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Thread: Daily Satellite TV News

Ofcom boost for DTT HD July 16, 2013 10.52 Europe/London By Julian Clover Ofcom Riverside HouseOfcom has confirmed the award

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    Ofcom boost for DTT HD
    July 16, 2013 10.52 Europe/London By Julian Clover

    Ofcom Riverside HouseOfcom has confirmed the award of a new HD multiplex that is likely to deliver up to ten channels in the high definition format.
    Following the award to transmission company Arqiva – the only bidder for the capacity – the BBC has announced the launch of five new HD channels (see separate story).
    The first channels could go live before the end of the year.
    The capacity at 600MHz has been curated following the clearance of analogue channels as part of the digital switchover process. It has been awarded on an interim basis for a period of five years.
    Charles Constable, Managing Director of Arqiva’s Digital Platforms division, said: “We are delighted to have been awarded this new licence. It will enable us to add a much broader range of HD services to Freeview, helping it remain the UK’s most popular way to watch television.
    In a consultation prior to the award a number of respondents queried the award and its effect on Ofcom’s ability to initiate any clearance of the 700MHz band. Broadcasters and regulators alike believe the next ITU World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC-15) could see a reduction in the amount of broadcast spectrum allocated.
    Ofcom says the most proportionate way to address this issue is to add a clause in the licence that will allow us to vary or substitute the frequencies awarded in the 600 MHz band, as necessary, ahead of the end of 2018 in order to facilitate any transition of DTT from the 700 MHz spectrum.
    To avoid a potential data ‘capacity crunch’ and protect the long-term future of the DTT platform, Ofcom last year proposed to reserve the 600 MHz band for DTT. This could facilitate the possible future use of the 700MHz band, currently occupied by DTT, for mobile broadband services.

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    Vodafone to complete KDG purchase in October
    July 16, 2013 10.16 Europe/London By Julian Clover

    Kabel DeutschlandBritish mobile operator Vodafone is looking to complete its purchase of Kabel Deutschland by the time of the cablenet’s AGM in October.
    The timetable, still dependent on approval from German and European competition authorities, comes amid what is perceived to be an uneventful anti-trust process.
    A €7.7 billion offer from Vodafone was accepted by KDG in June.
    It is anticipated Vodafone will submit its final offer for KDG before the end of July.

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    UK local TV: an update
    July 16, 2013 11.15 Europe/London By Chris Dziadul

    Comus has provided an update on the development of local TV services in the UK.
    Speaking at a press event in London, the company’s chief executive Ed Hall said that the £25 million (€28.9 million) BBC grant the company had secured two weeks ago would remove financial barriers to entry for local broadcasters; make operating local TV stations low cost attracting a wide range of local broadcasters; and promote local TV to ensure that viewers are aware of it.
    He added that the multiplex operator has to be a broader service provider than a traditional operator.
    Comux has three core objectives. The first is to build a central infrastructure and manage three national SD video streams (or one SD and one HD). The second is to ensure that local TV is delivered at a competitive price and the third to create public awareness.
    The current state of play is that besides the BBC funding being secured supplier contracts have been signed with TSL and Warwicknet; fixed, additional and enhanced services documentation and ratecard is being finalised; recruitment for NOC is well under way; and most sites designed and under construction.
    Hall also announced that the company has signed a playout agreement with Evertz Mediator and that the timetable will see the first TV launch in Grimsby in November 2013, with channels coming on stream over the following year. City DTT will meanwhile be able to launch from the end of this year.
    Commenting on HD, Hall said that the award of new HD multiplex (see separate story) could only benefit local TV in the UK.
    Speaking about Comux, Hall said that although he is currently the sole shareholder, its ownership would pass into the hands of the local TV licensees by the time the first service is launched.

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    BBC to launch 5 new HD channels
    July 16, 2013 10.06 Europe/London By Julian Clover

    BBC HD logoThe BBC has announced it will launch five new high definition channels by early 2014, adding HD simulcasts of BBC News, BBC Three, BBC Four, CBeebies and CBBC.
    The new channels will be subscription free and offered to all digital television platforms that carry HD channels.
    At launch the channels will broadcast on satellite and digital terrestrial platforms. BBC Three HD and CBBC HD will use capacity on the BBC’s existing HD multiplex, which has 98.5% coverage of UK homes. BBC News HD, BBC Four HD and CBeebies HD will use new HD capacity, established by Arqiva on the 600 MHz band.
    BBC Director-General, Tony Hall, said: “BBC One HD and BBC Two HD have already proved to be highly valued by our audiences and I’m delighted that we’re able to follow this with the launch of five new subscription-free BBC HD channels by early 2014. These new channels will allow us to showcase more of our programming at its very best.”
    The new licence, issued to Arqiva by Ofcom, was awarded following an open application process, which took place earlier in the year. The licence is effective immediately and has been awarded for a minimum period of five years.
    The 600 MHz spectrum, which covers the range 550 to 606 MHz, was cleared of analogue TV on a region-by-region basis during the UK’s digital TV switchover.
    The BBC is also working on plans for HD versions of BBC One HD and variants of BBC Two HD for Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. A proposal will be put to the BBC Trust later in the year.

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    Volia chooses Envivio for OTT
    July 16, 2013 08.55 Europe/London By Chris Dziadul

    volia-grafitiThe leading Ukrainian cable operator Volia has opted for Envivio transcoders for its new OTT internet services.
    The latter, encompassing more than 130 channels, are available to more than 1.5 million households across its footprint of over 29 cities throughout the country.
    Commenting on the development, Alexander Hnyduik, CTO of Volia, said: “We chose the Envivio Muse encoders to power the VOLIA Smart HD service because Envivio offered outstanding video quality and a flexible architecture based on software.
    “This flexibility is important as we integrate our pay TV and OTT platforms and serve a larger number of viewers around the country who want to enjoy a more personalized, anytime, anywhere TV experience.”
    Serguei Lakham, Russia/CIS sales director for Envivio, added: “Operators around the world choose Envivio software for a variety of video processing needs, including live and on-demand TV delivered in the home or on mobile devices.
    “This deployment with an innovative operator is an excellent example of how our solutions are ideally suited for advanced video delivery to any screen.”

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    STB market holds its own
    July 16, 2013 07.32 Europe/London By Chris Dziadul

    The set-top box market (STB) is set to defy the challenge of multiscreen, with global shipments of devices used to receive cable, satellite, terrestrial and IPTV digital TV services set to rise to 269 million this year.
    According to the latest IHS Set-Top Box Market Monitor report, this will be 8% more than the figure recorded in 2012.
    What is more, the upward trend is likely to continue into 2014 (286 million, +6%) and 2015 (290 million, +1%), when the market will peak, at least for the foreseeable future.
    Interestingly, the multiscreen phenomenon should help boost the STB market during the next few years, as operators offer multimedia home gateway (MHG) STBs that can deliver services to PCs, smartphones, tablets and other devices, supporting the operator-as-an-app model.
    In mature markets where pay-TV digitisation is complete or nearly finished, the transition to HD and MHG STBs will help to sustain volumes and increase revenue in 2013, 2014 and 2015.
    Also the gradual migration to HD is continuing, with 2014 expected to be the first year when more than 50% of pay-TV boxes shipped globally can support HD.
    These developments will allow STB industry revenue to grow to $22.2 billion in 2013, making it the most valuable year in the history of the market.
    Further in the future, the STB market will get a boost from the rollout of Ultra High Definition (UHD) services.
    Volume growth for the STB market during the next few years will be driven by demand for more basic models, which are sold to support cable digitisation in India. Shipments also will be propelled by terrestrial TV digitisation in Central and Eastern Europe as well as South and Central America.
    After hitting a record high in 2015, global STB shipments are expected to start to decline, decreasing by 5% in 2016 and by another 2% in 2017.
    Pace shipped 11.3% of all pay-TV STB unit shipments in 2012, retaining its status as the world’s largest vendor. Technicolor meanwhile increased its shipments by almost 5 million units in 2012, allowing it to leapfrog Motorola and take second place in the market.
    Growth in shipments was also a key driver in Cisco’s 2013 success, which saw it become the largest pay-TV STB vendor in terms of revenue.
    However, the now-consolidated STB businesses Arris and Motorola yielded combined pay-TV STB revenue that was larger than Cisco’s in 2012.

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    UK HD DTT network expanded by ten channels
    Editor | 16-07-2013

    The UK’s broadcast regulator Ofcom has added capacity to the UK’s high definition digital terrestrial TV (DTT) network so that viewers can receive an extra ten channels.
    With the national broadcaster alone adding five channels — BBC News HD, BBC Three HD, BBC Four HD, CBeebies HD and CBBC HD — Ofcom says that the new capacity will be made available by using airwaves freed up by the digital switchover, located at 600MHz, and could triple the number of HD channels currently available on the platform.
    To avoid a potential data ‘capacity crunch’ and protect the long-term future of the DTT platform, Ofcom last year proposed to reserve the 600MHz band for DTT. This would allow mobile broadband services to use the 700MHz band, currently occupied by DTT, when the next generation of mobile broadband may be introduced. Given that such a development is not likely before 2018, Ofcom is thus allowing the DTT platform to use this capacity for HD services on an interim basis until at least the middle of 2018.
    Ofcom has awarded transmission company Arqiva the licence to run the new multiplexes. Arqiva, the sole applicant for the licence, has indicated already that the new channels will be broadcast to up to 70% of the UK population – above the minimum requirement of 50%.
    As part of its role as multiplex operator, Arqiva says that it will build a new network which will enable a significant increase in the number of high definition channels broadcast on the DTT/Freeview platform.
    Arqiva expects to confirm content agreements over the next few weeks and believes that the new services will help encourage the adoption of Freeview HD compatible television sets and set-top boxes. They will also be available on YouView set-top boxes.
    “We are delighted to have been awarded this new licence. It will enable us to add a much broader range of HD services to Freeview, helping it remain the UK’s most popular way to watch television,” commented Charles Constable, managing director of Arqiva’s digital platforms division. “This represents a significant investment by Arqiva in the long-term future of the DTT platform and will increase the diversity and quality of the content available – a key policy objective for Ofcom.
    Viewers will need an HD-compatible DTT receiver in order to access the new services. Ofcom calculates that about a fifth of households already have such a device.

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    Live Intercities show hits prime time audience
    Pascale Paoli-Lebailly | 16-07-2013
    Celebrating its 50 years on French public channel France 2, a prime time live broadcast of the internationally sold brand Intercities game show achieved a 20.4% market share on Saturday.
    The show positioned well ahead of France 2's prime time viewing rates, bringing an average of over 3.8 million viewers. It also placed No 1 in the French social television ratings.
    For this live event, production company Mistral Production launched a second-screen offering, delivering a live-streamed backstage show hosted by a French Web star Gonzague, a dedicated website and a live Top of The Cow contest for viewers to take part in.

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    ZDF sells package to LIC China
    Jörn Krieger | 16-07-2013
    ZDF Enterprises, the commercial subsidiary of German public TV broadcaster ZDF, has signed an extensive deal with LIC.
    The Chinese media company will acquire 200 hours of factual programming: 100 hours in 2013 and another 100 in 2014.
    ZDF Enterprises will licence factual series, including Hard Time, and programmes in various sub-genres to the Chinese company. This includes content from both the ZDF and ZDF Enterprises catalogues in the fields of history and biography, current affairs and social issues, science and knowledge, people and places, and wildlife and nature.
    The programmes will be shown on the ten branded programming blocks LIC broadcasts on over 300 TV channels in China.
    LIC was established in 1994 to buy international documentaries to screen on Chinese television.
    "Never before have we negotiated such an important deal with a Chinese partner," ZDF Enterprises' president and CEO Alexander Coridaß said in Mainz. "LIC has a long record of working with Western programme providers, a fact that is particularly significant to us. As the Chinese market expands in leaps and bounds, we want to establish the best contacts possible with respectable partners such as LIC. We are convinced that our vast catalogue of high quality products will enable further deals with Chinese broadcasters and platforms."
    Leland Ling, CEO of LIC China, added: "The contract signed with ZDF Enterprises is our biggest package deal ever – and this is truly a remarkable milestone. In the next one or two years, these programmes will be widely put out in Chinese language onto our syndication networks which cover 1,092 billion population across the mainland."
    The contract with LIC is ZDF Enterprises' second recently signed deal in China following its sale of a documentary package to state broadcaster CCTV.

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    Fimalac acquires 98% of Allociné
    Parent Category: News | 16-07-2013
    Following talks with the shareholders of Allociné, the French investment fund Fimalac has announced the acquisition of 98% of the online platform for a total of €66.9 million.
    The platform, which offers news about movies and TV series, was formerly owned by the US fund Tyger Global.
    Allociné claims 25 million unique visitors per month on both its Web and mobile platforms and has extended its reach to five international countries.
    The trailer platform posted €20 million in revenue in 2012.


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