NHK 8K & 22.2 Audio at NAB 2014 - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 04-13-2014, 06:06 PM - Thread Starter
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As it has for the last several years, NHK—Japan's public-broadcasting service—demonstrated 8K technology, what it calls Super Hi-Vision. With a pixel resolution of 7680x4320 (33 megapixels, four times the number of pixels in UHD), 8K seems like a distant dream—and completely unnecessary for anything but the largest screens. But NHK persists in promoting it, and demonstrated over-the-air transmission for the first time in the US at NAB.

 

NHK's 8K OTA test transmission in Japan achieved a bitrate of 91.8 Mbps using the HEVC codec within a standard 6 MHz TV channel over a distance of 17 miles. At NAB, the company set up a transmission and reception antenna at opposite ends of its booth to demonstrate this remarkable feat for the first time in the US.

 

NHK set up a theater in its booth to show 8K footage and demonstrate the 22.2-channel audio system it has been advocating to accompany the video. The footage was shot on an 8K camera at 60 frames per second and projected onto a screen measuring 350" diagonally. Interestingly, the projector was a 4K JVC professional model with e-shift, which means we weren't seeing true 8K. Still, the images looked very good, with excellent motion detail thanks to the high frame rate. And the audio was completely immersive, especially the crowd sound in the clips from the Sochi Olympics and FIFA soccer finals.

 

NHK's 22.2-channel audio system includes three layers with one speaker directly overhead.

 

Out in the middle of the booth was an 8K Sharp LED-LCD flat panel with a "soundframe" consisting of 12 speaker drivers surrounding the image. The purpose was to demonstrate a simulation of 22.2 audio from the frame, but after hearing it, I must say it was only partly effective. Standing in the spot marked on the floor, the soundfield did extend beyond the boundaries of the screen, but it certainly did not reach overhead or behind me, possibly because it was in such an open space with no nearby walls or ceiling.

 

The image on this 8K flat panel was impressive, but the immersive audio coming from 12 drivers surrounding the screen was not so much.

 

NHK plans to shoot the 2014 FIFA World Cup and 2016 Summer Olympics in 8K. Test broadcasts will begin in Japan in 2016 with full OTA broadcasting starting in 2020.

 

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post #2 of 6 Old 04-14-2014, 07:16 AM
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8k is completely unnecessary, unless you use if for virtual reality or comparable high field-of view single person applications.
Even then, transmitting the full resolution is wasteful as our eyes are only sharp around a 2 degree angle with high contrast, and rapidly decrease thereafter.



Obviously our eyes can rotate +- 45 degree, so you'd need eye tracking to reduce that down.
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post #3 of 6 Old 04-14-2014, 10:55 AM
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^^With every increase in resolution, there's a vocal minority that insists that our eyes can't even resolve the new detail and each time their claims are bogus. On IMAX screens I can clearly see pixels at 2K resolution, 4K would definitely be a step up but I'm sure you'd need 8K to make an IMAX sized screen have the level of smoothness that a 4K screen from normal viewing distance would have.
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post #4 of 6 Old 04-14-2014, 02:44 PM
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8K and higher resolutions will be most useful when display technology prices are low enough that we can build homes w/ floor to ceiling, wall to wall displays.  At that point, you no longer worry about painting your walls, using decorative mouldings, or buying physical artwork.  You just plug a PC into the wall outlet and your walls display whatever you want.  Imagine displaying 8K video of an aquarium on your walls, or just using still images that allow you decorate however you want and change it with the push of a button.  Couldn't afford a home w/ the view of the beach/mountains/cityscape you wanted...no problem.

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post #5 of 6 Old 04-14-2014, 02:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HockeyoAJB View Post

8K and higher resolutions will be most useful when display technology prices are low enough that we can build homes w/ floor to ceiling, wall to wall displays.  At that point, you no longer worry about painting your walls, using decorative mouldings, or buying physical artwork.  You just plug a PC into the wall outlet and your walls display whatever you want.  Imagine displaying 8K video of an aquarium on your walls, or just using still images that allow you decorate however you want and change it with the push of a button.  Couldn't afford a home w/ the view of the beach/mountains/cityscape you wanted...no problem.

This is basically the only way I see higher resolutions being useful to consumers, 16K walls would be awesome.

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post #6 of 6 Old 04-14-2014, 07:37 PM
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Originally Posted by CheYC View Post

This is basically the only way I see higher resolutions being useful to consumers, 16K walls would be awesome.

I got to see the NHK demo. As reported the sound was immersive and impressive. The pictures looked like good HD to me through the projectors, not much more and with a lower contrast ratio than I would have expected. The flat panels outside the theatre had very good pictures. The place marked to stand in front of the flat panel was about 4 feet from a very large flat panel. At that distance the detail in the ancient Japanese warrior costumes was impressive. Much closer and I could see pixels.

My thought is that this is a technology for lands with small rooms (Japan, Europe). If you wanted a large screen and were restricted to much closer viewing distances than we usually have to deal with in the US, the increased resolution could have real consumer benefit.

But I agree the payback in US homes is limited at this time.
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