NHK builds 8K media player

NHK Blackmagic 8K media player
Neal Romanek
Post Production
June 30th 2016 at 11:26AM : By Neal Romanek

The media player has been created by joining Blackmagic Hyperdeck Studio broadcast decks

NHK 8K player and 8K monitorJapan's NHK Media Technology has created an 8K60p video media player, dubbed HyperCUBE MHP-8000, made from four of Blackmagic's HyperDeck Studio 12G.

"Currently, 8K players on the market are very expensive," said Kazuki Naito, manager of the business development division of NHK Media Technology’s broadcast engineering department. "I've heard there simply is not the demand for it yet, and utilising the technology is complex. I wanted to create an 8K player at a lower price to counteract these issues and hopefully get this technology out to the broader market.

"Our company was originally focusing on video synchronisation technology. Using that technology and the combination of the 4K media players that are already available on the market, we were able to create one that could play up to 8K30p (8K at 30 frames per second). After this first step, we were just about to develop a new one that could play up to 8K60p (8K at 60 frames per second), and that's exactly when HyperDeck Studio 12G was released."

Hideo Inou, NHK Media Technology's engineer of business development, said: "Originally, there were not enough 4K60p media players available on the market, but our main concept of product development this time was to make it possible to create an 8K media player at the lowest cost possible. One challenge we faced was the need to have it be controllable externally. HyperDeck Studio 12G could satisfy those demands and was also very customisable. It is amazingly very well made."

"Around the same time, SHARP released an 8K TV that has four HDMI inputs, which was very lucky for us," Naito continued. "By using that TV, we did not to have to use additional converters, so we were able to keep the product price low."

NHK 8K player

The mechanism underlying HyperCUBE is based on four "sync controllers,” which were also invented by NHK to keep all four HyperDeck Studio 12G in sync. This allows the 8K player to display by syncing each of the four outputs equally by 1/4 size of the screen. The operation itself is very simple with a fully automatic playback.

"As for the connection, it is very simple and is only controlled by connecting the sync controller and each HyperDeck via RS-422," said Ino. "It was very important to make it simple and usable for anybody since we understand that there could be a situation that doesn't allow technical staff to be involved: for example, a place for just exhibiting footage. That's why I tried to design a simple solution that does not even have a power button and automatically plays when you connect the power cable and insert an SSD card."

"Even with the lower price of HyperCUBE we understood that some would not be able to use it immediately so we also created an opportunity for them to rent the solution," added Naito. "Since the sales have been deployed widely by Mitomo Co. Ltd., we hope a lot of people will have the ability to experience 8K footage."