World Expo 2005 Aichi, which opened its gates 15 years ago today, was the venue for numerous technological innovations, including the Super Hi-Vision Theater - where the public was introduced to what is commonly known as Ultra HDTV for the first time.

NHK Science & Technical Research Laboratories developed an experimental ultrahigh-definition video and sound system in time to be showcased in Expo 2005’s Global House. With a 600-inch screen, a 22.2 multichannel surround sound system and 16 times as many pixels as regular HDTV, the Super Hi-Vision Theater offered an unprecedented entertainment experience.

In the course of the Expo, visitors to the pavilion had the opportunity to view one of two films shown in the Ultra-HDTV cinema – man and nature documentary A Hymn to Life, and a visual poem depicting the change of seasons in Japan. Drawing some 1.56 million visitors over six months, the Ultra-HDTV experience proved a major success, with the technology continuing to be developed in the following years, and its format becoming standardised in 2012.

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