In a statement, the company said its cloud-computing arm had used its own network to carry out a three-minute broadcast on 28 March from its headquarters in Hangzhou to its Cloud Computing Conference in Shenzhen, 1300 kilometres away.
The live stream delivered a definition of 33 million pixels per frame and a resolution of 7680 by 4320 pixels, double what is obtainable in a 4K stream. It is about 16 times that of a typical HD video.
The company said that while 8K broadcasts had been carried out before, they were done via satellite. Additionally, while Alibaba Cloud provided the network to deliver the 8K stream, separate 8K hardware, including both a camera and a display, was needed to achieve a successful broadcast.
Uses for 8K technology range from gaming and entertainment to medicine. Japanese doctors are already using 8K instruments in some surgeries, while 8K live streaming is expected to enable doctors to conduct surgeries remotely.
“Alibaba Cloud’s 8K Internet live streaming heralds a new era for high-resolution video cloud solutions, just as 4K resolution did in 2013,” Zhaoyuan Zhu, head of Alibaba Cloud’s Content Delivery Network business, said.
“We will continue to develop our services to support these different applications,” Zhu said.