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May 13, 2021

Update ON 8K Terrestrial Transmissions in China

On Apr 28 and 29 this year, ETRI, KBS, and KOBETA hosted an 8K – UHDTV workshop in Baekhak Jayuro Resort and online. We will be bringing 8K Monitor readers the significant information here.  Dazhi He, from Shanghai Jiao Tong University, gave an update on 8K delivery in China, using terrestrial networks.

He first reminded the audience of three significant milestones in Chinese 8K terrestrial transmission:

  • On Jun 28, 2019, CCTV showed the 8K UHD transmission via 5G at the Mobile World Congress 2019
  • On Nov 8, 2020, CCTV tested live Football (soccer) broadcasting of 8K UHD through Cable TV
  • On Feb 1, 2021, CCTV launched the 8K UHD Channel with live broadcasts at the Spring Festival Party

Dazhi showed the following technical parameters, which appears to be from the 2019 demo.

Resolution 7680*4320
Frame rate 120fps / 60fps
Encoding H.265 / H.264 / AVS3
HDR HDR 10 / HDR 10+ / HDR vivid
Sound Track Dolby Atmos / DTS-X
Bit rate 48~160Mbps

The Chinese terrestrial DTMB-A system successfully used a 120Mbps video stream by multiplexing four frequency channels and a custom-built prototype STB.

Dazhi also noted that 5G transmission of 8K signals, although already successfully demonstrated in 2019, was still overall at the experimental stage. Moving receivers were already capable of 8K video reception at up to 70km/h with 3GPP release 14 that was finalized in 2016, and that is expected to rise to 250km/h in the 3GPP release 16 which is currently being deployed. Also, the 5G signals could carry an 8K video stream over a distance of 50 km, so it would seem that 8K capable 5G cells could be at least 100km in diameter in rural areas (depends on the band used – such distances only possible with low band 5G whose capacity is similar to 4G).

The presentation has a lot of technical details on the latest 5G transmission parameters.