Originally Posted by Ken Ross
That's not exactly how I recall it. I recall NHK trying very hard to push the analog approach to HD here in the U.S. The U.S. resisted, preferring an all digital approach. Everything NHK does is not gold. If they go 8K, it doesn't mean the rest of the world will fall in line. I'm not saying that 8K isn't possible here in the U.S., but I am saying it makes no sense IMO and because Japan is doing it doesn't mean the rest of the world falls in lock step.
It's also a big difference when the Govt subsidizes this kind of thing. Here the broadcasters are on their own. Big difference.
I don't think you can lay that at NHKs door anymore than all the other standards that was fighting for acceptance at the time, and delayed HDTV launch.
In addition there where some problems with massproduction of CRT HD TVs at the time.
1981- NHK demonstrates HDTV with 1,125 lines of resolution.
The Nippon Hōsō Kyōkai (NHK, the Japan Broadcasting Corporation) began conducting research to "unlock the fundamental mechanism of video and sound interactions with the five human senses" in 1964, after the Tokyo Olympics. NHK set out to create an HDTV system that ended up scoring much higher in subjective tests than NTSC's previously dubbed "HDTV". This new system, NHK Color, created in 1972, included 1125 lines, a 5:3 aspect ratio and 60 Hz refresh rate. The Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE), headed by Charles Ginsburg, became the testing and study authority for HDTV technology in the international theater. SMPTE would test HDTV systems from different companies from every conceivable perspective, but the problem of combining the different formats plagued the technology for many years.
There were 4 major HDTV systems tested by SMPTE in the late 1970s, and in 1979 an SMPTE study group released A Study of High Definition Television Systems:
EIA monochrome: 4:3 aspect ratio, 1023 lines, 60 Hz
NHK color: 5:3 aspect ratio, 1125 lines, 60 Hz
NHK monochrome: 4:3 aspect ratio, 2125 lines, n/a Hz[clarification needed - does that mean they didn't/don't have a fixed refresh rate?]
BBC color: 8:3 aspect ratio, 1501 lines, n/a Hz
Since the formal adoption of digital video broadcasting's (DVB) widescreen HDTV transmission modes in the early 2000s the 525-line NTSC (and PAL-M) systems as well as the European 625-line PAL and SECAM systems are now regarded as standard definition television systems. In Australia, the 625-line digital progressive system (with 576 active lines) is officially recognized as high-definition.
ORF – the Austrian public broadcaster – started in the early 1990s to experiment with
HDTV (1250) during the Winter Olympic Games in Albertville (1992).
Further productions followed – in cooperation with NHK, Japan – including the famous New
Year’s Day Concerts from Vienna.
1996 - The FCC approves ATSC's HDTV standard. (US)
There where also problems with the fact that the first HDTV systems where analog.
Demise of analog HD systems
The limited standardization of analog HDTV in the 1990s did not lead to global HDTV adoption as technical and economic constraints at the time did not permit HDTV to use bandwidths greater than normal television.
Early HDTV commercial experiments such as NHK's MUSE required over four times the bandwidth of a standard-definition broadcast, and HD-MAC was not much better. Despite efforts made to reduce analog HDTV to about 2× the bandwidth of SDTV these television formats were still distributable only by satellite.
In addition, recording and reproducing an HDTV signal was a significant technical challenge in the early years of HDTV (Sony HDVS). Japan remained the only country with successful public broadcasting of analog HDTV, with seven broadcasters sharing a single channel.
HDTV technology was introduced in the United States in the 1990s by the Digital HDTV Grand Alliance, a group of television, electronic equipment, communications companies consisting of AT&T Bell Labs, General Instrument, MIT, Philips, Sarnoff, Thomson, Zenith and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Field testing of HDTV at 199 sites in the United States was completed August 14, 1994. The first public HDTV broadcast in the United States occurred on July 23, 1996 when the Raleigh, North Carolina television station WRAL-HD began broadcasting from the existing tower of WRAL-TV south-east of Raleigh, winning a race to be first with the HD Model Station in Washington, D.C., which began broadcasting July 31, 1996 with the callsign WHD-TV, based out of the facilities of NBC owned and operated station WRC-TV.
The American Advanced Television Systems Committee (ATSC) HDTV system had its public launch on October 29, 1998, during the live coverage of astronaut John Glenn's return mission to space on board the Space Shuttle Discovery. The signal was transmitted coast-to-coast, and was seen by the public in science centers, and other public theaters specially equipped to receive and display the broadcast.
What I want to point out with this, is that most of the technology for UHD-1 and UHD-2 is in place. UHD-1 is being transmitted over existing satellite regularly today with the old compression codecs.
With new compression codecs, 8K can fit in the same "space" that fill 4K now.
There are also a consortium of worldwide Broadcasters lead by China at the moment that want to make a new global terrestial standard to get rid of all the NTSC, PAL and Secam standards.
The moment the decisions are made and tests are finished the broadcasters must decide between; Will you upgrade your equipment for 4K and then again upgrade to 8K, or will you upgrade straight to 8K?
The broadcasters have no economical reason to "milk the market" like the manufacturers do. For the broadcasters it is only expenses.
Pay once or pay twice?
Satellite owners are in the same situation.
Equipment for 8K broadcast are not significant more expensive than equipment for 4K broadcasts when we count in mass-production.
To measure the cost, we can use the cost of digital processor power as measure, and if we see five to ten years forward when this upgrade will start to happen globally, the processor power needed for a 8K pipeline will cost less than the processor power costed when HD broadcast started.
For people that don't understand the value of 8K TV, just don't understand how to "see" image quality. And because we all sit and get used to our 2 megapixel screens it is hard for many to understand what 33 megapixel resolution will contribute.
Believe me that when you one day get to see proper 8K you will understand that HD was more like a mistake and 4K more like a band-aid.
Images in TV and film is not supposed to only be able to recreate reality, something it doesn't do yet, but also be able to show a enhanced reality.
NHK is working with EBU, and have BBC and RAI as direct broadcast partners, to achieve this.
Notice that almost all the testing and demonstrations of 4K(previously) and 8K now outside of Japan have been happening in Europe with European partners.
And that 4K satellite broadcast are by two European satellite owners.