Japan is expected come July 2014 to become the first country in the world to broadcast in 4K Ultra HD resolution. This is almost two years ahead of the schedule set by Japan's Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications in its bid to revive the country's ailing domestic consumer electronics industry.
4K offers four times the resolution of a Blu-ray movie. The launch of this 4K broadcast service is timed to coincide with the knockout rounds of the FIFA World Cup 2014 football tournament.
To mitigate the bandwidth limitation of existing digital broadcasting systems, dedicated communication satellites will be used initially. However, the 4K transmission will eventually encompass both commercial broadcasting satellites and terrestrial channels. This TV service is unlikely to be free for viewers, although the Japanese government is said to be funding the overall running cost.
As if this is not enough, the ministry might also be bringing forward Japan's experimental 8K broadcasts to 2016, just in time for the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.