Posted By on 28 Aug 2016


4K televisions and broadcasts are just barely starting to catch on, but it's already time to start thinking about the next leap forward. At least, that's how Japan feels when it comes time to watch the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. Japanese national broadcaster NHK has already stated that it will broadcast the Tokyo Games in 8K(also known as Super Hi-Vision). Manufacturers Sony and Panasonic will be working together to get 8K-capable TVs on the market by the year 2020.


Recently, Japanese television manufacturers are losing their market share in around the globe due to stiff competition. South Korean brands like Samsung and LG and some Chinese companies like the LeTv are taking over the television market. This phenomenon is motivating the Japanese brands to unite and face the rivals with unmatchable technology. 

Tests of 8K video already took place during this year's Olympics in Rio. NHK broadcasting a small selection of footage from the games alongside a grab-bag of 8K content, including a concert by J-pop star Kyary Pamyu Pamyu. Given the extreme rarity of commercial 8K TV sets as the first set was only unveiled by Sharp last October and cost Â¥16 million or $160,000). NHK had to organize public viewing stations for people to watch its broadcasts. It's not unusual for NHK to be so far ahead of the mainstream either. It started broadcasting HD TV back in the 1980s, more than a decade before the resolution became widely available.

Sony and Panasonic working on 8K technology

Sony and Panasonic are planning to work together to bring the futuristic 8K technology in the market way before their competitors. The partnership will focus on streaming and compression technology that will enable 8K signals to be transmitted over home broadband connections. The next generation of camera technology will enable broadcasters to start capturing Super Hi-vision content. 

It's a long road ahead, as there's currently only one 8K TV on the market. It is an 85-inch, $130,000 / £100,000 behemoth from Sharp, and next to no native 8K content. NHK has already conducted a few 8K tests throughout Tokyousing footage from the Rio Olympics, which is a promising start to the project. The end-goal here, according to Japanese business publication Nikkei, is to form "an all-Japanese alliance to reclaim market share lost to foreign rivals."

The two companies are reportedly happy to work together for the time being to develop the technology, because there is no existing market for them to compete over. While it's an ambitious goal for all the parties involved, the lack of 8K video content. The prices of the TV sets once they are released, mean the technology won't see any widespread adoption until well after the 2020 Olympics. 

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