4K televisions and broadcasts are just barely starting to catch on, but it’s already time to start thinking about the next leap forward. At least, that’s how Japan feels when it comes time to watch the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. Japanese national broadcaster NHK has already stated that it will broadcast the Tokyo Games in 8K (also known as Super Hi-Vision), and now manufacturers Sony and Panasonic will be working together to get 8K-capable TVs on the market by the year 2020.
This year’s Rio Olympics already saw NHK carry out a handful of 8K test broadcasts in Japan, however because there is exactly one 8K TV available to consumers at the moment — a Sharp model that was released late last year at a price of $157,000 — people had to visit special public viewing locations to check it out.
8K video offers a resolution that’s four times as sharp as the existing 4K standard, and that means — as you’d expect — that it needs four times the bandwidth. So, along with a lack of compatible TV sets on the market, the other main problem facing 8K is the need for technology to widely broadcast it.
That’s where Sony and Panasonic will be helping, according to a report from Japan’s Nikkei. The two companies will be helping NHK in developing the necessary broadcast technology, including cameras and other components. Individually they are said to release 8K TVs in 2020, before the Tokyo Olympics begin.
While it’s certainly an ambitious goal for all the parties involved, the lack of 8K video content, not to mention the prices of the TV sets once they are released, mean the technology won’t see any widespread adoption until well after the 2020 Olympics.