NHK STRL is researching a wide range of technologies for 8K Super Hi-Vision (SHV), including video formats and imaging, display, recording, audio, coding, media transport, content protection and transmission systems. We are looking ahead to the start of the regular broadcasting and widespread use of SHV and future broadcasting services beyond SHV.
In our research on video formats, we developed a system for the simultaneous production of high dynamic range (HDR) and standard dynamic range (SDR) video and conducted demonstration experiments on HDR live program production.
In our work on imaging, we developed a full-featured SHV camera that is compliant with ITU-R Recommendation BT.2100 and supports a 120-Hz frame frequency, 8K full resolution, a bit depth of 12 bits and HDR. We also developed a full-resolution single-chip color camera using a 133-megapixel image sensor that can operate at a 120-Hz frame frequency in interline transfer. We designed a 1.25-inch, full-featured 8K image sensor with 33 megapixels that supports a 240-Hz frame frequency and a bit depth of 14 bits.
In our work on displays, we reduced the size of our 9.6-inch monitor by separating into display unit and control unit. We also improved the image quality of our projector by using high-power laser light sources that are twice as bright as conventional equipment, while halving the speckle noise that occurs due to interference of the laser light. For the future 8K display in home use, we developed a 130-inch sheet-type display by combining four thin 4K organic light emitting diode (OLED) panels and demonstrated a future living space at the NHK STRL Open House 2016.
In our work on recording, we developed a compact memory package and extended the functionality of our compression recorder. We also succeeded in real-time compression of 8K video in 4:2:0 at a 240-Hz frame frequency for the high-speed capture of SHV video.
In our work on audio, we developed an adaptive downmixing technique to generate high-quality stereo or 5.1 ch sound signals through the signal processing of 22.2 ch audio signals for the simultaneous production of program audio. We also developed a software-based codec for MPEG-H 3D audio with an eye toward 22.2 ch sound in next-generation terrestrial broadcasting. For the reproduction of 22.2 ch sound, we researched binaural reproduction using line array loudspeakers integrated with a display.
Regarding video coding, we investigated the required bit rates for 8K/120-Hz video using High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC) and started codec development. We also developed elemental technologies for an advanced coding format for next-generation terrestrial broadcasting and proposed a way of improving intra-prediction at an international standardization meeting.
Regarding media transport technologies, we investigated the application of MMT for the IP delivery of 8K content and the synchronized presentation of multiple pieces of content. We also researched MMT technologies for next-generation terrestrial broadcasting, which include IP packet multiplexing and an IP transmission scheme for STL/TTL to enable a SFN.
In our work on content rights protection and conditional access, we contributed to the standardization of the second-generation conditional access system. Our effort led to a revision of the ARIB Technical Report (ARIB TR-B39) and the addition of specifications for combined receivers.
Regarding satellite broadcasting transmission, we worked on the establishment of a new ITU-R Recommendation for ISDB-S3(BO.2098), a transmission system for advanced wide-band satellite broadcasting. We investigated multilevel coded modulation and a way of compensating for nonlinear distortion to increase the capacity and transmission performance of a 12-GHz-band broadcasting satellite. We also researched an array-fed shaped-reflector antenna for a 21-GHz-band satellite broadcasting system as a new satellite channel and a dual-band antenna to receive both 12-GHz and 21-GHz satellite broadcasting.
Regarding terrestrial broadcasting transmission, we prototyped a modulator and demodulator that supports hierarchical transmission in which services for fixed reception and those for mobile reception are multiplexed into a single channel. During the Rio Olympic Games, we demonstrated the world’s first real-time 8K terrestrial transmission using a 60-Hz HEVC real-time codec in Rio de Janeiro and Tokyo simultaneously.
In our work on wireless transmission technologies for program contributions, we researched field pick-up units (FPUs) that use the 6/6.4/7/10/10.5/13-GHz band (microwave band) and 42/55-GHz band (millimeter-wave band) with the aim of enabling SHV live broadcasting of emergency reports and sports coverage. We also worked on the standardization of these FPUs. For the purpose of SHV mobile relay broadcasting, such as road race coverage, in the 1.2-GHz/2.3-GHz band we investigated bidirectional adaptive control and a rate-matching technique that improves reliability by adaptively controlling the coding rate of error correction codes according to the varying channel quality.
In our work on wired transmission technologies, we researched video synchronization and equipment control technologies to develop IP-based program production and program contribution systems. Regarding our channel bonding technology for cable TV transmissions of SHV, we conducted demonstration experiments using commercial CATV channels, developed a compact receiver. We also investigated baseband transmission aimed at the large-capacity transmissions that can be expected in the future.