NHK, Japan’s national broadcaster, partnered with Eutelsat Communications to launch the world’s first 8K network; BS8K. The live broadcast took place on Dec. 2 from the Vatican where images were transmitted to Tokyo via Eutelsat 12 West B satellite with a mobile uplink provided by M-three Satcom.
NHK relied on DVB-S2X modulation, in 16APSK, and High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC) encoding. The images (7680 pixels over 4320 lines, or 33.3 million pixels per image) were shot at 60 frames per second in BT2020 color space, with 10 bits of color depth (1 billion colors) and high dynamic range Hybrid Log Gamma (HLG), combined with 22.2 channel audio.
Airing today in Japan, BS8K features 8K Ultra High Definition (HD) footage of major cultural and sporting events, museums and natural landscapes, providing viewers with broadcast 12 hours a day. The channel will allow for further experimentation with 8K prior to the large-scale deployment of the format for the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics games in 2020.