The science fiction reality
Japan moves beyond HDTV
A research laboratory in Japan is working on a video format that goes far beyond even regular (and still relatively new) high definition television. This technology, named Super Hi-Vision, delivers a screen with 16 times the pixel resolution of an ordinary HDTV screen, giving a sharper, more detailed picture.
This ultra high definition television is so cutting edge that the researchers working for NHK, the Japanese public broadcaster, had to build their own camera to produce test footage for demonstration purposes - they combined 16 normal HDTV recorders.
NHK claims that Super Hi-Vision provides clearer images with a wider viewing angle, for a result 'so real that viewers feel as if they were actually at the site of the broadcast and find themselves attempting to touch what's on the screen.'
The BBC, who often collaborates with NHK on programme production, is planning to use NHK's technology to screen coverage of the 2012 Olympic games on big screens in city centres across the UK.
But for the time being, Super Hi-Vision can only be found in Tokyo, at NHK's Broadcasting Centre, where it is projected onto a 10 by 5.5 metre screen. Full-time public broadcasting in ultra high definition is planned to begin in 2025.