It has been reported that the imperative behind the venture is cost control. One report suggested that: “jointly operating a 4K channel will be an efficient way to distribute unique content while spreading out associated costs.”
Although BT Sport has an Ultra HD channel in UK, Japan is leading the way in 4K, with one eye on the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
At the games the Japanese government is hoping that its media companies will be able to provide coverage in the highest broadcast quality possible, including not just 4K but also 8K.
As such, Japan’s NHK has been working on 8K capabilities for some time. At IBC this year it demonstrated a working 85-inch Super Hi-Vision (SHV) TV set that can show 8K footage. Practical 8K production equipment is also in development.
NHK announced that it will start test 8K broadcasts in 2016. [http ://www.tvbeurope.com/nhk-target-2016-8k /]
Sky Perfect JSAT launched two dedicated 4K Ultra HD channels on its JCSAT 3A and JCSAT 4B satellites in April.
Cable 4K will launch on 1 December 2015.