It is meant to give demand for ultra high-definition TVs an early boost
Europe may have already become the first region to launch a 4K TV broadcast, albeit a demo channel only, but Japan doesn't plan to lag behind.In fact, it might release a full-blown TV channel in that quality even before the aforementioned service consolidates into a real set of TV programs.
As said in this report in the Asahi Shimbun, Ultra HD TV will be running by July next year.
Previously, the target for 4K broadcasts had been set for 2016 by the Japanese government.
NHK intends to test 8K content that year though, which means 4K transmissions should be relatively easy to implement.
Communications satellites channels will be used at first, then broadcast satellites and, later on, terrestrial digital means.
Toshiba, Sharp and Sony definitely have no reason to disapprove of all this, since theirs are the TVs that will experience a higher than expected demand if everything pans out.
The July 2014 date even falls right before the latter (and most important) stages of the soccer World Cup being held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.