FutureSport 2015: Rugby World Cup 2019 Japan to see launch of 8K broadcast?

At SVG Europe FutureSport 2015 session ‘RWC2015: The Year Rugby Really Got Connected’ in London, moderator Ian Volans asked the audience “is there any indication yet that Japan will use Rugby World Cup 2019 as a test venue for 8K services, ahead of the 2020 Olympics?” John Smith, Media Links Managing Director EMEA, said from the floor, “I can answer that from a real-world perspective. The answer is Yes, they will be using 8K.

“We are currently putting in a system with a very large Japanese broadcaster, in which their eight main studios and 45 outlying studios are being made 4K and 8K compatible for the Olympics,” said Smith. That’s the specification we have been given, so the answer is they want 8K for the Olympics.”

When the session concluded, Smith told SVG Europe: “Media Links sits across telco and broadcast. We’ve been around since the mid-nineties in the telco marketplace providing T1 class carrier product, the backbone of ATT and so on. And we have a lot of users in Japan.

“They were looking to upgrade the studios of a major broadcaster to IP,” Smith confirmed. “We’ve been awarded the contract and we start delivering the installation in March next year. Part of that RFP is for IP in studios.

“Everyone is talking about proof of concept, but we’re actually delivering it because that’s what we do. It’s all IP over genlock, all the switching systems. OK we’re not doing the camera side or vision mixers, but it’s all the carrier networks within and across the WAN.

“We’ve had to make the system compatible for 8K for the 2020 Olympics. But actually from Day 1 we’ve got to make it work! That’s what we’re doing. We will be doing all the trials.

Smith continued: “Media Links has been around for a long time but never raised its head above the parapet. At this year’s IBC I took over as head of the EMEA operation and we used the show as a vehicle to talk to people about what they actually need in the future, where it’s actually going.

“This project we have in Japan is very specific to them. But that specific project will then enable global product: we’re taking what they need, and hopefully by NAB next year you’ll see it as industry standard [systems] with global interoperability. We’re bringing the telco and broadcast markets together,” said Smith.

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