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London 2012 Olympic Games in Super Hi-Vision, courtesy of Japan's NHK

The UK’s BBC is in discussions with Japanese public broadcaster NHK about how its Super Hi-Vision system could be used at the London Olympics, according to BBC 2012 Olympic Games director Roger Mosey.

Super Hi Vision is moving the high-definition television frontier to stratospheric levels: 7,680 x 4,320 pixels (33 million pixels per image), 16 time more resolution than “standard” HDTV, 22.2-audio channel ‘surround sound.’ An uncompressed SHV signal sent via optical fiber is to be made up of 16 HD signals totaling 24Gbit/s.

In its biggest public demonstration so far, NHK had dispatched to IBC Amsterdam two dozen staffs to man an entire production chain and showcase videos in a huge 10x5.5m purpose-build theatre. Visitors were queuing to see NHK’s super hidef docudrama Nagigama’s Dream, this year’s Tokyo Marathon as well as live pictures of Amsterdam railway station from a SHV camera installed on top of a nearby hotel.

The BBC has been interested with the technology for quite some time. A test transmission will be made later this month to ensure that the it can get signals from London to Japan. Mosey told the IBC Daily: “We are very hopeful for Super Hi Vision, because it would almost certainly be just one camera, so it isn’t as if we have to rig for hundreds of cameras at multiple locations.

The test transmission will feature the rock band The Charlatans and images gathered at Team GB Taekwondo bouts. Mosey said: “It will probably end up being used at a few test screens for public viewing.”

At the IBC, Yoshinori Imai, NHK Vice President, mentioned the joint venture NHK had signed with the BBC and the Italian public broadcaster RAI. Super Hi Vision is currently being looked at for public display purposes, rather than broadcast applications as these are still considered some years off.

NHK research on Super Hi Vision began in 1995. R&D is progressing toward experimental SHV broadcasts over a 21GHz-band satellite in 2020.

Story filed 15.09.10

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