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8K Live Production Overview

In this section, we outline the potential applications and use cases for live 8K technology production. The Delivery section describes various ways to distribute live or file-based content to the end user’s 8K TV.

As a leading adopter of 8K, the NHK has proven expertise in live 8K productions and published several papers on the subject. We expect major global sporting events like the Olympics and World Cup to drive ongoing development of compelling 8K demos to help usher in broader 8K adoption.

8K aims to capture content at the highest possible spatial resolution of 7,680 X 4,320 but also temporally at 100/120fps. It should be captured with the widest color gamut WCG (BT 2020) in high dynamic range (HDR BT 2100) across all standardized HDR formats (HLG, PQ10, Dolby Vision, SL HDRx, HDR10+, Vivid HDR).

Moving forward, we see 8K production opting for a cloud-friendly architecture that utilizes on-site (with OB Van) support and distribution and leverages public or private assets.

8K Production for 8K Distribution

In December 2018, NHK launched the first 8K commercial service via satellite in native 8K. A more detailed description is available in a whitepaper here.

In 2019, the French Tennis Open was broadcast in 8K delivered by a 5G network. Details of the production can be found in this blog article.

8K live production is also being featured by the San Francisco 49ers as an in-stadium, full-field replay system. Learn more here.

Just recently, Intel and partners live streamed 2020 Olympic coverage in 8K/60p to several locations around the world. Learn more herelive production chart


8K Production for 4K Distribution

In this use case, live production is captured in 8K, but the signal gets down-converted to 4K to reduce storage and bandwidth. The 4K signal is then up-converted by the 8K TV.

Studies have shown that down-converting from native 8K capture can deliver a higher fidelity experience compared to native 4K capture with TV upconversion to 8K. This process can be further enhanced when paired with AI-based Neural Network algorithms. Down-conversion can be applied at the beginning of the workflow, as represented below, or applied just before final compression during the distribution stage.


8K Production for 4K Distribution chart


8K Post-Production from 4K Live Capture

AI-based Super Resolution (SR) technologies are now mature enough to produce high-fidelity 8K content from a 4K format. While there are challenges to upscaling in real time, upscaling from a higher resolution source can deliver potential benefits for future linear programming.

Such techniques are already employed by TV brands in their 8K TV sets, but professional upscaling can also be applied in the production process, as has already been demonstrated in many 8K trials.

8K Post-Production from 4K Live Capture chart


4K Production from 8K Live Capture

The goal of this application is to cover the entire field of view with one 8K camera and offer the possibility of cutting out several 4K or 2K views, thereby reducing production costs. This is the so-called “region of interest” capability that several companies currently offer, using software that can automatically follow certain players, actors or musicians across a large 8K canvas. One example of an 8K camera with this software option is Sony’s 8K camera.