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4K TV broadcasts coming to Japan in 2014

The Japanese government plans to launch the world’s first 4K broadcast in July 2014, coinciding with the beginning of the FIFA World Cup in Brazil, according to a report from the Asahi Shimbun newspaper.

The proposed launch date beats initial estimates for ultra-high definition (UHD) broadcasts by two years and is expected to increase the demand for UHD TVs.

Japan’s aggressive adoption of the UHD format could be a response to its slow adoption of HD technology, which resulted in relatively low consumer demand for affiliated electronic goods like Blu-ray players and current-gen game consoles. Moreover, many of the companies at the forefront of 4K development are Japanese, including Sharp, Panasonic and Sony.

Japan is also working on 8K technology, with the publicly-owned NHK broadcast network having previously outlined plans test the new experimental resolution, which promises to offer images 16 times sharper than conventional HD.