Japan public broadcaster NHK is planning public previews of its developing Ultra High Definition (UHDTV) television system, and expects trials of UHDTV broadcasting to begin in Japan in 2020.
Ultra High Definition (UHDTV) promises images that contain almost 16
times more picture information that that which is found in today's HDTV
systems. UHDTV accommodates 8K resolution, meaning that it contains 7,680
horizontal pixels x 4,320 vertical pixels. This is significantly more
picture information than that which is contained in today's HDTV formats,
as well as digital cinema images.
NHK talked about the status of Ultra High Definition Television (UHDTV) at
the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers' annual Technical
Conference and Expo at Hollywood & Highland.
The frontiers of video technology are being pushed to new limits with
advanced work on UHDTV2. Progress continues to be made in key areas,
including image capture, processing, and display technologies. NHK
presented a camera system using three 33-M-pixel CMOS image sensors for
UHDTV. At a paper presented, NHK described a world?s-first camera system
that can capture images complying with the highest-level image format
specified in SMPTE 2036-1?i.e. UHDTV2 (7680?4320/59.94p,
R/G/B 4:4:4). For this camera system, NHK developed a 33-million-pixel
CMOS image sensor, an ultrahigh-resolution lens, and a signal-processing
function for correcting lens chromatic aberration in real time. As a
result, the limiting resolution of captured images was achieved over 4,000
TV lines. Moreover, WDM optical interface with nine 10G-SDI modules was
developed. Using this technology,the camera head and camera-control unit
can be connected by an SMPTE 311 camera cable.
NHK is also developing Super Hi-Vision (defined as UHDTV-2 in SMPTE2036-1;
henceforth, SHV) capable of providing a highly realistic viewing
experience. To achieve a more practical system, NHK developed SHV camera
and SHV recorder/player both with greater compactness and mobility.
Miniaturization of this camera was realized through the adoption of a
compact 10G-SDI-based optical transmission unit and high-integration
signal processing unit. With 16 H.264/AVC compression units developed for
HD operating in parallel, the compact recorder/player record contents on
16 semiconductor memory cards (P2 cards) per hour. NHK was able to make
both the camera and the recorder/player less than half the size of
existing systems. Superimposing control and status data on the ancillary
data area of 1.5G-SDI also ensures improved operability and editing flow
efficiency of these devices, NHK said.
Besides capturing and storing, the UHDTV content should be transmitted.
NHK detailed a new technology for Digital Terrestrial Broadcasting?Toward
Digital Terrestrial Broadcasting of UHDTV. The company is conducting
research on the next generation of digital terrestrial broadcasting to
enable large-volume content services such as UHDTV. It has developed a
high-capacity transmission technology for the next-generation broadcasting
system and have conducted successful field tests in which 60-Mbps signals
(four HDTV programs) were transmitted on a single, 6-MHz
terrestrial broadcasting channel. The system uses ultra-multilevel OFDM
and dual-polarized MIMO technologies. Ultra-multilevel OFDM increases
transmission capacity by extending the carrier modulation scheme from
64QAM, used in current digital terrestrial broadcasting, to 1024QAM. The
company has also demonstrated dual-polarized MIMO technology, which
enables two different signals to be transmitted simultaneously using
horizontally and vertically polarized waves. It also accurately
separates and demodulates the two signals.
NHK plans to expose the public to its system in 2012, by shooting some of
the London Olympics in Ultra High Definition, which is also referred to as
Super Hi-Vision. The footage would be transmitted to public viewing sites
in the U.K., U.S. and Japan.
A challenge for UHDTV could be the size of the required TV sets, in order
to produce the high-resolution format. An NHK spokesperson at SMPTE
explained that the broadcaster is currently working on various size
consumer LCD TV sets, including in the 80- to 90-inch range.
Plans call for trials of UHDTV broadcasting to begin in Japan in 2020.