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Japan promised Ultra HD TV broadcasts two years early

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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 × 2160 pixel format, which delivers a picture resolution four times that of a 1080p Full HD image.

The transmissions will initially be made via satellite rather than terrestrial, the Japanese-language Asahi Shimbun reported today. That’s no doubt to give the broadcasts accessible the greatest possible geographical coverage. No doubt the footie will be transmitted by NHK, Japan’s public service broadcaster.

Past World Cups have played host to the first big implementations of new TV technology. The 2010 tournament, held in South Africa, was the first global sports event to be recorded and broadcast in 3D. When Germany hosted the 2006 World Cup, the event was the first of its kind to be shot in HD. Shooting the 2014 tournament in 4K should mean the footage will be made available to other broadcasters, not just NHK

All the major TV makers showed off 4K Ultra HD TVs at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) held in Las Vegas earlier this month. ®

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