No.152 August 2015

Lectures

  • NHK STRL R&D Plan (FY 2015-2017) and 8K UHDTV End-to-end Experiments via a Broadcasting Satellite
    Toru KURODA
    Director of Science & Technology Research Laboratories, NHK
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    ABSTRACT

    NHK has recently published its latest three-year corporate plan (FY 2015-2017), focusing on the rapidly changing media and international environment and boosting its preparations for the Olympic and Paralympic Games to be held in Tokyo in 2020. The plan is providing broadcasting and services of the world’s highest standards by the year 2020, utilizing leading edge technologies and carrying forward its “challenge” and “reform,” as the first phase of NHK’s step-up to the milestone. Among its five major objectives is creating broadcasting and services that open up new possibilities. In response to NHK’s corporate plan, Science & Technology Research Laboratories (STRL) has also published its own R&D plan (FY 2015-2017) with an eye not only towards the year 2020 but two decades ahead. This keynote speech will overview STRL’s research and development strategies during the three years. Its mission includes enhancing R&D for practical use and advancement of 8K UHDTV (Ultra High Definition Television), and also technologies for Hybridcast and other Internet-based services, advanced content production technologies, userfriendly information presentation, and innovative broadcast services. The speech will also include details about end-toend experiments via a broadcasting satellite of 8K UHDTV. The Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications laid out a “Roadmap” last year in which 8K UHDTV is set to begin test broadcasting on a satellite in 2016 and roll out full broadcasting by 2018. NHK is speeding up its preparations to meet this timeline, and we will demonstrate 8K end-toend experiments via a broadcasting satellite at the STRL Open House. We will exhibit our end-to-end 8K broadcasting system, including cameras, production systems such as recording device, equipment for HEVC codec and MMT multiplexing, transmission equipment for an advanced wideband digital satellite, displays, and audio systems. This will be an opportunity for our visitors to see that we are all set to start 8K test broadcasting in 2016.
  • Next-Generation Broadcasting and Social Innovation
    Osamu SUDOH
    Professor, Graduate School of Interdisciplinary Information Studies,University of Tokyo President, Next Generation Television & Broadcasting Promotion Forum
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    ABSTRACT

    Japan is diving headlong into an aging society with low birthrate. How can we realize a richer and more vibrant, culturally fulfilling society when we are confronted by dwindling population and regional disparities? How will we find answers to better our environment, reconcile our pluralistic society, and solve food and energy concerns in this increasingly diverse and segmented global community? In face of these issues, there is greater need for broadcast media to engage with the latest technologies to improve their services and enhance their journalistic and culture-defining roles. The television is now a highly accessible information tool available in almost every household. Advancing its functionalities and usability has become ever more important in creating universal services where each and everyone can comfortably interact with sophisticated information. Japan led the world by starting 4K test broadcasting in 2014. It will launch 8K test broadcasting in 2016 and move onto full broadcasting by 2018. When Tokyo hosts the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2020, a range of games will likely be made available in immersive 4K and 8K quality for both the home viewing and public livescreenings. This is how the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications proposes it, as published in its “Roadmap” for the early implementation of 4K and 8K broadcasting. But the year 2020 is only a milestone. Rolling out 4K or 8K broadcasting is not the goal. 8K is the leading edge of technology and broadcast services. Japan is its proud champion and broadcasters play a central role in shaping the Japanese audiovisual scene. Together with electronics manufacturers, internet-based service providers, and technology vendors, broadcasters are now expected to apply those technology and services to take journalism and entertainment to a new level. Also it is very important that these kinds of technologies and their applications advance public welfare, medical care, and government services, boost arts and culture, enable higher-quality manufacturing, and realize innovative services for the safety and security of the people. This session seeks to draw insight on how we can combine our wisdom so that Japan can continue to shape the world’s audiovisual scene and lead the industry to create a richer society and play a vital role in solving the various problems that we are faced with.
  • Development and Installation of 8K Super Hi-Vision Facilities in View of the Test Broadcasting in 2016
    Kohji MITANI
    Head of Super Hi-Vision System Design & Development Division Engineering Administration Department, NHK
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    ABSTRACT

    Based on the Super Hi-Vision (4K.8K) “Roadmap”, which the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications has been working with relevant parties to draw, NHK is pushing forward with the development and installation of 8K facilities, from content production to transmission, broadcasting and reception. Advanced wide band digital satellite broadcasting system incorporates the latest technologies in order to realize 4K and 8K broadcasting. This includes HEVC (High Efficiency Video Coding), a new compression standard for efficient transmission of high bit-rate video, and MMT (MPEG Media Transport), a multiplexing technology enabling innovative new services that merges broadcast and internet. Using these new technologies, we are developing 8K transmission and broadcasting equipment as well as 8K prototype receivers. From the production side point of view, our focus with the development and installation is on improving agility and constructing an efficient production system so that producers can create fascinating content with the best of 8K features. For example, we have developed a compact, 33 megapixel singlechip 8K color camera and a compact recorder/player with signal compression using high-speed, high-capacity memory system. We are also constructing 8K editing and audio mixing studios, 8K OB-Vans capable of maximum 10 cameras, and 22.2 multi-channel audio OB-Vans that are compatible with conventional stereo and 5.1 surround audio production. This lecture aims to share the latest developments of 8K equipment and facilities, especially in view of the 8K test broadcasting coming up next year.
  • Program Production in 8K Super Hi-Vision: Overview from the Field
    Kohei NAKAE
    Deputy Director, 8K SHV Technical Production Development Broadcast Engineering Department, NHK
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    ABSTRACT

    There are three main technical divisions at NHK : Science & Technology Research Laboratories (STRL) which concentrates on research, the Engineering Administration Department which focuses on planning and development, and the Broadcast Engineering Department which is the group “in the field” in charge of program production and output. All three are linked organically to advance 8K Super Hi-Vision (8K). We give each other feedback as we go through research, development, and online testing processes, furthering our research and making improvements. 8K can only move forward when this three-part wheel is able to rotate smoothly. STRL has worked especially closely with the field group to turn fundamental researches into wider application, thus contributing to the development of broadcast technology. STRL started its research for the “ultimate 2D television system” in 1995. Seven years later, the first prototype of an 8K camera was developed. This marked the beginning of collaboration between STRL and Broadcast Engineering Department. By the time a full-fledged third generation 8K camera was completed in 2010, the cooperative wheel of research, development, and field divisions began to pick up speed. The first major international operation in 8K was the 2012 London Olympic Games. It was followed by the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games and FIFA World Cup in Brazil, along with a string of domestic sporting events such as golf, sumo, tennis, and baseball, each involving complex multicamera operation and live transmission. In the field of drama and documentaries, we are pushing forward with an end-toend 8K production system that covers shooting, recording, editing, computer graphics and visual effects, and multi-audio post production. This lecture will provide an overview of how our research, development, and field divisions work hand in hand to meet the challenges we face in implementing 8K for broadcast.

Presentations

  • Content Production Technology for Full-Specification 8K Super Hi-Vision
    Tetsuomi IKEDA
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    ABSTRACT

    Preparations are underway throughout Japan for the start of 8K Super Hi-Vision (8K) broadcasting by 2018, but at STRL we are looking beyond that moment to a day when the most advanced form of 8K will be deployed. The video format of this full-specification 8K has the full resolution (33 megapixels in each R, G, and B channel), a frame rate of 120Hz, a wide color gamut inclusive of almost all surface colors, and a 12-bit depth for each color. Its data rate is up to 144Gbps. We also intend to include high dynamic range technology in this system, so that highlight areas of the subject can be reproduced more faithfully. To handle such extremely high data rates, capture and display devices must be driven at very high speeds, and technology must be developed for high-speed real-time signal processing as well as high-capacity data recording and signal transmission. To expand the dynamic range and widen color gamut in cameras, the spectral characteristics must be improved and noise must be reduced, and various characteristics of the light sources in the display equipment must be improved. Another aspect to make 8K more practical will be to make its equipment smaller. In particular, the advent of compact 8K cameras will expand the range of production options. We present the state of research and development on various technologies intended to resolve these issues.
  • 8K Super Hi-Vision Transmission Technology
    Tomohiro SAITO
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    ABSTRACT

    Distribution links, transmitting broadcasting signals from broadcast stations to television viewers, and contribution links, transmitting program production signals from remotely located sites to broadcast stations, are both essential to realize 8K Super Hi-Vision (8K) broadcasting services. We have been developing the links utilizing wireless and wired transmission. Concerning the distribution links, development and standardization of 8K satellite broadcasting were completed towards the test broadcasting in 2016. Cable broadcasting standards of 8K are currently under discussion. Fundamental R&Ds of 8K terrestrial broadcasting are being conducted with the aim to realize practical use after 2020. Concerning the contribution links, 8K uncompressed signal links of optical transmission and 120GHz wireless transmission have been used in public viewing events and will be improved so that they can transmit full spec 144Gbps 8K signals. Compressed signal links of IP transmission have been utilized in many public viewing events and microwave band system are currently being developed for implementation by 2020.
  • R&D on Devices for Home Viewing of 8K Super Hi-Vision
    Naoto HAYASHI
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    8K Super Hi-Vision (8K) is an audio-visual system designed to achieve a strong sense of realism and presence, and it is based on research in human science areas such as visual perception. The ideal viewing environment includes a large-screen, ultrahigh-resolution display and a 22.2 multichannel sound with 24 loudspeakers. The keys to home viewing will be thin and lightweight sheet-type large-screen displays and the ability to reproduce 3D spatial sound with fewer loudspeakers. This report introduces the state of R&D on 8K displays and 3D sound systems suitable for home viewing. It introduces LCD displays that have been developed for ultra-high definition video as well as initiatives, based on recent research at STRL, toward implementing a practical sheet-type organic electroluminescence (EL) display. Regarding 3D sound systems, it introduces the state of R&D on a display-frame loudspeaker system for the home, which uses trans-aural playback technology to present 22.2 multichannel sound on fewer loudspeakers.