According to The Japan Times, test transmissions will start in 2016, when the next Olympic Games are held in Rio de Janeiro, with full broadcasts getting under way soon afterwards in order to build popularity ahead of the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.
Significantly, the trials are being brought forward by four years and the full launch of services by 2018 will allow for coverage of the World Cup, which will be held that year in Russia.
Japan’s communications ministry has already allocated Y1.7 billion (€12.4 million) for fiscal year 2015, which starts next April, towards the development of new transmission technology.
It is also considering test broadcasting 4K and 8K images alternately, depending on the time and day, on up to one and three channels respectively.
Japan launched the world’s first test 4K broadcasts, using communications satellite TV channels operated by Sky Perfect JSAT Holdings, in June this year.
Full 4K broadcasts, using the company’s CS channels, will now begin in March 2015, one year earlier than previously planned.