8K TV broadcasting future of Japan’s NHK

Japan’s public broadcaster says it could begin transmissions in a format with 16 times the resolution of today’s high-definition television in 2016.

The format, called Super Hi-Vision, has been under development by Nippon Hoso Kyokai (NHK) for the last few years. Super Hi-Vision images have a resolution of 7,680 pixels by 4,320 pixels. That’s four times the resolution of “4K” television that’s currently being touted by TV set makers as the next big thing.

The first major test of the format came at last summer’s Olympic Games in London, where NHK produced 6 channels of live Super Hi-Vision coverage for distribution at public viewing sites around the U.K. and back in Japan.

The test was a “great success,” said Yoshiaki Shishikui, head of the advanced television systems research division at NHK’s science and technology research laboratory.

Read the rest of the story: Japan’s NHK eyes 8K TV broadcasting from 2016.

Japan’s Year-end Music Show Has Dropped K-Pop Acts

Japan’s widely-watched year-end TV show will feature only Japanese acts this year, with popular South Korean performers left out of the line-up amid territorial frictions with Seoul.

Taxpayer-funded broadcaster NHK insisted politics had played no role in the selection of performers for the New Year’s Eve broadcast watched by up to 40 percent of the nation’s TV audience.

Korean girl groups KARA and Girls’ Generation and male group Tohoshinki (TVXQ) were among the headline acts last year on “Kohaku Uta Gassen” (The Red and White Song Contest).

The live TV show lasts more than four hours, and features established acts like AKB48, as well as grandees of J-pop like ageing boy band SMAP.

Read the rest of the story: K-pop acts dropped from Japan year-end music show.


Kankuro Kudo announced to take charge of NHK’s Morning Drama

NHK has announced that popular screenwriter Kudo Kankuro (41) will be in charge of the network’s morning drama series during the spring and summer of 2013. This will be his first time ever writing an NHK drama.

Details for the drama are currently being prepared. NHK plans to hold a press conference in June at the earliest to announce the show’s title, story, and setting.

Kudo is well known for writing television dramas such as “Tiger & Dragon” and “Kisarazu Cat’s Eye,” as well as writing and directing films such as “Shonen Merikensack” and “Maiko Haaaan!!!”

“Gaiji Keisatsu” to be movie in 2012

NHK’s 2009 action/suspense drama series “Gaiji Keisatsu” is returning with a theatrical film, to be released next year. Watabe Atsuro (43) reprises the starring role. The supporting cast also includes Korean actor Kim Kang-woo in his first Japanese movie.

The “Gaiji Keisatsu” drama series revolved around a secret police division tasked with combating international terrorism and espionage. The movie is partly based on Aso Iku’s novel of the same name, produced by the same main staff that worked on NHK’s hit series “Hagetaka.” About a year and a half was spent on research and putting together an original script.

Filming started in Chiba on August 21, but three weeks were also spent shooting overseas in Seoul and Busan from September 20. It is said that Watabe spent about a month taking lessons on Hangul and Korean before filming overseas.

Other cast members include Maki Yoko, Ono Machiko, Tanaka Min, Im Hyeon-jun, Endo Kenichi, Yo Kimiko, Ishibashi Ryo, Kitami Toshiyuki, Takito Kenichi, and Shibukawa Kiyohiko.

“Gaiji Keisatsu” is scheduled for release on June 2, 2012.

Yui Ichikawa takes lead in new drama series “Katsura Chizuru Shinsatsu Nichiroku”

Now in her tenth year since her show business debut, actress Yui Ichikawa (24) will finally take on her first lead role in a drama series. She has been cast as a doctor in the jidaigeki drama “Katsura Chizuru Shinsatsu Nichiroku,” being broadcast by NHK this summer.

Set in Edo in 1820, the story is adapted from a novel series by Hisako Fujiwara. Ichikawa plays Chizuru, the daughter of a doctor who practices Dutch medicine (Kenichi Endo). When her father suddenly dies, she continues his work, treating the poor people of her village. Ichikawa is also said to have trained in sword fighting for half a year in order to play the role.

The drama is set to run for 14 episodes. NHK has placed it in the Saturday 7:30pm time slot, starting on August 28.

Celebrity to Newscaster – Inohara to cast the new Asaichi morning news show

On Thursday, NHK announced that V6’s Yoshihiko Inohara (33) will serve as a regular newscaster on the network’s new morning show, “Asaichi.” The show will air weekdays at 8:15am, starting on March 29.

NHK revealed its plans for a large-scale morning program a couple months ago. The show “Seikatsu Hot Morning” (8:35-9:25am) is ending, and “Asaichi” will take its place. The time slot is being expanded to 8:15-9:55am, which pushes the network’s Asadora slot to an earlier 8:00-8:15am time.

NHK has been broadcasting morning news shows since 1966, but Inohara’s appointment marks the first time that a celebrity has been used as a caster on one of them.