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Thread: Daily Satellite TV News

SMPTE to unveil ‘ground-breaking’ 4KTV demo Joseph O'Halloran | 20-10-2013 As the industry gains increasing momentum, the forthcoming SMPTE 2013

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    SMPTE to unveil ‘ground-breaking’ 4KTV demo
    Joseph O'Halloran | 20-10-2013

    As the industry gains increasing momentum, the forthcoming SMPTE 2013 Symposium is promising to feature what it calls “the largest collection of 4KTV/UltraHD equipment yet presented in a single room.”
    The Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE) is an association for those developing motion-imaging standards and education for the communications, technology, media, and entertainment industries.
    The association's Next-Generation Imaging Formats: More, Faster, and Better Pixels event, running from 21-23 October, will feature various image processing and scaling engines and their ability to produce 4KTV UltraHD content. The demos will encompass lower-resolution sources, as well as high efficiency video coding (HEVC) codec demos to showcase the quality possible at various bit rates for delivery of 4K content. Participants will include companies such as Altera, Canon, Cisco®, Colorfront, Elemental Technologies, Quantel, Rovi, Samsung, Sony and Video Clarity.
    "The SMPTE Symposium's 4K/UHD demo area offers visitors a unique opportunity to see just how well the latest scaling and encoding technologies deliver 4KTV content, and to assess the quality of native 4KTV and processed content side by side on a variety of the latest 4KTV displays," explained Barbara Lange, executive director at SMPTE.
    The show will also set out to address the concern that the current dearth of 4K native content might prevent the rollout of 4K products and services. A demonstration of the HEVC codec — and its ability to offer high quality at low bit rates — will offer a possible solution for the delivery of 4K content not only within production facilities, but also to the home. A team from Canon, Colorfront, and Quantel will showcase live and file-based 4K production workflows.
    "With this valuable perspective on the maturity of 4K-focused technology, content providers will be much better positioned to make strategic decisions about their own approach to 4K implementation and service offerings," said Chris Chinnock, president of Insight Media which is organising the event in conjunction with the SMPTE.

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    TV everywhere adoption accelerates among US TV, cable networks
    Joseph O'Halloran | 20-10-2013

    For a long time the subject of debate as to whether it could ever exist profitably, TV everywhere has now cemented itself in the pay-TV firmament.
    According to a new report from the TV Intelligence Service at IHS, it is the leading US television and cable operators which are at the vanguard of TV everywhere (TVE) play designed to head-off cord-cutting before it ever gathers any commercial momentum that could seriously threaten their businesses.
    In its report, IHS said that all major US pay-TV operators to date have implemented some form of the TVE service, although sometimes in very limited form, via either live linear streaming or video-on-demand (VOD). But while it regards the streaming of live linear network feeds as largely relegated to in-home use, IHS sees VOD as a significant out-of-home TVE product.
    The analyst’s report singles out NBCUniversal as the US TV everywhere leader in providing access to TV content on second screens such as smartphones and tablets. NBCUniversal provides TVE for 15 of its 18 channels, or 83% of the studio’s total stable of cable and broadcast networks, to pay-TV subscribers willing to authenticate on second-screen devices.
    IHS also cites EPIX and HBO as sharing the distinction of supporting TVE on more second-screen devices than any other premium or basic cable network. EPIX first launched a TVE offering in October 2009, formed by partners Paramount, MGM and Lionsgate after their failed renewal with Showtime, still the only premium network offering live linear streaming through TV everywhere.
    HBO followed suit in February 2010 with the launch of its Web portal and even though it does not yet offer live linear streaming it can offer what IHS described as a “a vast TVE library”.
    Looking to the future, IHS observed TV everywhere evolving beyond Apple iOS and Android, the two platforms on which such apps first appeared. It noted TVE apps from networks being deployed across a wide range of connected devices, including smart TVs; video game consoles like Microsoft’s Xbox; Amazon’s Kindle Fire; Blu-ray players; and digital media products such as Roku and Apple TV. It added that adoption of TVE initiatives by the major channels is a reaction to the changing landscape of TV viewers in the country and as TVE continued to grow in awareness and popularity, it would be a central focus for pay-TV operators.
    TV everywhere has been developed as a collective strategy by both pay-TV operators and TV content owners to enhance the traditional linear TV proposition, so that secondary screens like tablets and smartphones can be used to view TV content in addition to the primary screen,” said Erik Brannon, analyst for US cable networks at IHS. “And in spite of the differences in strategy, all TVE products have one thing in common: they allow for current pay-TV video subscribers to authenticate and consume on secondary screens a significant amount of content that they purchase as part of their normal pay-TV video subscriptions.”

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    Global iPlayer ambition ended as BBC targets international OTT market
    Joseph O'Halloran | 20-10-2013

    Despite its outstanding success in the domestic arena, and the ambition of former BBC Director Generals, the iPlayer will not embark on a global rollout.
    At the heart of the move is a strategy by the BBC to secure the position of BBC Worldwide, its commercial arm, increasing content investment especially in premium programme assets.
    As part of its plan to achieve its objectives, the BBC will launch three new core consumer brands propositions and place and a greater focus on digital innovation to extend the company’s reach and routes to market. “The time has come for a step-change, reflecting the rapid development in our markets," revealed BBC Worldwide CEO, Tim Davie. “In particular, we will invest more into the unique content that powers everything we do, and realise the full potential of the BBC brand with audiences around the world.”
    Offering an alternative to other over-the-top (OTT) players, the strategy will position BBC.com, the international version of the BBC’s online site, as the new content hub bringing together all BBC commercial online TV offerings in one destination. The new BBC.com will include a long-form video player and will represent a single digital route to market for BBC.com’s partners and advertisers. As part of this move, the existing trial of the global iPlayer app, currently testing in 16 countries, will not be extended to any new markets, and it is proposed that the global iPlayer will be integrated into BBC.com over time.
    The BBC.com initiative will also see the launch of an international version of the BBC Store, a new commercial service, giving UK consumers the chance to buy, watch and keep a selection of BBC programmes.
    Davie also confirmed BBC Worldwide’s intention to grow content investment commitments, forecast to increase by £30 million pa to some £200 million. This will result in closer collaboration with its content partners, including BBC Productions, indie relationships and BBC Worldwide’s own production base, through more first-look deals, BBC Worldwide funded commissions for BBC Worldwide channels, co-productions and development of content for non-linear channels.

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    Aereo announces Detroit launch date
    October 21, 2013 09.47 Europe/London By Robert Briel

    detroit coverage map aereoAereo will officially launch in Detroit on October 28, 2013.
    Consumers in nine counties in The Great Lakes State will now be able to access free over-the-air television channels with a cloud-based PVR via supported devices, including Android, which was just announced last week.
    “We’re thrilled to be launching in the Detroit metro area, the birthplace of Motown and the Motor City,” said Aereo CEO and Founder Chet Kanojia in a statement.
    “Across the country, the message from consumers is clear: they want more choice and flexibility when it comes to how they watch television and they don’t want to be fenced into outdated and cumbersome technology. Aereo’s cloud-based antenna/DVR technology brings the old-fashioned antenna into the 21st Century, making television watching simple again.”
    Aereo offers an intuitive user interface and a simple pricing structure, providing new consumers with a free first month of membership that includes full functionality.

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    Ukraine looks to channel encryption
    October 21, 2013 09.16 Europe/London By Chris Dziadul

    Four of Ukraine’s leading distributors have agreed to create a new package of encrypted DTH channels.
    According to Satkurier and Telesat News, it will consist of 20 channels, formerly available FTA, and cost viewers UAH8 (€0.7) a month to receive.
    The distributors in question and the channels they currently offer are Media Group Ukraine – Ukraina telekanal, Futboll, Futboll+, Donbass and NLO-TV; StarLightMedia – STB, ICTV, Nowyj kanal, M1, M2 and OTV; Inter Media Group – Inter, Inter+, NTN, Enter Film, Piksel, K1, K2, Mega and Zoom; and 1+1 Media – 1+1, 2+2, TET and Plus-Plus.
    The last three have until distributed all their channels FTA, using Astra 4A at 4.8 degrees East and Amos 2/3 at 4 degrees West, with only Media Group Ukraine employing Viaccess to encrypt its channels on 4.8 degrees East.
    The regulator appears to be in favour of the distributors creating such an encrypted package.
    However, there is no indication of what channels will be included in it or on what satellite it will be distributed.

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    Fremantle, Chello extend cooperation
    October 21, 2013 10.19 Europe/London By Chris Dziadul

    FremantleMedia International (FMI) and Chello Central Europe have signed a content agreement that will provide over 270 hours of programming for the latter’s five non-sports channels – Spektrum, Spektrum Home, Film Mania, Film Café and TV Paprika – and its SVOD and OTT platforms.
    The channels will also receive scripted programming for the first time, including 73 hours of Jamie Oliver lifestyle content for TV Paprika; factual content for Spektrum in Hungary, Czech Republic and Slovakia from November; and scripted shows for Film Mania and Film Café in Hungary and Romania.
    Commenting on the deal, Katalin Radóczy, Chello Central Europe’s chief programming officer, said: “We are delighted to have this agreement in place with FremantleMedia International. The deal extends our long-term partnership and provides us with new programming genres and our channels in Central Europe with distinctive, high quality content, which will be consistent across all our markets. Having acquired so many hours of Jamie Oliver titles, we’re looking forward to developing him as the long-term face of TV Paprika across Hungary, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Romania.”
    Maximilian Bolenius, VP sales in German-speaking markets and Central and Eastern Europe, added: “Today’s agreement is the culmination of a long-standing relationship between FremantleMedia International and Chello Central Europe. We have been an important supplier to Chello Central Europe’s channels for several years, and this new arrangement will give Chello Central Europe’s audiences access to even more of the high quality, entertaining brands that we have in our portfolio.”

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    Canal+ expands to Canada
    October 21, 2013 09.57 Europe/London By Robert Briel

    canal_canada-350x190WATCH VIDEO. Canal+ is partnering with Dailymotion to bring customers in Canada a French-language content offering.
    The service, accessed through subscription or on demand, will be available from November. Subscriptions will cost C$7.99 (EUR5.68) a month, on-demand movies will start at C$2.99.
    Canadian audiences will be able to view iconic original series, a selection of French and European films and documentaries by subscription. Films will also be available on demand.
    In addition, internet users will have free access to comedy, information and entertainment from the channel with Le Clair, online every day bringing flagship Canal+ programmes such as Les Guignols, Le Petit Journal, Le Grand Journal and more.

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    Canal+ launches myCanal TV Everywhere
    October 21, 2013 10.16 Europe/London By Robert Briel

    my_canalThe new Canal+ portal, myCanal, will be available from this November and offer an OTT delivered TV Everywhere service.
    myCanal will offer live access to all Canal+ channels and nearly 120 CanalSat channels, all Canal+ and CanalSat programmes on demand, a TV guide and the Eureka recommendation engine.
    Most of the programmes available in multiple languages on the television set will offer the same feature on other screens.
    The portal will also offer additional options specific to each type of device. On PC and Mac, for example, it will be possible to download on-demand programmes to watch offline and to schedule remote recording.
    The mobile and tablet application will allow the user to manage the decoder using the remote-control function. Subscribers will be able to share their thoughts on the programmes via social networks. All of this will be available via the new myCanal service.
    The service is currently in beta testing with selected Canal subscribers.

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    Commissioner Kroes blesses satellite broadband
    October 21, 2013 10.27 Europe/London By Robert Briel

    Neelie KroesEvery EU household can now have a basic broadband connection, thanks to pan-EU availability of satellite broadband.
    Satellite connections are now available in all 28 countries meaning every European can take out a satellite subscription, including the three million people not already covered by fixed and mobile broadband networks.
    Neelie Kroes, VP, European Commission, welcomed the milestone achievement of one of the main goals of the Digital Agenda for Europe: “My motto is Every European Digital – now every European genuinely has the opportunity. We have more to do to improve networks and equalise the opportunity, but the opportunity is there.
    “Thanks to the extra coverage provided by satellite broadband, we have achieved our 2013 target of broadband for all. That’s a great result for European citizens.”
    By the end of 2012, 99.4% of EU household had access to basic fixed or mobile broadband coverage; including 96.1% of households in rural areas. But the final 0.6% (or roughly 3 million citizens) included many families and businesses in isolated or rural areas where fixed or mobile broadband rollout is more cumbersome and expensive.
    Kroes says: “The EU is technology neutral, but for those in the most isolated areas, satellite is a good option to stay connected; and it’s likely to remain so.”
    Many Europeans don’t realise satellite broadband is an option for them. That is why Neelie Kroes launched broadbandforall.eu a service developed by the European Satellite Operators Association (ESOA) to enables citizens to check quickly their satellite broadband options.
    There are 148 satellites providing services to Europeans. Basic packages start from €10 per month, with 20Mbps packages from €25 per month, with average prices for satellite dishes being €350 (can be cheaper if a premium subscription is taken out).
    However, Kroes warned that basic broadband is not enough, and that faster broadband speeds were essential to deliver a truly Connected Continent:
    “Europe needs lightning-speed connectivity. We cannot leave some companies and citizens behind. Now we have basic broadband achieved, we have to immediately focus on investing in new fast networks.”
    “Access to reliable and affordable higher broadband speeds of 30Mbps and 50 Mbps are essential for Europe’s economic development and for the next generation of digital products and services like Connected Television, eHealth, Cloud Computing and Connected Cars,”

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    Orange TV Spain goes Everywhere
    October 22, 2013 09.17 Europe/London By Robert Briel

    Orange Spain is using Viaccess-Orca’s TV Everywhere technologies to deliver OTT content for the multiscreen service it just launched.
    Orange Spain selected the solution, built around a unified service platform that incorporates key core components including the VO RiGHTv Service Delivery Platform, Connected Sentinel DRM solution, and Compass content discovery and recommendation platform.
    “We are now able to provide customers throughout the Orange footprint with a high-quality TV experience by offering premium content across every IP-enabled platform using a highly scalable and fully convergent TV system integrated around Viaccess-Orca’s core components,” said Philippe Rozes, VP, multiscreen services at Orange.
    “This successful deployment promises to be yet another important milestone in the collaboration between Orange and Viaccess-Orca as we continue to move forward with our TV Everywhere solution in other countries.”
    Orange Spain’s selection of the Viaccess-Orca solution follows a number of deployments of the company’s technology, beginning with the 2011 launch of “NewTV” for IPTV in France, “NewTV” for IPTV and satellite TV in Poland in 2012, and the 2013 launch of a DTH TV service for Orange Romania.
    “Our TV Everywhere solution enables innovative content services to blend OTT content with the programming mix delivered over managed networks, turning a challenge into an opportunity to better embrace subscribers’ changing video consumption habits,” said François Moreau de Saint Martin, CEO at Viaccess-Orca.
    “It also allows those subscribers to access more content on more devices via the same provider with an improved user experience.”


 

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