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2001: A Space Odyssey's 8K TV broadcast does not go beyond the infinite

At a time when it is still pretty hard to get much 4K content to watch over the air, the…

At a time when it is still pretty hard to get much 4K content to watch over the air, the Japanese public broadcaster NHK began its regular 8K channel service this weekend, becoming the first broadcaster in the world to do so. As you might expect, I do not have an 8K TV, an 8K receiver, or the correct satellite dish in order to watch at home – almost no-one in Japan does at this point. But NHK has set up theaters and demo stations at a new mall in Tokyo called Shibuya Stream, appropriately enough, and I went along to see the ultra-ultra-HDTV future for myself.

Much of what NHK is broadcasting falls into the typical TV showroom demo footage category &#821

1; beautifully detailed slow-panning shots of the Louvre, Sagrada Familia, and Yellowstone, that sort of thing. But the broadcaster did manage to secure one legitimately impressive piece of content for its inaugural day of service: an exclusive 8K version of Stanley Kubrick’s eternal classic 2001: A Space Odyssey .

It’s hard to imagine better demonstration material, in theory. Most digitally shot Hollywood movies are not even captured in 4K, let alone 8K, while you can usually get roughly 4K equivalent resolution out of a 35mm movie scan. 2001 was shot in the much larger Super Panavision 70 format, however, making it an ideal candidate for 70mm prints and now, 8K restoration. Det hjelper det selv om det er 50 år gammelt, det forblir en av de mest visuelt flotte filmene som nogensinde er skabt. I saw an IMAX showing a couple of months ago and was amazed at how well it held up.

An NHK representative told me that the 8K version was scanned by Warner Bros. in the US at what is apparently the only studio in the world capable of doing that, then sent to NHK for color grading and conversion into the broadcast format. I watched it broadcast live at 1.10pm on Saturday, and I will say it looked better than I would have ever expected 2001 to look on TV. But I was not completely blown away.


Part of that was undoubtedly down to the viewing situation. I was standing just a few feet in front of a roughly 85-inch Sharp LED 8K TV, in a big room with undrawn curtains and a TV to my side blasting out music from a simultaneous broadcast 4K Hatsune Miku concert. This is not the most conducive environment to make it through the notorious “Dawn of Man” opening sequence, for example, which I would like but would normally prefer to watch with a comfy chair involved. Ook de tv inexplicably had bewegingsmoothing, maar ik ben echt blij Kubrick was nooit rond om getuige.

Maar meer belangrijk, ik heb het niet gekregen van de extra resolutie. Granted, I was standing really close to the screen, but if we’re going to be talking about normal living room distances, it’s hard to imagine 8K being noticeable about 4K for most people in that kind of situation, even assuming a lack of broadcast Compression. Some scenes in 2001 definitely look crisper than others, something I noticed while watching the IMAX version, and there were moments where the 8K resolution stood out. Men der var andre hvor det var barely noticeable. After watching the 8K broadcast, I compared it to the 4K iTunes version at home, and honestly I do not think there’s so much to separate them in practice.

At normal viewing distance on my 55-inch 4K TV, the Apple TV 4K version basically out-resolves my (good) eyesight; der er flere scener med tekst på computermonitorer, som jeg måtte flytte tættere på tv til at være i stand til at læse. Jeg er ikke overbevist om at NHK versjonens hoppe i detalj, når det eksisterer, ville være nok til å oppveie effekten av å strekke bildet på en så stor 8K TV. Når du tar bithastighed i betraktning, ville jeg ikke bli overrasket om 4K Blu-ray så merkably better overall.

It’s debatable whether 8K TVs will ever be a. love to watch this 8K scan playing off local media. mainstream thing, and it’s hard to see many content creators switching to an 8K production pipeline in the near future. That does not mean the 8K broadcast is not impressive or meaningful, though. A future where TV channels can show 4K-quality movies just after taking compression into account is something that will benefit anyone with a 4K TV, which is essentially everyone who has bought a TV in the last few years and beyond.

So with that in mind, I think this is a really cool and important development in broadcast technology, whether or not 8K TVs ever take off. In fact, I think it’s something to look forward to if you just dropped thousands of dollars on a 4K TV. Around the corner from the Sharp 8K LED set was a smaller 4K Sony OLED TV hooked up to an 8K receiver that was also showing 2001 . And you know what? I think it looked better than the 8K Sharp, as well as being a far more practical and “affordable” solution for almost everyone’s living rooms.

NHK has not yet made the case that I should buy or even because an 8K TV. Men det har demonstrert at over-the-air tv-udsendelser kan se utrolige på en 4K TV, som alle kan se frem til. Det er også sikkert at være fortsatt tilfelle at hvis du er interesseret i billedkvalitet, panelkvalitet er gået til trump opløsning for alle men mest gargantuan of home cinemas.

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Faela