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Thread: Daily Satellite TV News

SFR launches Google Play set-top box November 21, 2013 08.57 Europe/London By Robert Briel SFR STB Google PlayFrench operator SFR

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    SFR launches Google Play set-top box
    November 21, 2013 08.57 Europe/London By Robert Briel

    SFR STB Google PlayFrench operator SFR has started offering customers a new hybrid STB using Android 4.2 combining access to DTT channels and Google Play apps.
    The new box is available for rental at EUR3 a month and turns the television into a Google TV giving access to Google services on their TV sets, including YouTube, Google Play Movies, Google Play Music, Chrome, Picassa and hundreds of apps on PlayStore.
    The box also gives access to dozens of radio stations and the on-demand and catch-up TV service from France’s main broadcasters MyTF1, 6play, Pluzz). In addition, viewers will also have access to SFR video club, the operator’s VOD portal with its catalogue of over 3,000 titles.
    Connection to the TV set is via HDMI and the STB has two USB ports (which can connect to external hard discs), dual-band Wi-Fi, and acts as a media player capable of reading many audio and video codecs including Dolby Digital and DTS.
    The new STB is mainly aimed at customers who are not able to receive IPTV, but can still be used by IPTV customers seeking more web TV content or a second TV gateway for their home.

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    Satellite revenues to grow by 26%
    November 21, 2013 07.56 Europe/London By Chris Dziadul

    eutelsat-satelliteRevenues for C and Ku band satellites should reach $12.5 billion (€9.2 billion) this year and then grow by 26% to almost $16 billion by 2018.
    According to a new IHS report entitled Worldwide Satellite 2013 Market Tracker, there will be over 450 active satellites at the end of this year, of which 311 will serve commercial communication in either C or Ku bands.
    Driven primarily by media services and content distribution, total active satellites have increased by 20% since 2006.
    The three largest global operators – Intelsat, SES and Eutelsat – own 45 per cent of all commercial satellites, and offer services to each of the seven regions. Smaller regional operators focused supply the majority of available transponders in most markets.
    The gap between the number of satellites and transponders supplied by the largest three operators and all other satellite operators has become even more prominent, as limited orbital positions and entrenchment of key orbitals have centralised revenue and high margins.
    The largest players continue to acquire smaller operators while at the same time collaborating with start-ups offering them their know-how and marketing tools for a share of payloads.
    The total number of supplied transponders has been growing, driven by channel distribution for Ku band and by telecommunication services for C band.
    Total supplied transponders this year grew by 36% from 2006, and will continue to grow to 2018.
    While both C and Ku band will see growth, Ku band is the stronger market, accounting for 8 % more of the total available capacity in 2013 than in 2006. With the exception of Intelsat, all other satellite providers have increased their transponder load.
    The growing number of available transponders will put further price pressure in many regions, slowing price increases per utilised transponder.
    While hot spots in European and North America have traditionally offered the highest price per transponder, the increased supply coupled with a slowdown in channel growth and competitive threats from other transport medium will slow price increases in the future.
    In the rest of the world, Asia-Pacific and Africa demand will significantly outstrip supply causing these markets to become much more attractive in coming years. C and Ku revenue will increase by one-third through over the next five years.
    Most revenue growth will be attributed to Ku band, but utilisation of C band as a return path may spread the growth if there is uptake and risks to losing C band spectrum to mobile is avoided.
    Rising prices per utilised transponder will be good news for this still high margin industry, and in particular for the top 10 players who collectively account for over 70% of the market revenue in 2012 and have the leverage to command the best orbital positions.

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    Poland inches towards pay-DTT
    November 21, 2013 07.39 Europe/London By Chris Dziadul

    Interest in operating what would be Poland’s first pay-DTT multiplex is stronger than previously thought.
    Gazeta Prawna reports that those who have so far thrown their hat into the ring include Agora, Cyfrowy Polsat, Telewizja Polska (TVP) and Emitel, with the first three having officially confirmed their interest in the 170-234 MHz band, freed up in July following Poland’s digital transition in July this year.
    The Office of Electronic Communication (UKE) says it has now received a total of 15 expressions of interest, one of which was submitted before it announced the availability of frequencies earlier this month.

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    Roku charts UK progress
    November 21, 2013 04.26 Europe/London By Chris Dziadul, OTTtv World Summit, London

    roku_displaying_netflixOTT is now well established in the UK, with 49% of consumers viewing such content in addition to a cable or satellite subscription.
    Furthermore, said Ed Lee, VP content acquisition, of the streaming media provider Roku, there will be 120 million OTT devices in the UK by the end of 2017.
    Lee added that Roku, which is currently present in the UK, Republic of Ireland, Canada and the US, has no plans to expand to other markets in 2014.
    He also said that Roku sees itself more as a platform than hardware.
    Indeed, it has “invested 150 man years of software development into developing a sustainable streaming platform.”
    Roku lists Tesco, Amazon, Asda, Currys, Staples, Argos and Maplin as its distribution outlets in the UK, where it currently offers viewers 650 channels.
    It also has a close working relationship with BSkyB, which holds a minority stake in the company.
    In the US, Roku works with Time Warner Cable and Dish Network.

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    ONO teams up with Sony
    November 22, 2013 09.45 Europe/London By Chris Dziadul

    Spain’s leading cable operator ONO has signed what it terms a unique agreement with Sony Computer Entertainment Spain (SCE Spain) ahead of the launch of PlayStation 4 Ono New HQ(PS4) in the country.
    Under it, ONO subscribers using PS4 with a 100Mbps internet connection will have the connected speed doubled to 200Mbps with no increase in their monthly fee.
    Furthermore, as part of a special introductory offer, these customers be provided will be provided with a free year’s subscription to PlayStation Plus.
    ONO has it own, 45,000km+ fibre optic next generation network, providing advanced services to over seven million homes throughout Spain.
    PS4 will launch in Spain on November 29 and cost an estimated €399.

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    Chris Dziadul Reports: On demand, the CEE way
    November 22, 2013 08.21 Europe/London By Chris Dziadul

    Given the importance of the region, it was surprising and indeed disappointing that Central and Eastern Europe barely got a mention at this week’s two-day OTTtv World Summit in London.
    However, there was one particular presentation worthy of note that provided insights into the activities of Megogo, an online cinema and legal video content company headquartered in Ukraine and with representatives in Russia and four other parts of the former Soviet Union.
    The facts behind Megogo, provided by its marketing director Ivan Shestakov, are impressive. Launched just two years ago, it operates in 15 countries of the former Soviet Union, with a library of 24,000 hours of high quality video made possible by over 200 rights contracts, many of them exclusive.
    Given the high level of piracy in the markets it operates in – up to 95% in Ukraine –Megogo also has to be free. However, it also has premium content in its offer.
    At present, the company has 24 million unique visitors per month, and over 2 million daily, watching over 2 million video streams and 35 million minutes of video. Together, Russia and Ukraine account for around three quarters of its users, though it should be noted that the service is even accessed in the US and Canada.
    Crucially, Megogo has its own content delivery network (CDN). It also works with core operators in such markets as Kazakhstan in order to reduce costs.
    Megogo can be received on all main devices, as well as several set-top boxes, with the web, mobile and tablets accounting for 61% of access.
    Although 2.555m access the service via Android and 0.4m via iOS, the latter figure is expected to increase to 1 million by the end of the year.
    One of Megogo’s great strengths is the partnerships it has built up with other companies. They now total over 500, with those in the telco sector including Volia, Beeline and Kyivstar.
    While now offering just a VOD service, Megogo is trialing linear TV and expects to add it to its platform shortly.
    The latter may also include channels from other parties, delivered OTT.
    Megogo is also developing music and news content for its platform.
    When asked about the possibility of a service such as Netflix launching in the former Soviet Union markets, Shestakov said it was unlikely as it couldn’t move fast enough because of piracy and didn’t have copyright for the territories.

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    Topfun Media inks NetRange deal
    November 22, 2013 10.25 Europe/London By Chris Dziadul

    TopfunTopfun Media, the operator of biggest online VOD service in the Czech Republic and Slovakia, has signed an agreement with Hamburg-based NetRange.
    Under it, the Topfun VOD application will be launched on devices that operate on the NetRange MMH platform.
    Commenting on the deal, Radek Prikryl, sales director and Topfun Media board member, said: “We see a great potential and contribution in a close cooperation with this strong, technological partner. We are very pleased that the combination of our forces has brought the first result and we are confident that Topfun Video on Demand application will be launched on other devices in cooperation with NetRange”.
    Jan Wendt, CEO of NetRange, added: “Topfun is clearly the number one VoD in Czech Republic and a very important strategic partner of us.”
    Topfun Media was launched in 2006. It has partnerships with nine IPTV partners and also cooperates with web portals, TV companies and film studios.
    NetRange is meanwhile a leading global provider of brand-independent smart TV portal solutions and lists Sharp, IKEA, Loewe, Vestel, HD+ / SES Astra and TELE System among its clients.
    It is also one of the most successful service providers in the development of smart TV applications and services worldwide.

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    Entel to offer DTH through Túpac Katari satellite
    Juan Fernandez Gonzalez | 22-11-2013

    Bolivia's Entel has announced it will launch a pay-TV platform next year through the national satellite Túpac Katari. The company intends to compete with Tigo Millicom, which recently announced the purchase of cable platform Multivisión.
    According to Bolivia's newspaper La Razón, Óscar Coca, Entel's managing director, said the service will cover the whole country next year via its direct-to-home (DTH) service. "The good news for us is that we are going to offer cheaper prices and will be able to reach all the rural areas of the country thanks to the satellite," said Coca.
    Entel will offer an initial package of 30 channels with the possibility of HD quality, with sports, culture, information and kids' programming. But the company is open to incorporating the new channels. "We are going to ask the national channels to be scheduled on our platform," explained Coca.
    Through Túpac Katari – the national satellite whose launch is scheduled for 20 December – Entel will be offering its fourth telecom service; it already operates telephony, mobile and Internet services. "We don't have yet the final price for our pay-TV service, but thanks to the satellite technology the platform will be available everywhere in the country," added Coca.
    Entel made the announcement following Tigo Millicom's purchase of Multivisión for $20 million. The company will spend another $10 million to modernise the system, intending to offer HD, DVR, pay-per-view and a TV everywhere service.

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    High throughput satellite revs to reach $5.6BN by 2022
    Joseph O'Halloran | 22-11-2013

    Record numbers of high throughput satellites (HTS) and diverging investment strategies will enable operators adopting to drive market growth, according to research by Euroconsult.
    The High Throughput Satellites: The Quest for Market Fit survey revealed that 33 HTS systems will be launched between 2014 and 2016, a record high compared with the total 31 HTS systems that were launched over the last decade. The analyst believes that the growing popularity of HTS systems will bring the total cumulative investment to over $12 billion, with total revenues from such capacity usage forecasted to grow to approximately $5.6 billion in 2022. This will generate over $33 billion in aggregate revenue between 2013 and 2022.
    As a result of operators’ investments, global HTS capacity supply is projected to nearly triple over the next three years to reach 1,400Gbps in 2016. However, HTS capacity available to a single end-user in a given vertical market will not increase to the same extent as the available beam capacity differs between HTS systems.
    Euroconsult expects multiplication of HTS systems over the coming years will unlock growth opportunities in all major market verticals with global demand for HTS capacity expected to grow from around 85Gbps in 2013 to nearly 980Gbps in 2022, a CAGR of more than 30%. Demand for video services is expected to grow to 46Gbps in 2022, with the majority of traffic carried in North America and Europe.
    “The need for HTS capacity is undeniably growing in a world that is more and more connected and increasingly data thirsty,” said Nathan de Ruiter, senior consultant at Euroconsult. “HTS systems will not be a ‘one-size- fits-all’ solution but are designed to the meet the specific needs of the targeted vertical market.”

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    CRP Medios y Entretenimiento upgrades satellite bandwidth with IDC
    Gabriel Miramar-Garcia | 22-11-2013

    CRP Medios y Entretenimiento is planning to upgrade its network across Peru using STAR Pro Audio Receivers from International Datacasting Corp (IDC).
    IDC said that its STAR system will save up to 60% in satellite bandwidth costs when it replaces the existing ABR professional audio system, which is still being used to deliver content to tens of thousands of transmitter sites across the world.
    CRP offers a wide variety of targeted music stations throughout the Latin American market, as well as the ability to advertise locally in major cities. It plans to deploy IDC's STAR in a multi-phase approach that will work in tandem with the ABR platform until all systems are in place, allowing for a seamless transition.
    "Yet again, IDC brings an exciting new solution to our family of stations that not only translates to savings for CRP, but also enables growth," said Manual Soto, COO for CRP. "As a result of our experience with IDC, we know the technology and the quality of the equipment will give us outstanding performance."
    He added: "With IDC, we appreciate knowing that we will always have the best technology and service available for many years to come."


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