The new 8K studio is located inside Shanghai's Mercedes-Benz Arena. Photo: Handout

A state-of-the-art image and footage fusion and processing lab is now operating in Shanghai, funded by the state-owned Shanghai Media Group.

The 8K imaging laboratory, set in the 80,000-square-meter Mercedes-Benz Arena in Shanghai’s Expo Park, boosts two 8K high-definition projection halls equipped with 36,000 and 25,000-lumen laser projectors, among other technology.

Film screenings and themed salons will be held in the studio’s two halls, offering visitors an immersive experience of ultra high definition content unseen before.

The lab will also shoot and produce experimental special visual effects for movies in raw 8K format and resolution, for a better experience when shown in 4K in cinemas, at a resolution of 5,600 × 4,000 lines created in-camera using digital projectors, according to local papers.

The 8K resolution refers to an image or display resolution with a width of approximately 8,000 pixels. The 8K UHD (7680 × 4320) is the highest resolution defined in the UHDTV standard.

Comparisons of 8K, 4K and other resolution formats.

The successor to the 4K standard, which is yet to be widely adopted, 8K displays will evoke even stronger, hyperrealistic sensory experiences, when each pixel is indistinguishable to the human eye when viewed at a typical distance. The 8K resolution can also be used for creating enhanced lower resolution videos through a combination of cropping techniques and with downsampling techniques used in video and film editing.

State broadcaster China Central Television launched a 4K Ultra HD channel a year ago, broadcasting 18 hours per day showing documentaries, sports events, TV series and cartoons.

Xinhua also reported that Chinese technicians have enhanced and colored frame by frame the raw footage of the founding ceremony of the Communist Republic on October 1, 1949 – shot at that time by a crew dispatched by the Soviet Union – and re-rendered the clip in stunning 4K and in the future 8K with image quality comparable to that of blue-ray discs.

A comparison of the original still and the enhanced one that can be shown in 4K. Photo: Weibo

Part of the restored video will be featured in a new movie about the establishment of the new nation that will hit cinemas nationwide on Friday, part of a slew of new films and TV programs to whip up people’s patriotic fever in the run-up to the 70th-anniversary bash in October.

China’s annual turnover from the UHD industry is set to hit the one trillion yuan (US$142.8 million) mark, with the advent of 5G lending another big boost. Chinese broadcasters will provide live feeds and footage of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics in 8K resolution, and by that time China’s UHD industry output is expected to hit 4 trillion yuan.

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