IBC to present International Honour for Excellence to NHK Labs

IBC will present its highest honour, the International Honour for Excellence, to NHK Science and Technology Research Laboratories (STRL) at the IBC to be held in Amsterdam in September. Japanese public-service broadcaster NHK has been foremost in developing new techniques and technology for broadcasting since its formation in 1930 and this summer will play an important role in the Super HiVision production of the London Olympics.

The IBC International Honour for Excellence is presented each year to an outstanding individual or organisation that has fostered or contributed to the relationship between technology and creativity in the broadcast, movie, or media industries. In 2011, the award went to Sir David Attenborough; previous recipients have included director James Cameron; Aardman Animation; Manolo Romero, managing director, Olympic Broadcasting Services; and the BBC Natural History Unit.

Having recently celebrated its 80th anniversary, NHK Science and Technology Research Laboratories have been at the forefront of research in broadcasting technology, working on both practical solutions to current issues and visionary future technologies that transform the way professionals create content and audiences enjoy it. NHK STRL pioneered high-definition television as we know it today, including the development of plasma displays. It has recently been awarded an IEEE Milestone Award for the world’s first direct-to-home satellite broadcast service in 1984.

Among its many current strands of research is Super Hi-Vision, its implementation of high-resolution broadcasting that offers a screen resolution 16 times greater than today’s HD, together with 22.2-channel immersive surround sound. NHK STRL engineers are working on the complete chain, from high-resolution high-speed CMOS cameras through recording and transmission equipment to screens and projection displays.

It is also addressing the second screen, helping a consortium of broadcasters launch an experimental service, Hybridcast, which synchronises content on a tablet with the programme on television.

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