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 newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags internetvideoInternet-based applications and servicesNTT

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

Jay Alabaster

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?