Japan to hold 'world's first' 4k streaming trial to set-top box

A large telecom company will stream compressed 4k video over the Internet to a set-top box to test future services

A major Japanese telecommunications provider will stream 4k video over the Internet to set-top boxes this week, in what it is calling the world's first public test of the technology.

NTT West said Tuesday it will conduct a three-day trial in Tokyo during a digital media seminar from Wednesday through Friday. The firm said it will use the HEVC (High Efficiency Video Coding) standard to send video from a cloud server directly to a set top box attached to a standard 4k television. The company did not reveal what it will stream, but said its goal is to launch commercial 4k service.

The test will use H.265/HEVC, the successor to the H.264/MPEG-4 standard in wide use today. HEVC, approved as an international standard in January, was designed to double the compression ratio of existing standards, and covers traditional TV broadcasts as well as Internet streaming. Compression is crucial for 4k, or ultra high definition, which has a resolution of 3,840 x 2,160, four times the pixel count of current HD.

While 4k-capable TVs, computer monitors and mobile devices are beginning to come to market, content is still scarce. Most TVs still rely on digital enhancement of HD broadcasts and video to fill out their extra pixels.

Japan is a prime target for Internet broadcasts because of the wide proliferation of fiber-based Internet, prices for which have fallen as multiple providers compete for business. NTT West's standard plan for 1GB service now costs ¥4,000 (US$40) per month.

Japanese public broadcaster NHK, which is leading the development and promotion of next-generation TV, has said it may begin 4k broadcasts next year, with 8k broadcasts to come within three years. Sony is gearing up for a 4k Internet streaming service to launch this year, and Hulu is reportedly preparing for its own launch within the next two years.

NTT West will conduct the test along with NTT SmartConnect, its hosting and streaming subsidiary.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Internet-based applications and servicesNTTinternetvideo

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jay Alabaster

IDG News Service

Most Popular Reviews

Follow Us

Best Deals on GoodGearGuide

Shopping.com

Latest News Articles

Resources

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Latest Jobs

Shopping.com

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?