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Thread: Daily Satellite TV News

Continued growth for KPN’s TV business July 24, 2013 07.42 Europe/London By Robert Briel KPN_Car+HQKPN has grown its TV market

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    Continued growth for KPN’s TV business
    July 24, 2013 07.42 Europe/London By Robert Briel



    KPN_Car+HQKPN has grown its TV market share in the Netherlands to 24%, mainly due to the success of its All-in-1 product.
    The total number of TV homes was 1,885,000 on June 30, including IPTV, DTT and FttH homes.
    During the second quarter of 2013, the Dutch incumbent added 82,000 new IPTV subscribers, bringing the total to 1,210,000 connected homes.
    The All-in-1 product remains very popular and rose with 54,000 to 1,131,000. ), resulting in a 42% triple play penetration level, 12%-points higher compared to the same quarter last year.
    FttH activations continued to grow by 30k net adds in Q2 2013, resulting in 429k homes activated.
    The number of subscriber’s to the company’s DTT service Digitenne continues to decline and stood at 675,000 on June 30, 2013 – compared with 771,000 on June 30, 2012.
    The trend is expected to continue, especially since KPN has increased the monthly subscription fee to Digitenne to €12.50, up from €9.95 a month.

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    DTT boom extends beyond Europe
    July 24, 2013 07.24 Europe/London By Broadband TV News Correspondent



    Covering 97 countries, the number of homes receiving DTT signals will more than double between 2013 and 2018 – by reaching 553 million, according to a new report from Digital TV Research.
    The Digital Terrestrial TV Forecasts report expects the number of primary DTT homes (those not subscribing to cable, IPTV or satellite TV and using DTT on their main set) will also double over the same period – to 380 million in 2018.
    Therefore, 173 million homes (31% of the DTT total) will only watch DTT signals on secondary sets (in the bedroom or the kitchen, for example) by 2018; up from 64 million (30% of the DTT total) at end-2012.
    More than a third of the world’s TV households will receive DTT signals by 2018; up from only 15% at end-2012. From this total, nearly a quarter will be primary DTT homes by 2018; up from a tenth in 2012.
    Western Europe accounted for more than 40% the global total at end-2012. However, the region will rapidly lose market share – contributing only 19% of the total by 2018 – despite its total DTT household figure increasing by 20% to 105 million. More than half the TV households in Western Europe receive DTT signals.
    Western Europe will mainly lose market share to the Asia Pacific region, which will increase from 28% of the global total in 2012 to 43% by 2018 – or from 58 million DTT homes to 240 million. Penetration of TV households will increase from 7% in 2012 to 27% by 2018.
    Despite its low DTT penetration, the US hung on to the top slot in 2012 as the largest country by DTT households. However, the top rankings will change a lot over the next five years. China will add a staggering 132 million DTT homes by 2018 to become the largest DTT country by a considerable distance. Brazil will add 30 million to take second place, with Russia adding 19 million. India, the remaining BRIC country, will have 15 million DTT homes by 2018 from none at end-2012
    DVB-T is by far the most popular DTT standard at present; taken by 130 million homes at end-2012. This total is expected to double to 266 million by 2018. However, the China-backed DMB-T standard will rocket from 22 million homes at end-2012 to 154 million by 2018, due mainly to domestic market growth.
    For more information about the Digital Terrestrial TV Forecasts report, please see the Broadband TV News webshop.

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    Major Russian cable deal wins approval
    July 24, 2013 06.52 Europe/London By Chris Dziadul



    The Russian cable operator ER Telecom has been given the go-ahead by the country’s Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) to acquire Moscow-based Akado.
    russia-flagThe news was given to ITAR-TASS by Dmitry Rutenberg, the head of control of transport and communication at the FAS, though he declined to provide any specifics about the deal.
    However, what is known from other sources is that two weeks ago ER Telecom filed a petition with the FAS to buy Akado for $1.01 billion (€765.3 million), including debt.
    This was valuing Akado at $610 million net of debt, with financing for the transaction being obtained from VTB.
    Akado is one of the leading providers of pay-TV and broadband services in Moscow and has until now been majority (67%) owned by Renova.
    ER Telecom, on the other hand, is one of the top two of broadband and top four leading pay-TV providers in Russia.
    It currently claims a 10% share of both 10% the country’s broadband internet and cable TV markets.

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    Swisscom mourns death of CEO
    July 24, 2013 08.56 Europe/London By Chris Dziadul



    Carsten SchloterSwisscom has announced the death of its CEO Carsten Schloter in what the police are assuming was a case of suicide.
    An investigation into the exact circumstances is underway and out of consideration for the family no further details have been disclosed.
    Hansueli Loosli, chairman of the Board of Directors, said in a company statement: “The Board of Directors, Group Executive Board and the entire workforce are deeply saddened and pass on their condolences to the family and relatives.”
    Deputy CEO Urs Schäppi, the head of Swisscom Switzerland, will take over management of the company ad interim.
    Schloter joined Swisscom in 2000 as head of Swisscom Mobile and was appointed CEO of Swisscom Ltd in 2006.
    He was subsequently appointed CEO of Swisscom (switzerland) in January 2008 and was also acting CEO of Italy’s Fastweb from April until November 2010.
    Schloter was in addition a member of Swisscom Group’s executive board since March 2000.

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    IBC premier for encoded 4K and mobile over DVB-T2
    July 24, 2013 09.03 Europe/London By Julian Clover



    The DVB is to mark its 20th anniversary this autumn with a demonstration of DVB-T2 delivering a series of resolutions from 4K Ultra HD down to the smaller screen resolutions typically found in mobile devices.
    Using DVB-T2 transmission, a 4K service utilising HEVC encoding, and mobile service will be delivered in a single 8MHz channel. This is enabled by DVB-T2’s featured use of Multiple PLPs (Physical Layer Pipes) that allow for the separate adjustment of the robustness of each delivered service within a channel to meet the required reception conditions. The PLP for the mobile service is compliant to the T2-Lite parameter set.
    The DVB will also show CI Plus v1.4, which now supports IPTV. In addition to a standard broadcast, a TV display will receive IPTV via its Ethernet interface. A CI Plus module will receive the IP multicast and carry out the necessary processing for Conditional Access and interactivity.
    It is envisaged that the new features of CI Plus v1.4 will permit the CI Plus module to provide traditional set-top box functionality.

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    Blizoo: a progress report
    July 24, 2013 09.01 Europe/London By Chris Dziadul



    BlizooBulgaria’s leading cable operator Blizoo has spoken exclusively to Broadband TV News about the progress it has made to date and its plans for the future.
    Acquired by the Swedish fund EQT V in October 2009, it underwent a huge restructuring in 2010/11 and today finds itself in a strong position in what is a highly competitive pay-TV market.
    In that market, which by various estimates numbers between 2 million and 2.5 million homes, Bulsatcom, Blizoo and Vivacom occupy the top three spots, with 900,000, 400,000 and 200,000 subscribers respectively, M-Tel claiming fourth spot with 60,000.
    According to Vassil Shtonov, Blizoo’s strategy and content officer, the operator currently offers its viewers up to 150 channels, 25 for which are in HD, but has the capacity to provide up to 300 channels. Although 86% of its subscriber base is digital, its analogue offer remains of a very high quality.
    Blizoo’s network is also 92% DOCSIS 3.0-enabled, which is higher than any other network in Bulgaria.
    While it offers internet access of up 150 Mbps to its broadband subscribers, in practical terms, due to limitations in reception equipment, most customers are not ready to receive more than 100 Mbps.
    Shtonov added that Blizoo’s strategy is to focus on its basic offer; OTT (specifically by providing HBO Go); simple boxes, charging customers for some convenience; and catch-up.
    Although Blizoo currently offers a limited form of catch up and the feature is supported by its STBs, the operator would like to launch a full service. What holds it back is TV rights, rather than the technology.
    Commenting on the Bulgarian market in general, Shtonov said that the company has made a conscious decision not to enter the price war that is currently taking place between other pay-TV companies. The bundles it offers are the best and its subscriber base is growing.
    Shtonov also said that Blizoo has managed to reduce its churn by a third. Its plans currently include the development of an app that will allow smartphones to be used as fixed phones at home.
    Blizoo is also the leading cable operator in Macedonia, where its footprint reaches a third of the country and it has a 50% share of the pay-TV market. Within Bulgaria itself, Blizoo’s footprint is 50%.
    Although the operator has a 15-18% pay-TV market share in Bulgaria as a whole, the figure rises to 34% in its footprint.

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    Freesat claims continued UK subs growth leadership
    Editor | 24-07-2013

    Claiming to have outpaced its huge pay-TV rival, UK digital satellite television provider Freesat has reported its 21st quarter of consecutive growth.
    Having just celebrated its fifth birthday with a lavish awards ceremony, the free-to-air service said that it had added 145,000 homes in the last 12 months, with 15% of its total customer base of 1.8 million homes in the UK joining during this period.
    "Our continued strong results show thousands of people making the smart choice of Freesat as the alternative to expensive TV contracts. As take up across the UK has increased, so has our offer," commented Emma Scott, Freesat's managing director. "We now provide more than 150 HD and standard definition TV, radio and interactive channels, offering live pause, record, and a market leading catch-up service through our Backwards TV Guide, plus BBC iPlayer, ITV Player and 4oD. We continue to add new channels and on-demand services and invest in cutting-edge technology. We will soon deliver more features to our next generation service, including the addition of Demand 5, a remote app for smart phones, and in the future, additional movie and music channels."
    Freesat has now sold 3.3 million set-top boxes and TVs, taking gross retail sales value to over £1.2 billion since launch in May 2008. It believes that the continued growth of the subscription-free service – jointly owned by BBC and ITV – will outpace pay-TV rivals Sky and Virgin Media in the same period.

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    4EVER reports steady progress for HEVC, Ultra HD development over first year
    Editor | 24-07-2013

    As it celebrates its first anniversary, the 4EVER consortium has reported solid development in its research programmes, especially those involving the High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC) and Ultra HD.
    Formed with the primary goal of paving the way for delivering an enhanced television experience to viewers regardless of the viewing context — such as in the home, on-the-go, as well as in public areas and cinemas — the consortium now includes Orange, ATEME, France Télévisions, GlobeCast, TeamCast, Technicolor and Highlands Technologies Solutions, as well as the Télécom ParisTech and INSA-IETR University labs.
    In looking at the work done over the year, advanced video compression solutions provider ATEME revealed that through the HEVC (MPEG/ITU standard) codec development and Ultra HD new format definition and qualification, the consortium was focused on researching, developing and promoting a higher quality video experience. It added that within the first year, 4EVER research was focused on applying the new HEVC compression standard throughout the entire television delivery chain to leverage bandwidth savings on broadcasts and enhance video quality at current data rates.
    The development efforts in the year culminated in an end-to-end trial during the 2013 French
    Tennis Open.
    Looking forward, ATEME said that the consortium would "leverage the wealth of 4K Ultra HD content" collected to date, and undertake a series of quality evaluations in collaboration with the European Broadcasting Union (EBU). It will carry out subjective testing using state-of-the-art methodologies developed by Orange Labs to evaluate the quality of experience and determine more precisely the benefits for viewers of 4KTV compared with HDTV. It assured that new 4K Ultra HD captures and experiments would continue in parallel.
    The 4EVER consortium will also continue to actively contribute to standardisation initiatives by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE) and Digital Video Broadcasting project (DVB), focusing in particular on colour space, frame rates and bit depth as well as higher resolution images.
    It will also prepare a new trial around a high profile event in the Spring of 2014, celebrating the second anniversary of the project, to evaluate the state of the art in television production and delivery, featuring HEVC and Ultra HD.

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    Tablet sales keep soaring over 2013
    Editor | 24-07-2013

    New research from Futuresource has revealed the extent to which the tablet market is continuing to surge on a global basis. The analyst found that in Q2 2013 tablet sales reached 51.9 million units worldwide, representing 65% growth over Q2 2012, and a 17% quarter-on-quarter increase.
    Moreover, Futuresource anticipates total tablet sales will exceed 252 million units in 2013, an annual growth rate of 63%.
    Consistent with other recent surveys of the tablet arena, Futuresource found that growth is beginning to be driven more by emerging markets such as China, India, Brazil, South East Asia, Middle East and Africa. Growth in these emerging regions exceeded 110% in Q2, compared with 64% in North America, and 73% in Western Europe.
    Looking at the reasons behind this growth in the emerging nations, Futuresource noted that rapidly falling prices were helping to accelerate global tablet uptake, particularly with the continued popularity of sub $199 tablets. It added that the average tablet trade price of $272 in Q2 2013 was 25% lower than in Q2 2012.
    Yet as one would expect from the home of the iPad, the US was the leading territory in terms of penetration, approaching 33% population penetration as of the end of Q2 2013.
    Apple's aforementioned device retained its dominance despite facing increasing competition from the likes of Samsung, Amazon, Asus and other brands. Looking at device size, Futuresource also found that smaller-screened devices continued to gain market share in Q2 2013, making up more than 50% of total shipments in the quarter compared to fewer than 25% in the same period in 2012.

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    iTunes rules VOD and iPlayer takes catch-up leadership in UK
    Editor | 24-07-2013

    Despite the arrival of upstarts, the big brands are dominating the UK's on-demand and catch-up sectors, according to new research from TVGuide.co.uk.
    The June 2013 survey looking at which services were most popular, the frequency with which they were used and the motivations for use, found that half had used Apple iTunes as a video-on-demand (VOD) service with recent arrival Netflix and over-the-top (OTT) rival LOVEFiLM were close behind with 32% and 27% respectively. The NOW TV OTT service from BSkyB has yet to take off while Amazon, blinkbox and Sainsbury's Entertainment all saw response rates of less than 10%.
    Looking at how the services were used, the survey found that 43% accessed the aforementioned VOD services on a weekly basis, though 31% claimed to use them daily. In addition, 12% used these services only once a month, 3% claimed to use video-on-demand services only on weekends and another 11% said they only 'rarely' used VOD services.
    Examining the types of video that was demanded, TVGuide.co.uk found that the main motivation for using VOD was to stream films (56%) or TV box sets (52%). Surprisingly, watching sports attracted only 15% of VOD views. Streaming was a far more popular method of delivery than downloading though 23% use the services to download films. Less than half of this figure downloaded television box sets and only 3% used video-on-demand services for downloading sports.
    VOD services, the survey also revealed, were found to be most likely to be viewed from a computer or laptop than any other of our survey alternatives. Just over two-thirds of users watched VOD services from their laptop or computer, more than double those who watch the same services on their mobile phone (33%) or tablet (30%). Nearly a quarter watched VOD services on a games console, whilst 11% used an Apple TV.
    In terms of catch-up, not surprisingly for the UK, the iPlayer dominated with 86% of the sample using the BBC's platform for catching up on missed favourite shows used by 86% of the sample. More than three-fifths had also used the ITV Player, 61% Channel 4's 4oD and 26% Demand 5 from Channel 5. Subscription services such as Sky Anytime and Virgin were used by 26% and 12% of people respectively; 5% or less used the relatively recent arrivals YouView and ESPN player.


 

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