Japan takes its television business very seriously. A while back, we told you that a consortium of manufacturers and broadcasters were testing a new broadcast system based on 8K…no, not 4K…8K resolution that they called Ultra HDTV. I guess they’ll have to come up with a new name for that, now that it’s been used for current 4K systems here in the U.S.
Now word comes out of Japan of another new broadcasting test to start sometime next year – an all-new interactive TV system that goes well beyond what we know as “smart” TVs.
Learn more about this new system Japanese broadcasters and TV manufacturers are testing…
Although the reports coming out of Japan on this new interactive TV system are sketchy – with not much detail revealed, we do know that it is based on taking interactivity up a notch, or two. A report in the Nikkei tells of at least two broadcast and use tests that will begin next year.
The Nippon Television Network – a very active TV broadcasting researcher – in January will begin testing enhanced interactivity through a shopping show in which viewers will literally be able to affect product prices through some form of a voting process…right from their sofas.
Shake hands with Mickey…
A second test will be conducted by TV Asahi in February in which the broadcaster will air a special animated program. According to the Nikkei report, viewers will be able to interact with the animated characters in the show through their smartphones.
Both of these tests are based on a new technology being developed by Japan’s national broadcast company, NHK. This technology, called Hybridcast, is apparently so exciting that these major broadcasters are actively testing the system.
Other broadcasters to join in the testing…
They will be joined by Fuji Television Network, Hokkaido Television Broadcasting, and other unnamed broadcasters who are also planning to test this new system. All tests are to be conducted in the first quarter of 2014.
According to the report, there are around 100,000 compatible television sets already in the consumer market in Japan from brands such as Sharp, Toshiba, and Panasonic. But just exactly what type of set is required by Hybridcast was not specified in the published reports.