Japan to start 4K broadcasts next year

Japan will be the first country to start 4K broadcasts next year, in time for the World Cup final.

As if KFC for Christmas dinner isn't reason enough to move to Japan, how about TV shows in Ultra High Definition? Well there's not long to wait, as broadcasts in the format will start in Japan next year -- that's two years ahead of schedule, proving it's not just the trains that run on time over there.

Reuters reports the Japanese government will launch the world-first service in July 2014. That's just in time for the World Cup final in Brazil, which sounds like pretty nice timing to me.

Japanese newspaper Asahi Shimbun is the one bringing news of the government's plans. 

Ultra High Definition -- previously known as 4K -- has four times the resolution of HD, so expect some pretty stonking visuals. The likes of Sony, Panasonic et al were in attendance at CES, showing off their 4K sets, and some are on sale in the UK now -- though you'll need quite a trust fund to afford one. Like all emerging technologies, there's a dearth of content to watch on it at the moment, so if you invest right now you could end up with a very expensive dust-gatherer.

The format isn't just for tellies. Panasonic has lifted the lid on an Ultra High Definition 20-inch Windows 8 tablet . It'll be a tool for creative professionals like photographers and artists, and blew our socks off at CES.

If you think that's impressive, Japanese companies are already developing 8K TVs, with -- you guessed it -- eight times as many pixels as High Definition. The Ministry of Internal Affairs plans to launch test broadcasts using this format in 2016, which is again two years ahead of schedule. I know technology moves quickly, but this is ridiculous. Buy a 4K telly in 2014, and it'll be out of date in two years.

Are you looking forward to Ultra High Definition? What would you like to watch in that resolution? Let me know in the comments, or on Facebook.

About the author

    Joe has been writing about consumer tech for nearly seven years now, but his liking for all things shiny goes back to the Gameboy he received aged eight (and that he still plays on at family gatherings, much to the annoyance of his parents). His pride and joy is an Infocus projector, whose 80-inch picture elevates movie nights to a whole new level.


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