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Thread: Daily Satellite TV News

Huge changes at A+E June 4, 2013 08.05 Europe/London By Chris Dziadul A+E Networks has announced a number of key

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    Huge changes at A+E
    June 4, 2013 08.05 Europe/London By Chris Dziadul

    A+E Networks has announced a number of key promotions and appointments, ramping up its programming division under the new president and CEO Nancy Dubuc.
    They see industry veteran Robert DeBitetto become president, brand strategy, business development A+E Studios; Dirk Hoogstra promoted to executive VP, general manager, History and H2; David McKillop promoted to executive VP, general manager, A+E; and Robert Sharenow to oversee Lifetime as executive VP, general manager.
    Jana Bennett has meanwhile joined the company as president, Bio and LMN and Pooja Nirmal Kant appointed senior manager, international content sales, Asia.
    Commenting on the appointments, Dubuc said: “At A+E Networks, we have created an amazing culture that is focused on creativity and innovation, and this has driven unprecedented success. We have the top brands that appeal to Men, Women and Adults and we have strong brands in our emerging networks. With the ramp up and realignment of our programming groups, A+E Networks is well positioned to reach even greater heights.”

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    TechnoTrend partners with Foxxum
    June 4, 2013 10.39 Europe/London By Robert Briel

    Kathrein TechnoTrend have started a strategic partnership with Foxxum, a smart TV company.
    By adding Foxxum’s smart TV portal to its portfolio, Kathrein TechnoTrend will expand the reach of its offerings for network operators and platform providers, thereby strengthening its position in the in-ternational operator business.
    Volker Belz, Kathrein TechnoTrend’s Chief Sales Officer, describes his company’s decision to partner with Foxxum as a logical, forward-looking step: “In order for us to improve our business’s position with respect to network operators, we had been looking for a partner to help us develop, support and market our Smart TV technologies.
    “We wanted a partner who shares our philosophy of first-class quality and who, like us, is among the best in their field. Foxxum not only met these requirements but also won us over with their expertise and with the speed and flexibility with which they adapted to our specific requirements and ideas.”
    Ronny Lutzi, CEO, Foxxum, added: “it is vital that we be able to adapt our innovative Smart TV portal solutions simply and efficiently to our customers’ individual requirements. This is especially important for our network-operator clients. By cooperating with renowned and internationally successful brands like Kathrein and Kathrein TechnoTrend, we offer content providers who are our distribution partners an unbeatable advantage: maximal reach for their content.”

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    Top executive joins Rostelecom
    June 4, 2013 10.03 Europe/London By Chris Dziadul

    Russia’s Rostelecom has appointed Kai-Uwe Mehlhorn as its VP.
    In his new role, he will be responsible for managing the company’s financial and economic affairs.
    Mehlhorn was most recently the deputy general director at the online retailer KupiVip Holding, prior to which he held senior positions in a number of companies including MegaFon and TELE2 Russia.
    He replaces Anton Khozyainov, who has left Rostelecom.

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    ANGA COM 2013: SMIT introduces Irdeto cardless CAM
    Editor | 04-06-2013
    In a bid to help pay-TV operators cut costs and improve operational efficiency, digital content security technology provider SMIT Corporation has introduced the Irdeto Cardless CI+ 1.3 CAM (Conditional Access Module).
    Integrating the latest Irdeto Cloaked CA system, the Cardless CI+ 1.3 CAM is designed to allow subscribers to watch encrypted TV programmes without a smart card while ensuring the carrier's secure transmission, and minimising operators' costs. It is fully compatible with CI+ 1.3 standard and keeps backward compatibility.
    SMIT also provides an over-the-top (OTT) solution and offers and cloud platform to allow access to paid content by multiple screens in a connected home.
    The CAM is set to make its pay-TV debut with the Slovakian Plustelka pay-DTT platform on which subscribers with a DVB-T iDTV can directly purchase encoded TV programmes, encompassing professional sports, music, movie and adult channels, with no need for smart cards.
    "Irdeto Cardless CI+ 1.3 CAM provides operators with a more economical and safe choice, and also brings more convenience to subscribers of digital TV service," said Stephen He, SMiT executive vice president, commenting on the launch.

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    ANGA COM 2013: Viaccess-Orca shines light on dark side of TV everywhere
    Editor | 04-06-2013
    With piracy ever present, even in Europe, content services protection and enhancement firm Viaccess-Orca has unveiled a range of services designed to offer effective responses to what is a constant threat for content service providers.
    The company says that its range allows service providers to protect content rights, assets and revenues, while providing smooth content delivery and an engaging, interactive customer experience.
    In attempting to demonstrate why its solutions are necessary, the company recently ran a set of dedicated security services for a major pay-TV operator during 30 major football games televised in EMEA. These services targeted subscription sharing in the form of card sharing over the Internet and control word (CW) redistribution over satellites. Such techniques can allow illegal distributors to resell pirate set-top boxes or subscriptions to TV bouquets at a very low price.
    Viaccess-Orca said that its solutions detected and stopped these attacks by tracking CW redistribution over satellites via dozens of pirate set-top boxes and detecting hundreds of IP addresses that were then filtered with the cooperation of impacted Internet service providers.
    "The digital television market has been growing steadily over the past two decades and the number of households with digital TV is expected to reach one billion within the next five years," explained David Leporini, executive vice president, marketing, products and security, Viaccess-Orca. "Piracy is the number one competitor to content service providers delivering exclusive content to their customers and it jeopardises the industry as a whole. With the advent of multi-network content delivery and multiscreen content consumption, content service providers need to embrace intelligent security solutions to sustain their investments in content and build the right foundations to fully engaging experiences to their customers."

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    ANGA COM 2013: Virgin hits Harmonic on DASH trial
    Editor | 04-06-2013
    Even though it has just been acquired by Liberty Media, UK incumbent cableco Virgin Media is continuing with its innovation programme in the form of a trial of the Dynamic Adaptive Streaming over HTTP (MPEG-DASH) protocol.
    The trial is supported by the Harmonic ProMedia Live real-time transcoder and ProMedia Package stream packager which are seeing use in Virgin's research headend facility in London.
    With the DAS technology, Virgin aims to deliver more efficient and cost-effective high quality broadcasts to TVs, PCs, tablets, smartphones, set-top boxes and other IP-connected devices.
    ProMedia Live is designed to transcodes MPEG-2 and MPEG-4 AVC H.264 content to multiple adaptive bit-rate streams optimised for the Virgin Media MPEG-DASH service. It is set up to handle metadata information such as language, captions, and ad signalling upon input and output.
    "As part of an integrated headend solution, Harmonic's ProMedia Suite optimises multiscreen delivery by eliminating the need to separately encode, encrypt, store, and transport each piece of video content to ensure compatibility with multiple HTTP delivery formats," explained Virgin's director of advanced technologies and innovation, Dale Barnes. "[Our] demo at ANGA COM will highlight the operational efficiencies achieved by implementing an MPEG-DASH-based workflow for next-generation multiscreen services converging on one ABR format, and unifying multiscreen delivery for tablets, PCs, and smartphones, in addition to set-top boxes and smart TVs."

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    Convenience drives in-home mobile video viewing
    Michelle Clancy | 04-06-2013
    The majority of mobile TV viewing occasions – 82% of tablet and 64% of smartphone sessions – occur in the home, according to a new study from Chadwick Martin Bailey, which also found that the primary driver for consumers watching video on mobile devices is convenience, rather than to avoid advertising.
    The study, conducted for the Council for Research Excellence (CRE), uncovered that convenience and multi-episode binging is driving mobile viewing. Almost half – 49% – of participants cited "more convenient" as their top reason for viewing video on a mobile device; 13% cited "watch multiple episodes"; and only 5% cited "fewer ads."
    "While mobile video consumption remains a small minority of total television consumption, nearly 41 million Americans today are watching video on mobile devices, according to Nielsen – and that is impacting overall TV consumption," said Laura Cowan, research director at LIN Media and co-chair of the CRE's Media Consumption and Engagement Committee. "Media companies need to understand not only the methodologies for measuring video consumption on mobile devices, but also the impact of mobile viewing on television consumption overall – information which is crucial for planning relative to content development and advertising. We believe this study has helped move us closer toward that understanding."
    Participants in multi-person households also confirmed that a big benefit is the fact that mobile devices let people watch different shows at the same time (e.g., one person watching the television, another watching separate programming on a tablet).
    Drama (31% of tablet viewing occasions, 27% of smartphone occasions) and comedies (20% of tablet occasions, 24% of smartphone occasions) lead among programme genres viewed on mobile devices. By contrast, 31% of TV-set viewing occasions were for news, compared to 11% and 15% for tablets and smartphones, respectively.
    The study also found that content availability often drives device selection (especially if certain programmes or episodes are only available to a consumer via mobile device). And, mobile TV viewers are more focused than TV-set viewers, with less unrelated multitasking and more programme-related second-screen activity).
    "Today's mobile devices are having a screen multiplier effect within households," said Chris Neal, vice president at Chadwick Martin Bailey, "leading to an increase in overall TV consumption and creating more opportunities for individuals to watch exactly what they want, whenever they want, at a location of their choosing. They are not replacing television sets, but they are impacting TV viewing habits in a way that is too fundamental for anyone in the media and advertising industries to ignore."

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    ANGA COM 2013: Telenet beefs up content security with SmarDTV
    Gabriel Miramar-Garcia | 04-06-2013
    SmarDTV has announced that the Belgian cable operator Telenet is launching a CI Plus conditional access module (CAM) in its network in Flanders and Brussels. Telenet plans to go live with the solution June.
    SmarDTV's SmarCAM-3.5 modules embed the latest generation of the NAGRA conditional access system, for content security. Channels are directly accessible on integrated digital televisions (iDTVs) with the original TV remote control. SCART or HDMI cables or power leads are no longer needed.
    "The CI Plus module is an addition to our digital products that corresponds to the demand of TV subscribers, wanting a basic digital TV subscription without any extras. These modules provide our TV subscribers with an attractive solution that can be used with TV sets compliant with CI Plus Standard on the market since 2010," said Laurent Van Tornhout, Telenet director of TV product management.
    Conor Ryan, SmarDTV vice president of marketing, added: "Telenet is a valued new customer and we are delighted to be able to provide our latest CAM to them," he said. "The SmarCAM-3.5 module brings many benefits to Telenet subscribers including being non-intrusive, very simple to install without any new cabling and remaining invisible once installed."

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    Wall of VUDU brings cloud-based content locker service for DVDs out of beta
    Michelle Clancy | 04-06-2013
    Subscribers of VUDU, the on-demand video service from Walmart, has brought the Disc to Digital service out of private beta. It allows users to identify and unlock their DVD collections in the cloud using Gracenote's video recognition technology.
    VUDU makes this possible by tapping into Gracenote's video recognition technology and database, which features metadata for movies and TV shows. Once Gracenote identifies the discs, VUDU users can choose to purchase high definition and standard definition versions for viewing – anytime, anywhere¬ from their tablet, Mac, PC and HDTV.
    Walmart is launching the service in partnership with the major Hollywood studios: Paramount Home Media Distribution, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment, Universal Studios Home Entertainment and Warner Bros Home Entertainment. Customers can bring their DVD and Blu-ray collections to over 3,500 Walmart stores and receive digital access to titles from the partnering studios. An equal conversion for standard DVDs and Blu-ray discs will be $2. Standard DVDs can be upgraded to HD for $5.
    "Walmart is helping America get access to their DVD library," said John Aden, executive vice president for general merchandising at Walmart US. "Walmart Entertainment's new disc-to-digital service will allow our customers to reconnect with the movies they already own on a variety of new devices, while preserving the investments they've made in disc purchases over the years. We believe this revolutionary in-store service will unlock new value for already-owned DVDs, and will encourage consumers to continue building physical and digital movie libraries in the future."

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    Iowa telco expands stable of IPTV apps with Innovative Systems middleware
    Michelle Clancy | 04-06-2013
    Iowa independent telco Alpine Communications has converted more than 70% of its video subscribers to the IPTV middleware solution from Innovative Systems, APMAX, in an effort to roll out high-value apps alongside linear content.
    Alpine Communications general manager, Chris Hopp, cited the importance of making local weather a priority for video customers as one of the drivers to make the switch, saying that people like the ability to push a button on their remote to get animated radar, forecasts and conditions for their area.
    "As we started converting over to the APMAX middleware, it became apparent that the thing our customers liked the best was the Weather App." The Weather App is part of the Weather Plus service that runs exclusively on APMAX. Telcos can use Weather Plus for their voice customers to call into a weather number for updates, and will at the same time provide conditions, forecasts and animated radar for their IPTV customers.
    The middleware also allows subscribers to manage APMAX Voicemail from a TV using the remote.
    With over 5,000 subscriber lines, the north-eastern Iowa telco offers fibre-to-the-home, high-speed Internet, monitored security systems, computer networking, digital FusionTV, wireless phone service, telephone systems (local and long distance) and voice messaging to a number of small communities and rural areas. Alpine's Fusion Network was the first fibre optic network in Iowa certified by the FTTH Council.
    Alpine is a good example of how the rural telcos that connected the country in the early to mid- 20th Century have evolved from providing universal phone service to farms and ranches (often their only link to civilisation) to piping in TV and the critical broadband required for modernisation and economic growth. This operator segment is often ironically ahead of the innovation curve compared to large cablecos and nationwide pay-TV providers.


 

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