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8K TV broadcasting coming to Japan during 2016 Olympics

The Olympics Broadcasting Services will be shooting 8K content during the 2016 games, trialling the ultra-high-resolution format ahead of the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.


Last October, Sharp became the first electronics company to release an 8K television set, selling the 85-inch monitor for around $140,000 (¥16 million). Those who bought that TV, or one of the few other sets on the market, will finally have something to watch in the 7,680×4,320-pixel 8K resolution come August.

The Olympics Broadcasting Services (OBS) will be shooting 130 hours of 8K content for Japanese television sets during August's 2016 games at the Rio Olympics, according to Advanced Television. Those 130 hours -- a small percentage of some 7,000 hours that are scheduled to be shot -- will include coverage on swimming, football, basketball, judo and both the Opening and Closing Ceremonies.

OBS will also be broadcasting selected events, including the Opening and Closing Ceremonies and key games, for virtual reality platforms both live and on demand, the publication reports.

Though 8K resolution sounds impressive, there's still a question of who will be watching, given the price tags of 8K TVs. We at CNET have also questioned the merit of Ultra High Definition 4K television sets, capable of outputting 3,840x2,160-pixel resolutions, given the human eye can only process so many pixels.

8K resolution broadcasting isn't the only new innovation that Japan hopes to show off come 2020. Mitsubishi is working on "aerial display" technology that will display open-air holograms, useful for signage and entertainment, that should be ready come the Olympics.