Japan to launch 4K TV broadcast in July 2014

Japan to launch 4K TV broadcast in July 2014

Summary: Country has reportedly brought forward by two years its initial schedule for 4K TV broadcast services, to coincide with the 2014 football World Cup--pipping South Korea to be world first.


Japan will start the world's first 4K TV broadcast in July 2014, about two years ahead of schedule, to help drive demand for the ultra high-definition (UHD) TV sets.

In a report Monday, Asahi Times said communications ministry officials hope putting the country as the first in the world to offer the service will help revive Japan's flagging domestic electronics appliance industry. Domestic TV makers such as Sony and Panasonic have been rolling out 4K TV sets, most recently showcasing them at the Consumer Electronics Show in January.

Consumer demand for TV sets has flatlined following the conversion from analog to terrestrial digital broadcasting completed in March 2012, the news daily noted.

4K is seen by the TV industry as the next big thing, and has about four times the pixels of 1080p--theoretically capable of delivering a much better image.

Japan had initially set 2016 as the year to begin full 4K broadcasting, but the new plans will mean the services will now coincide with the World Cup to be held in Brazil in 2014--effectively overtaking South Korea to be the world's first.

Work is also currently in progress on 8K technology, which will be 16 times sharper than high definition standards. Japan is also mulling bringing forward 8K broadcast services by two years to 2016 to coincide with the Summer Olympics in Brazil.

Topics: Hardware, Emerging Tech, Japan


Loves caption contests, leisurely strolls along supermarket aisles and watching How It's Made. Ryan has covered finance, politics, tech and sports for TV, radio and print. He is also co-author of best seller "Profit from the Panic". Ryan is an editor at ZDNet's Asia/Singapore office.

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  • 4k/8k are completely pointless.

    I would much rather better colour accuracy and contrast than this crappy 4K. most people can only start to tell the difference between 720p and 1080p at the 42-55 inch screen sizes, in order to get any benefit from 4K you either need to get a 90 inch screen or sit 2 ft away from you TV. I could go on about Lack of 4K Content, Bluray toping out at 1080px24 and how compression makes "HD" web video look lousy etc, but i think I've made my point.

    4K is the biggest load the TV manufactures have tried to shove down our throats since 3D.

    PS. If you are one of the lucky few who have 20/15 or better Vision(and have $20-30k to blow on a tv) you can ignore this (until you get old), but consider that 20/20 is considered normal for YOUNG eyes and its all down hill from there. Chances are spending $20,000 on a 4k TV will not benefit you in any way.
    • RE: We will see

      Having to wear glasses is an important reason for 3D's relative failure. I assume you won't need glasses for 4K and prices will come way down and programs will become available. 4K is where high def was in 1998 a novelty item. By 2004 hi-def was still a luxury item with fairly limited programming and now in 2013 most programming is in hi-def and those that do not have are luddites and the poor who have their spending priorities straight.