Sky Perfect JSAT working on adding more 4K Broadcast Channels, some of the first of their kind

by on April 3, 2015

Stephan Jukic – April 3, 2015

As is to be expected, the Japanese tech industry is ahead of almost everyone else as far as 4K UHD technology goes.

This applies particularly to the broadcast end of the 4K consumer tech spectrum and as our main example, we have Sky Perfect JSAT and its 4K broadcast developments.

Just one month ago, Sky Perfect JSAT launched its first two dedicated 4K ultra HD channels through its new JCSAT 3A and JCSAT 4B satellites in orbit and right now, the Japanese broadcasting giant is deciding on whether or not to add more channels, depending on how these two initial experiments perform.

The simple fact that the company has two working satellite powered 4K channels in live operation puts them well ahead of just about anybody else in the world in terms of 4K broadcasting advancement.

According to Shinji Takada, president of SKY Perfect JSAT, “We plan to first focus on fully achieving reliable broadcasting of the newly launched SKY Perfect 4K General and Sky Perfect 4K Cinema channels, and will later discuss the possibility of launching additional 4K channels based on the first channel launch results”.

The two channels were launched on March 1st of 2015 and are of considerable importance or the satellite industry due to their experimental results in successfully broadcasting the 4K video transmissions that many in the broadcast and satellite industry are expecting to soon dominate entertainment media.

The second of the channels, Sky Perfect 4K Cinema, acts as a movie channel and provides pay-per-view transmission of new releases, classics and traditional Japanese and international films to audiences in full 4K UHD resolution. Currently, Sky Perfect JSAT has plans to release roughly 50 films per year on this channel.

The other channel, SKY Perfect 4K General, offers a wide selection of TV programming in sports, music, travel and other general entertainment categories.

SKY Perfect 4K General, one of the two 4K channels, broadcasts all J League games in UHD to audiences in Japan

SKY Perfect 4K General, one of the two 4K channels, broadcasts all J League games in UHD to audiences in Japan

Experiments like these, in conjunction with other 4K related tech developments, have made Japan one of the foremost adopters of 4K resolution into its entertainment infrastructure. SKY’s Takeda has said that he wants to introduce 4K ahead of other companies, particularly on the Japanese market and has explained that his company plans to continue actively pushing 4K technology down the road.

Furthermore, dropping prices for 4K cameras, 4K TVs and other related viewing/production equipment have spurred a lot more consumer interest in ultra HD than was the case just a year ago.

Nowhere is this growth more visible than in Japan and according to Takeda, sales of 4K-related devices have grown so quickly that 4K now amounts to more than 5% of all display sales by number of units sold. He explains that electronics retailers have really moved into this new trend and their stores’ TV departments are loaded with 4K TVs “as far as the eye can see”.

According to analysts at ABI Research, which studies the 4K market as a whole, “4K progress rate in Japan is driven by the 4K TV set adoption rate, government initiatives, as well as content availability” In all of these categories, there are strong efforts by industry and government to foster further growth.

Furthermore, there is the fact that several of the biggest manufacturers of 4K TVs, cameras and other UHD-ready display equipment all originate in the Japanese market.

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