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.