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Thread: Daily Satellite TV News

NTV-Plus adds channels, cuts rental fees September 4, 2013 07.47 Europe/London By Chris Dziadul The Russian DTH platform NTV-Plus is

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    NTV-Plus adds channels, cuts rental fees
    September 4, 2013 07.47 Europe/London By Chris Dziadul



    The Russian DTH platform NTV-Plus is adding six more channels to its offer.
    From this Thursday, September 5, viewers will be able to receive History, History HD, Travel Channel, Travel Channel HD, Paramount Comedy and Muz, with all being offered round-the-clock and in Russian.
    Separately, NTV-Plus has reduced the cost of renting both SD and HD receivers.
    Customers have a choice of four SD receivers – Samsung DSB-B270V, Humax VA ACE+, Humax VA-4SD and Humax VA-5SD – and they now cost R113 (€2.57) a month, including VAT.
    The two HD models – Thomson DSI 4000 and Intek HD-S10VAOP – are meanwhile now available for R160 a month, including VAT.

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    Ziggo launches Discovery VOD
    September 4, 2013 07.06 Europe/London By Robert Briel



    Discovery-Networks-AmsterdamDutch cable operator Ziggo is launching On Demand portals for Discovery Channel, TLC and Animal Planet.
    Subscribers who have access to Ziggo inactive on-demand and catch-up TV service TV Gemist will be able to watch programming from the three Discovery channels, Discovery Channel, TLC and Animal Planet.
    According to Mertijn de Nooije, VP affiliate sales more and more people are watching non-linear to their favourite programmes, “We want to have our content available anywhere and anytime. The development of on-demand fits perfectly with this strategy.”
    Ziggo follows in the footsteps of UPC and KPN IPTV, who have offered on-demand programming from Discovery for some time. UPC is adding around 40 titles per three months, while KPN adds around 30 new titles during every quarter.

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    Cirkus reaches VOD-deal with Boxer
    September 4, 2013 07.57 Europe/London By Robert Briel



    cirkus VODCirkus, the S-VOD service that offers viewers the best of British TV series, has reached a distribution agreement with Boxer, the Nordic DTT platform.
    Boxer is the third largest pay TV platform in Sweden with nearly 600,000 subscribers, and some 350,000 subscribers in Denmark. The deal gives Boxer the right to distribute Cirkus in both countries, with Cirkus launching in Sweden first towards the end of this year. Cirkus has already announced that it has reached agreement for distribution with Sweden’s largest pay TV platform operator, Com Hem.
    Cirkus is the brainchild of two experienced British television executives, Hugh Williams and Mark Bradford. It has multi-year supply agreements with ITV Global Entertainment, BBC Worldwide and All3Media International and has been conceived to help international pay TV platforms fend off the threat from new OTT services such as Netflix.
    It offers its customers high quality British drama, comedy and factual programmes in ‘box set’ form with all the content refreshed on a regular monthly basis. Boxer subscribers will now have access to a range of UK TV programmes including ‘Endeavour’; ‘Luther’; ‘Sherlock’; ‘Accused’; ‘Fresh Meat’ and ‘Blue Planet’.
    For Cirkus, Hugh Williams said in a statement: “This is a key deal for us. We now have distribution on both the biggest and third biggest pay TV platforms in Sweden with an additional option to launch in Denmark later. Cirkus is now a reality and will be available to Swedish viewers by the end of this year. We expect Cirkus to be rolled out in other Nordic territories during 2014.
    Andrea Gisle Joosen, the CEO for Boxer in Sweden, added: ‘We’re very pleased to have reached an agreement with Cirkus, allowing us to give our on demand-customers an even better viewing experience.’

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    Elisa selctss Agama OTT monitoring for EpicTV
    September 4, 2013 08.44 Europe/London By Robert Briel



    Finland’s telco service provider Elisa extends its existing Agama DTV Monitoring Solution deployment to also cover quality assurance of its pioneering OTT service EpicTV.
    Elisa has some 3.6 million consumer and corporate customers in the Nordic countries, the Baltics and Russia. In 2012, Elisa launched EpicTV, an online extreme sports channel with over 300 original series available across iPads, Android tablets and smartphones, PCs and connected TVs. Now extending its existing Agama quality monitoring solution into the OTT domain, Elisa can ensure that the EpicTV service is always available at the optimum quality to keep customers satisfied. This business is conducted in a partnership with regional systems integrator Mediatrade.
    “As a leading provider of high-quality TV services we are committed to meet and exceed our viewers’ high expectations, both for our traditional TV services in Finland and for our pioneering multinational OTT service”, says Jarkko Järvinen, EpicTV’s chief engineer and senior development manager at Elisa.
    “One vital part of this is, of course, to really be able to ensure the delivered service quality to all our customers, and for this critical mission we turned to Agama, which has video service quality assurance as its core business and field of expertise, and a solution that perfectly matches our needs and requirements.”
    Mikael Dahlgren, CEO at Agama Technologies, added: “We are proud to be given this additional contract from Elisa, which reinforces its trust in our offerings. Our solution has positioned itself as a true multiscreen and multiservice capable video quality assurance solution. It’s great to see that it is getting such good traction with OTT and multiplatform operators worldwide.”

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    Rakuten acquires video streaming service Viki
    September 4, 2013 07.32 Europe/London By Robert Briel



    Popeye on VikiTokyo-based Rakuten has agreed to acquire global video streaming platform Viki, based in Singapore and San Francisco.
    Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Viki is a global TV and video site that brings primetime TV shows, movies, music videos and other premium video content to new audiences and opens up entirely new markets for content providers. Through its social TV and subtitling intellectual property, Viki’s community of viewers have crowdsourced subtitles in more than 160 languages and translated more than 400 million words to date
    “Viki is a one-of-kind company with an entirely unique approach to video streaming that is truly global and truly engaging,” said Rakuten chairman and CEO, Hiroshi (Mickey) Mikitani.
    “They are fast, agile, and highly mobile. Their smart and creative approach to bringing popular content to global audiences will enable Rakuten to move quickly into new markets around the world.”
    “Our vision is very well aligned with Rakuten’s focus on building a borderless digital ecosystem. We’ve built a truly global TV platform, with and for the fans, allowing content owners to reach the world in any language,” added Razmig Hovaghimian, Viki CEO and co-founder,
    “The Viki model has allowed us to unlock a massive torso of untapped demand. While viewers get to enjoy great entertainment they never knew existed anywhere, anytime and in their language, content owners get to reach a globally fragmented market, and increase the size of their target market multiple-fold through localisation. Focusing on both content providers and fans, has allowed us to reach traditional TV like ratings online, with top shows getting translated in more than 50 languages.”
    Rakuten and Viki expect exponential growth in Viki’s primary revenue driver, selling advertising against its video content. Viki also syndicates select content and has the potential to launch new revenue models. At the same time, Viki can now leverage Rakuten’s 85 million registered users in Japan and deep digital commerce and media experience to grow its user base in Japan and Europe.
    In 2012 Rakuten acquired Wuaki.tv, an Europe-based video-on-demand and streaming service, which recently began its international expansion beyond Spain by offering customers in the UK its premier movie titles catalogue and unique hybrid payment model.

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    ThinkAnalytics recommendations go live on ZON
    September 4, 2013 08.28 Europe/London By Julian Clover



    zon-On-demand-homepageThe ThinkAnalytics Recommendations Engine has been introduced by the Portuguese operator ZON on its high-end IRIS set-top box.
    Recommendations are available for both linear TV and VOD. They will be available on ZON Online platforms at a later date.
    “Our objective for IRIS has always been to deliver the best TV experience bar none,” said Nuno Sanches, product development director at ZON. “With the addition of ThinkAnalytics’ Recommendations Engine, we are complementing our innovative user interface with a service that ensures our subscribers get the maximum enjoyment from their viewing time as they discover new programmes and movies they will enjoy.”
    Peter Docherty, founder and chief technology officer, ThinkAnalytics, commented: “Since its launch, IRIS has been recognised for its user interface design, flexibility and customisation with innovative features such as the TV to share your viewing and recommendations with Facebook friends. Our recommendations engine allows ZON to continue this momentum with a personalised service designed to help each viewer discover new content and broaden their viewing habits.”
    ZON is the leading operator in the Portuguese pay-TV market with 1.6 million customers.

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    CBS and Time Warner Cable make peace
    September 4, 2013 08.38 Europe/London By Robert Briel



    CBSTimeWarnerWATCH VIDEO. CBS and Time Warner Cable have agreed to a deal that will restore CBS programming to 3.2 million cable customers in New York, Los Angeles and Dallas.
    Programming for all CBS broadcast channels, as well as Showtime, TMC, Flix, CBS Sports Network and the Smithsonian Channel, was restored for TWC subscribers on Monday, September 2 after a month-long black-out.
    The argument leading to the removal of the CBS channels was about the fees CBS asked TWC to pay.
    Without revealing any financial details, Glenn Britt, chairman and CEO, TWC, said a statement: “As in all of our negotiations, we wanted to hold down costs and retain our ability to deliver a great video experience for our customers. While we certainly didn’t get everything we wanted, ultimately we ended up in a much better place than when we started. We are also encouraged by the 50+ consumer organisations and legislators that supported our call for Congress and the FCC to reassess the 1992 retransmission consent rules. The rules are woefully out of date, are the primary reason cable bills are rising, and too frequently leave our customers without the programming they love.”
    “This was a far more protracted dispute than anyone at CBS anticipated, but in spite of the pain it caused to all of us, and most importantly the inconvenience to our viewers who were affected, it was an important one, and one worth pursuing to a satisfactory conclusion,” said CBS CEO Leslie Moonves to CBS News. “That has been achieved.”

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    Sony opens 4K Ultra HD video store
    September 5, 2013

    Sony 4K video storeSony has launched its video download service Video Unlimited 4K service, with access to more than 70 full length native 4K Ultra HD feature films and TV shows.
    The content comes from Sony Pictures Entertainment and other production houses, which customers can rent or purchase content for download on Sony’s 4K Ultra HD Media Player (FMP-X1) for playback on Sony 4K Ultra HD televisions.
    “We have been spearheading the advancement of 4K Ultra HD technology from the start, and have now reached another milestone as promised with the Video Unlimited 4K service going live,” said Sony Electronics President and COO Phil Molyneux.
    Over 70 feature films and TV shows are now available through the service, with a library of more than 100 expected to become available in 4K Ultra HD before the end of the year. Available now on the service is the hit TV show Breaking Bad, as well as movies including Moneyball, Think Like A Man, Premium Rush, Ghostbusters, The Amazing Spider-Man, Funny Girl, The Guns of Navarone, and many more. Upcoming releases will include This is the End, After Earth and Elysium.
    Commenting on the announcement, Chris Cookson, President of Sony Pictures Technologies said, “Sony Pictures has been working in 4K for several years. 4K mastering and restoration allows us to capture and convey more of the information from a film’s original 35mm negative, while new 4K cameras like the F65 offer higher resolution and expanded color palettes to help us create ever-more immersive experiences for audiences in theaters and at home.”
    The cost for TV episodes is $3.99, while feature films start at $7.99 for a 24-hour rental, or $29.99 for a purchase. Select purchased titles include an UltraViolet digital version of the movie or TV show, enabling consumers to play back their content on the go (in HD or SD).

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    Ofcom sets out White Space parameters
    September 5, 2013

    TTP White Space Trial iPadOfcom has published details of the parameters it will be setting for the introduction of White Space services adjacent to the UHF TV band.
    In a consultation document, the regulator says it will be taking an initially cautious approach, but believes it may later be able to relax the parameters as more experience is gained.
    This autumn a pilot programme around the UK will comprise a number of trials by a range of service providers. “We will refine our coexistence proposals in light of evidence both from the pilot and from stakeholders with a view to finalising them in the summer of next year ahead of the launch of a full, nationwide solution in the third quarter of 2014,” said Ofcom.
    The regulator has published a set of parameters and algorithms that it believes will ensure a low probability of harmful interference to DTT services.
    The constraints required for DTT mean that the best performing white space devices can radiate at the maximum permitted power level in three or more 8 MHz channels at around 90% of households in the UK. This figure falls to around 70% for less well-performing devices.

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    Romtelecom looks to HD
    September 5, 2013


    Romtelecom, new offices 2011Romtelecom has revamped its offer, placing a focus on what it describes as “HD channels that matter”.
    According to the Romanian incumbent, its basic (ExtraSuperTV) package, consisting of 86 channels, eight of which are in HD, now costs RON39 (€8.8) a month including VAT, rising to RON50 a month after three months.
    It has five more packages, all of which include 14 HD channels, with the most comprehensive also offered internet access at up to 100Mbps and costing RON94 a month (RON106 after three months).
    HD channels offered by Romtelecom include a range of HBO services, Dolce Sport, National Geographic, Nat Geo Wild HD, Viasat HD, Eurosport HD and Eurosport 2 HD.
    The company charges RON12 a month to rent a HD decoder.


 

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