Japanese broadcaster shows future of HD TV


Anyone feeling an inordinate amount of pride at a newly acquired HD TV might want to stop reading now to avoid the nauseous sensation that hearing about Japan 's next-generation high-definition TV system is sure to induce.

Researchers at NHK (Japan's public broadcaster) recently wheeled out their Super Hi-Vision (SHV) system to astonished journalists in Tokyo. As PC World reports, SHV blows current high definition clean away with a knockout 4,320 horizontal and 7,680 vertical lines.

Death of HD TV?

As the reporter says, "That's four times the horizontal and vertical resolution of current HD TV or, put another way, a single Super Hi-Vision image is equivalent to 16 tiled HDTV screens." Gulp...

The impressive numbers don't end there - an uncompressed SHV stream weighs a massive 24Gbit/s, which is impossible to broadcast. Accordingly, NHK has used MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 to squeeze the data into a 128Mbit/s stream that's still six times fatter than current HD broadcasts.

There's no word on when SHV will become a working broadcast standard. But given NHK's history of innovation (it developed high-definition video in 1969), we shouldn't be surprised if we're all shopping for SHV-compatible TV sets within the next 10 years.