IBC agog over TV demo

NHK's Super Hi-Vision boasts 8K resolution

AMSTERDAM -- Delegates attending the International Broadcasting Convention have seen the future of television.

NHK's developing Super Hi-Vision system was the subject of a stunning demonstration Monday at the IBC. SHV offers 8K resolution -- 16 times that of HDTV -- with a 22.2 channel surround sound system.

Delegates waited in long lines for a glimpse at the scenic images, which were broadcast to Amsterdam's RAI Convention Center in two ways: From a live camera in London over a fiber connection and from a server in Torino, Italy, via satellite.

NHK aims to bring SHV to the home in perhaps 10 years, said Keiichi Kubota, director general of the Science & Technical Research Laboratories of NHK. "Before TV applications, I think SHV will be used for public viewing sites (such as museums)," he said. "That is easier to deploy."

Seeing 8K imagery projected in the demonstration theater also suggests its digital cinema applications. Kubota, though, is not waiting for Hollywood to take the lead.

"If the system is accepted by the movie industry, that's fine," he said. "But since we are broadcasters, we don't want to push our system on people in a different area."

On the broadcasting effort, NHK already is working on a range of SHV equipment, including cameras and TV sets.

One challenge is the television set size, which Kubota said would probably be in the 70- to 100-inch range. "From a technical point of view, it is difficult to make SHV sets smaller and still appreciate the quality," he said.

NHK, the BBC and Italy's RAI recently were among those who formed a research cooperative group called the Broadcast Technology Futures Group. Super Hi-Vision is part of the agenda.