TOKYO - The government plans to launch 4K ultra high-definition television broadcasting from July 2014, in time for the soccer World Cup finals in Brazil, sources familiar with the matter said Sunday.
Through the planned introduction of the new TV format, the Internal Affairs and Communications Ministry is also seeking to boost demand for TVs, which has faltered since Japan completed the shift to terrestrial digital broadcasting in 2011.
The 4K format will likely be first introduced for "CS" communication satellite broadcasting that has greater radio bandwidth as 4K broadcasting requires the sending of massive amounts of data, before expanding to BS satellite broadcasting and terrestrial broadcasting.
The ministry had initially eyed launching the 4K format in 2016 but decided to bring it forward in light of heated competition with South Korea and other countries, they said.
The 4K format has a resolution about four times higher than standard high definition. The ministry is also aiming to test "super hi-vision" with an even greater resolution than 4K from 2016, earlier than initially planned, according to the sources.