The Rio Olympics gets underway this weekend and Japan's national broadcaster, NHK, will for the first time broadcast some events in 8K. While the technology to view "Super High Vision" content at home isn't commercially available just yet, public viewing events will be held around Japan and Brazil.
With a resolution of 7,680 x 4,320, 8K weighs in at 16 times the resolution of 1080 Full HD, and ups the sound from 7.1 to a hefty 22.2 channel surround setup. Of course, no home theater can currently do that technology justice, so NHK is working with the Olympic Broadcasting Services (OBS), as well as Brazilian broadcaster TV Globo, to let the public sit in on events beamed via satellite to Japan, and in Rio de Janeiro via an experimental terrestrial transmission.
One hundred and thirty hours of content, some of it live, will be given the 8K treatment, including of course, the Opening and Closing Ceremonies, as well as events like judo, swimming, athletics, basketball and the men's football final.
Those wanting to witness the Super High Vision spectacle can pop on down to the Grand Front Osaka Knowledge Theater in Osaka City, or five venues around Tokyo – the NHK Broadcasting Museum, NHK Science & Technical Research Laboratories, NHK Minna no Hiroba Fureai Hall, Marucube and the Panasonic Center.
The rest of the world will have to settle for either HD or 4K coverage, which will be down-converted from the 8K footage. OBS is also making some of the content available in VR for the first time.
With this milestone, NHK is on track to meet the goals it has set out in its 8K roadmap, which includes public 8K broadcasting to begin in 2018 and the widespread adoption of 8K by 2020, just in time for the Tokyo Olympics.