back to article Japan promised Ultra HD TV broadcasts two years early

Japanese telly addicts will get to see the 2014 FIFA World Cup in glorious Ultra HD. As a result, they’ll get 4K x 2K broadcast content beamed into their homes two years earlier than expected. Japan’s Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications said the move had been prompted by a desire to stimulate demand for the 3840 × …


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  1. cosymart


    So what extra detail will you get? Close ups of the hair gel on the coiffured 22 overpaid morons kicking a bag of air about.

    1. Graham Marsden

      Re: Meh!

      And wonderfully detailed replays of an over-priced prima-donna collapsing in feigned agony when they get the slightest touch on their ankle...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Oh yes

      We can all upgrade our TV's and spent £6000-10000 buying them to watch the World Cup?

      Three reasons not to:

      1. Your eyes won't notice it

      2. Cost of New TV

      3. New competing standards

      1. Mage Silver badge

        Re: Oh yes

        Well at average UK living room size you need 42" to appreciate HD, HD is for BIGGER screens, not really for more detail.

        405 lines at same distance on a 9" screen (typical in 1937) is just as sharp. But by 17" you needed more resolution. Again you needed at least a 21" or larger set to appreciate 626 lines.

        So unless you are watching UHD on your desk on 42" you need 84" for it to be "worth while", or to put it another way, ordinary HD will look poor in a normal size room on 84". So UHD / 4k x 2K is for adopters of 84" TVs in small rooms.

        I'd prefer a 6:1 zoom projector. make it 28" to 36" for SD depending on source quality, 42" for 16:9 and 64" to 84" for letter boxed Cinematic content typically 2.40:1 aspect ratio depending on quality.

        If you get 2.4:1 or 3:1 Cinematic content in a 16:9 frame then you do need a bigger screen and more resolution just to have the SAME sharpness.

        Similar with 4:3 vs 16:9. Native 28" 4:3 needs a 36" approx 16:9 screen to have about the same picture size.

  2. Chris Miller

    Satellite v terrestrial

    Would there be enough bandwidth to transmit UHD terrestrially?

    1. Red Bren

      Re: Satellite v terrestrial

      There might be if they got rid of all the effin' shopping, +1 and subscription channels...

    2. King Jack

      Re: Satellite v terrestrial

      ' Enough bandwidth to transmit UHD terrestrially?' Yes, they'll just compress the hell out of everything else. Then the only thing not a blocky mess will be the new 4K. It worked to kill SD in favour of HD, so it will work again. The public will lap it up... it's the new 'must have'.

    3. Hardwareguy

      Re: Satellite v terrestrial

      Well Virgin wont be able to do it. They cannot even broadcast HD without causing poor pixelation, and colour distortion.

  3. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    So what?

    It's just a way to persuade people with more money than sense to replace all their new TVs with even newer TVs, to help keep those Sharp factories churning out screens. There's damn-all on TV that really merits HD, let alone Ultra HD.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: So what?

      That might be the case for broadcast TV but not the case for recorded media. I would very much like to see my favourite films and filmed documentary footage (eg the NASA archive) at that resolution and and then we keep going until we actually replicate a projected 35mm frame (and beyond). Or would you still prefer VHS?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: So what?

        The thing is that VHS was poor quality from the start. Even when it was new I just tolerated it because there was nothing better. Now, with DVD I'm happy enough; I'm only going to move to BR once they stop publishing stuff on DVD. I have a HD TV and I can barely see the difference between BBC1 and BBC1HD because BBC1 is already a high bandwidth channel compared to, say, Dave.

        UHD is just an attempt to flog us more dead horse and if that's what I want I can go to Tesco.

        1. Jolyon Smith

          Re: So what?

          The difference between DVD and BR is like chalk and cheese, even on a relatively modest 40" size screen.

          The improvements are not just in resolution but in colour gamut (no colour stepping), contrast (blacks are truly black, not just dark grey) not to mention the different codecs which now allow for "native" frame rates - 24 fps movies are 24 fps on your screen, so no 4% runtime speedup for PAL or 3:2 pull down artefacts for NTSC, as you get with DVD.

          If you honestly cannot tell the difference then you are either in denial or in desperate need of a visit to your optician.

          1. Mage Silver badge

            Re: So what?

            Depends on the DVD and BD and if film remastered / rescanned and film quality.

            Some DVDs are actually BETTER than some BD.

            For GOOD DVD typically film is scanned at 1440 x 1152 or higher and down-sampled to 720 x 576 which results in higher apparent resolution and less artefacts than a 720 x 576 camera or scan. Subsequent upscaling will be better than 720 x 576 native video

            For GOOD BD typically film is scanned at 3840 x 2160 and down-sampled to 1920 x 1080 which results in higher apparent resolution and less artefacts than a 1920 x1080 camera or scan. Cheaper BD releases just use the scan for DVD at 1440 x 1152 or higher and resample to 1920 x1080. For decent BD you need really to scan and restore the negatives, not use a distribution copy print (less sharp and noisier), so often only new releases in the BD era and premium cinematic content, not "budget" releases benefits from BD.

            Older US TV shows might be 720 x 480, so poor on DVD. Also 30fps to 25fps conversion blurs the image. HD versions will be much better, though conversion from 30fps or 60fps to 25fps or 50fps degrades the image,

            So it's quite possible to buy DVDs and BDs that are not much different in apparent quality on 40", especially since 42" is almost a minimum size for many people in an average room to benefit from HD.

            .Mine the one with a book explaining "kell factor" in the pocket.

          2. Tom 35

            DVD and BR is like chalk and cheese

            DVD supports 24 fps progressive output over component or HDMI (used to require an expensive DVD player / TV but even cheap setups can support it now).

            BluRay is still 8 bit, you get less banding because of the higher available bit rates.

            For TV recorded on NTSC Video (or even edited in video) BR has no advanage other then space.

            BR only shines with older stuff shot on film, or new stuff recorded in HD.

      2. Frank Bough

        Re: So what?

        4k is generally accepted to offer beyond 35mm image quality. It really does look great.

      3. Tom 35

        Re: So what?

        I don't have (or plan to buy) an 80" TV 6' away so can I even tell the difference from 1080p?

        With typical broadcast compressed to hell TV I find it hard to tell the difference between 1080p and 720p.

    2. Rolf Howarth

      Re: So what?

      I saw UltraHD in action a few years ago and it does look quite stunning on a huge screen when you can see the faces in the crowd at a football match or whatever, but will it work at home? Unless you're going to sit with your nose 6 inches away from the TV set you'd need a floor to ceiling screen and it still might not be big enough!

    3. Jolyon Smith

      Re: So what?

      True, but then again unless you are still the proud owner of a 24" 4:3 ratio black and white CRT tube TV with mono sound, you really cannot complain. And only one in the household, thank you very much, and no multi-channel box either - satellite or terrestrial.

      You are already in the game, don't moan just because you can't (yet) afford to play the next round.

  4. ukgnome

    Ultra HD

    Sounds like a drain cleaner!

  5. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

    But how ill it look on a phone?

    Will it look good on a 4" smartphone screen?

    I'm seriously confused - one set of people is telling us that we must have bigger and bigger, higher resolution to watch video, and another tells us to go smaller and smaller, and watch it on tablets, phones - wristwatches next?

    Shirley they can't both be right or could they both be wrong?

    1. Daniel Palmer

      Re: But how ill it look on a phone?

      >Will it look good on a 4" smartphone screen?

      Why not.. as long as the phone is fast enough to decode and scale it..

      but small mobile devices is what 1seg is for;

  6. Dr Wadd

    "Click" on BBC News were covering the latest TV developments in Japan a few weeks ago where they interviewed a chap from NHK. He stated that they weren't going to be investing at all in 4k technology and were instead going to wait and jump straight to 8k. While I appreciate things may have changed in the interim, I wouldn't be so sure that it would be NHK handling these broadcasts.

  7. djstardust

    Oh dear .....

    Those badly pixellated video clips on YBF will really look like shite on a 4k telly.

    With so much old stuff on TV there's little point to be honest ......

  8. Al Jones

    Can't wait until it's on Cable

    And the CableCos compress the crap out of it, so that they can keep showing 256 channels of UltraHiDef crap in the same bandwidth, but charge us all $25/month extra for it!

  9. Kubla Cant Silver badge

    Never mind the programme, check out the reproduction

    The main difference between BBC SD and HD is that the HD channels are hidden down the bottom of the EPG. It's not that I can't see the difference, it's just that it's not important enough to make it worth the trivial effort of seeking out the HD channels. Maybe I'd value the difference more if I had a huge TV or better eyesight or drank less.

    I can't help observing that this initiative comes from the people who travel the world taking holiday snaps with the sort of monster DSLR you'd normally use for papping duchesses.

  10. Graham Wilson
    Thumb Up


    This will lead to better screen technology and higher resolution screens, even for computer users.

    1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

      Re: Good.

      Almost - what is needed is to get rid of the 16:9 fixation as that, as much as the stupid 1080 line fixation, is what leads to laptops and monitors having crap vertical screen size.

      Getting twice the resolution on currently popular screen dimensions is not really what I need as my eyes age.

  11. Piro

    Ultra HD ≠ "4K" (3840×2160)

    Come on, we need 8K, let us at least TRY to approach IMAX 15/70 quality...

    1. cosymart

      Re: Ultra HD ≠ "4K" (3840×2160)

      You are a troll and I claim my £5.

  12. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  13. Liam Thom
    Thumb Up

    I want it

    and I want it now.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Now if only

    there was something actually worth watching on TV ... and for all those that will start to blab about nature doc's ... try going outside and using your eyes! Silly ass couch potatoes get a life.

    1. Chris Parsons Bronze badge

      Re: Now if only

      Couldn't agree more. TV is largely drivel no matter what the resolution. There are other ways to pass one's time.

  15. Downside

    if you cant tell the difference between SD and HD...

    You need either a guide dog or a decent telly. Ok, maybe you just watch Mrs Browns Boys.

    As a lover of sport, movies and gaming, I will form an orderly queue for a 4K telly / PJ as soon as they retail for less than 25% of a decent salary.

    Sure is likely to spur a bump in display sales that 3d was never, ever going to achieve.

  16. Goffee

    Presented in RooneyVision

    Wayne Rooney will be retired or out of the England squad by then won't he? Can't have Japanese babies and children traumatised by that face in that much detail.

  17. Horridbloke

    Not just for movies...

    A computer desktop (Ubuntu Zealous Zebra or whatever they decide to call it) at that resolution and size is going to be awesome. Spreadsheet fanatics will fall over themselves to early-adopt.

  18. Jim Wilkinson


    Seeing todays post, looks like H265 would help alleviate the transmission bandwidth issues

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