Officials Thought to Be Considering 8K for 2016, Report Says

Japan is planning the world's first 4K Ultra HD television broadcast for July 2014, during the final rounds of the World Cup soccer tournament in Brazil.

According to a report in The Asahi Shimbun, the country's Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications pushed the date forward from 2016, a move that puts Japan's schedule ahead of South Korea's in the race to 4K broadcasting. The newspaper said the government advanced the date in hopes of stimulating flagging TV set sales for the country's consumer electronics manufacturers.

Japan's current terrestrial broadcasting infrastructure can't handle the bandwidth required for 4K, the country is said to be planning to use the extra capacity of existing communications satellites, with plans to eventually offload the job to broadcasting satellites and, finally, the country's terrestrial channels.  

The Shimbun reported that the 4K Ultra HD broadcast will likely be directed by an organization of broadcasters and TV manufacturers to be established in March. The report also said the Ministry is thinking about slating an 8K broadcast to begin in 2016, during the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, rather than the currently scheduled 2018 start date.

Pictured at top: Sony's 56-inch 4K OLED TV, displayed in prototype form at CES 2013.