Japan Inc Backs 4K

It seems that all of Japan, not just Sony, aims to make 4K a success.

The telco NTT West is testing, this week only, the streaming of 4K content over the Internet to special STBs. It said it believes it is the first such trial anywhere.

It is uses the ITU-T HEVC (H.265 High Efficiency Video Coding) standard to compress and decompress the size of the stream so as not to lose picture quality. It did not say whose HEVC chips it is using or whether it is using a computer for compression/decompression.

The H.264/MPEG-4 codec is currently the most popular technology for compression/decompression. 4K has four times as much data as the current 1080p video standard but HEVC compresses data twice as much as H.264 so that 4K videos are only double the size of 1080p in H.264 compression.

HEVC also means 1080p can be streamed in half the bandwidth, in effect “increasing” consumers’ broadband speeds. It also means pay TV service can transmit twice as many channels in the same bandwidth.

Japan has been at the forefront of 4K since its beginning. Its public service broadcaster NHK was a lead at broadcasting portions of the London Olympics to sites in the UK, the US and Japan. Japan has said it will broadcast 4K videos of the 2014 football World Cup via satellite.

The NTT West trial demonstrates what we (and others) have said for months: OTT services are the best ….

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