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NHK demos UHD TV broadcast

Posted: 30 May 2006 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Yoshiko Hara? NHK Science and Technical Research Laboratories? ultra-high definition TV? UHD TV?

NHK Science and Technical Research Laboratories has demonstrated virtual satellite broadcasting of ultra-high definition (UHD) TV, which promises resolution 16 times higher than current high-definition images.

NHK terms the technology as Super HiVision featuring 7680x4320 pixel resolution with progressive scanning at 60fps. STRL, the central laboratory of Japan Broadcasting Corp. (NHK) showed off the images at the NAB show held in Las Vegas last month, using fiber optic cable for transmission.

Researchers brought the technology a step closer to reality by verifying signal transmission in a simulated satellite broadcasting and demonstrating it at the lab's open house last week.

Japan is assigned with the 21GHz band for future satellite broadcasting. If UHDTV broadcasting were to begin, satellite broadcasting would be feasible due to availability of a wide bandwidth. The UHDTV signal was compressed, modulated and went through an up-converter, then sent to an experimental 21GHz-band satellite transponder that amplifies and relays signals on a satellite. The signal then passes through a down converter, where it is demodulated and decoded for display.

NHK has not set the specifications for the next generation broadcasting system, but is using Super HiVision as the research base. Presently, the data rate of Super HiVision baseband signal is 24Gbps. Using 16 MPEG-2 encoding chips, the signal was compressed to 250Mbps for transmission. HDTV signals at present are 1.5Gbps for baseband and 20Mbps for compressed signals.

In the experiment, the compression was dependent on MPEG-2. Lacking a single-chip solution, the researchers used four modulators to compress the audio and video signals in the experiment.

Researchers plan to develop an optimum compression technology for Super HiVision and develop a higher performance modulator that can handle 300 Mbps signals.

- Yoshiko Hara
EE Times

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