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Japan kicks off 8K TV broadcasts

4K is still far from mainstream, but Japan's public broadcaster NHK is pumping out programmes in 8K, ahead of the Rio Olympics.

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 1, 2016: A sand sculpture on the Copacabana beach. Stanislav Krasilnikov/TASS (Photo by Stanislav Krasilnikov\TASS via Getty Images)

Japan has begun broadcasting TV in 8K resolution ahead of the Olympics starting in Rio de Janeiro this weekend.

A satellite channel debuted by the country's public broadcaster NHK will be showing a heady blend of 4K and 8K programming, with most of this week's schedule focusing on the Olympics, as well as music and arts shows. 8K pumps image resolution up to a whopping 7,680x4,320 pixels, roughly four times more detail than 4K, also known as ultra high definition.

NHK detailed this week's 8K debut back in April. Watching at home won't be an option for many, as even 4K TVs are still expensive and yet to be widely adopted. But NHK is putting on public viewings in six venues across Japan, showing Olympic events including the opening and closing ceremonies in 8K. If you're in the area, the full schedule in English is here (PDF link).