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Thread: Daily Satellite TV News

Global pay-TV user base rushes past 900MN Joseph O'Halloran | 30-04-2014 HDTV uptake has been a key driver in a

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    Global pay-TV user base rushes past 900MN

    Joseph O'Halloran | 30-04-2014

    HDTV uptake has been a key driver in a pay-TV market that grew 5% annually by the end of 2013, according to a report from ABI Research.

    This means, says the Pay TV ARPU and Revenues report, the global pay-TV subscriber base now stands at 901.1 million and is set to reach 1.1 billion by 2019.

    The analyst also found that, in general, the pay-TV market grew both in terms of subscribers and service revenue across all platforms with overall service revenue reaching almost $250 billion in 2013. However, the average revenue per user (ARPU) dropped slightly to $23.80 in 2013 from $24.10 in 2012 thanks mainly to unfavourable currency exchange rates in some regions.

    In the key North American market, though, pay-TV ARPU increased around 4% to $76 in 2013 with the growth for major pay-TV operators mainly due to an increase in the proportion of customers with advanced set-top boxes and upgraded HDTV packages.

    Subscription to HDTV services accounted for 41% of total pay-TV subscriber base in 2013 and ABI Research forecasts that the subscriber base of HD-TV services will continue to increase to 57% of total pay-TV subscribers in 2019. As competition in the pay-TV market has increased, said the analyst, operators will continue to offer more HD programing services, advanced set-top boxes and innovative services to boost pay-TV ARPU.

    The research predicts that increasing broadband connectivity will help IPTV market growth. "The IPTV market is likely to grow at a faster pace than other platforms, with a CAGR of 9% over the next five years to reach 160 million subscribers in 2019. The global pay-TV market is expected to generate $317.5 billion in 2019," commented industry analyst Khin Sandi Lynn.

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    UniPHY offers network pathway for next-generation services

    Editor | 30-04-2014

    Pace subsidiary Aurora Networks has launched the UniPHY Platform, designed to offer operators a high-performance, future-proof solution to support their bandwidth needs.

    The latest addition to the company's Access portfolio, the new converged services platform serves as an aggregation solution for fibre and coax-based access technologies, supporting both PON and cable applications.

    Indeed the UniPHY Platform is integral to the Aurora Networks Unified PON Portfolio and includes the CableLabs Qualified AurOS software solution for DOCSIS Provisioning of EPON (DPoE), which enables integration within an operator's existing DOCSIS back-office infrastructure. As a result, says Aurora, operators are able to deploy commercial services with advanced provisioning and transport of Metro Ethernet Forum (MEF) business services.

    UniPHY Platform also houses the Aurora Networks Universal Services Multiplexer (USM), said to be a key component in its Remote PHY architecture. The USM includes a software front end that enables dynamic aggregation of video and data services, said to result in operators gaining flexible deployment options, enabling incremental expansion of the network while saving power and space in the hubs.

    "Aurora Networks has a deep understanding of the capacity challenges that operators must overcome to provide the services and quality that cable customers today demand and expect," commented Scott Weinstein, vice president, marketing, Aurora Networks. "The UniPHY Platform, along with our entire PON and Video Access portfolio, exemplify our dedication to developing the technologies and solutions which operators need to cost-effectively evolve their networks to meet customer demand in today's rapidly changing market."

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    Cable Show 2014: Home Choice picks Ateme for industry-first 4KTV encoding

    Editor | 30-04-2014

    Leading South Korean content aggregator Home Choice has invested in TITAN from Ateme to encode UltraHD content in HEVC for the world's first dedicated 4KTV channel, UMAX.

    The channel broadcasts in 4Kp60 (2160×3840 pixel resolution with 60 frames per second). By using the HEVC decoding capabilities built into 4K-compatible televisions and downloading an application to decrypt UMAX on their TV, cable television subscribers across South Korea will have access to the most recent UltraHD content with the need for a set-top box.

    UMAX is funded and distributed by all South-Korean MSOs — CJ Hellovision, C&M, T-Broad and HCN — and is available at no additional charge to subscribers in 2014. The initial launch of UMAX will include 40 original programmes, a mix of films, documentaries and animation. Home Choice plans to increase its offering to 100 programmes by the end of 2014.

    Home Choice says that it made its choice of encoding due to TITAN's 'proven' compatibility with embedded decoders in today's most popular TV brands and 'best-in-class' picture quality. TITAN is Ateme's next generation TV head-end, a real-time multi-channel/format encoder/transcoder for multiscreen delivery of linear channels and video-on-demand (VOD) services.

    "With the integration of HEVC capabilities into UHDTV television sets, and a cable channel that will provide consumers with the capability to enjoy this advanced technology today, cable programmers around the world will be watching the launch of UMAX with great interest," commented ATEME APAC regional manager Eunsook Wi. "We are proud to be a part of the worldwide launch of the first 4K cable channel."

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    LCD TV shipments to replace CRTs in India by 2016

    Rebecca Hawkes | 01-05-2014

    Almost 97% of total television set shipments to India will be LCDs by 2015, with LCDs becoming the only TV technology in the country by 2016, according to NPD DisplaySearch.

    As recently as 2012, just 44% of total TV shipments were LCD TVs, according to the company's Quarterly India TV Shipment and Forecast Report.

    "The transition from CRT to LCD TV is well under way, supported by declining prices and increasing availability in India," said Riddhi Patel, research director of consumer insights for NPD DisplaySearch. "Domestic brands, like Videocon and Onida, are competing strongly against Samsung and LG."

    LCD TV demand in India grew 25% in 2012, reaching 6.1 million units, and another 15% in 2013 to 7.1 million units.

    "Although year-over-year growth increased, growth was slower than expected last quarter due to a slowdown in shipments due to devaluation of the rupee and increased prices on TV sets," said Patel.

    In addition to a decline in CRT, plasma TVs will also become less popular in India – through a lack of interest as well as a diminishing price advantage in 50" and larger sizes. Mature markets will introduce OLED TVs to compete with LCDs, but due to consumer price sensitivity, they are not expected to be available in India any time soon, says NPD DisplaySearch.

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    Indovision outlines plans for OTT, VOD services

    Rebecca Hawkes | 01-05-2014

    Indonesia's leading pay-TV provider MSKY is planning a June launch for over-the-top (OTT) and video-on-demand (VOD) services for subscribers to its Indovision brand.

    The company intends to spend US$80 million this year, MSKY independent director Effendi Budiman told reporters after a shareholders meeting on 29 April.

    Of this, $60 million is reportedly earmarked for new set-top boxes, while the remaining $20 million would be allocated to technology and systems development, including the new Indovision Everywhere and VOD services.

    "We will get $30 million from our internal cash, while the other $50 million will be from our syndicated banks, Deutsche Bank and Standard Chartered Bank," Budiman is quoted as saying in The Jakarta Post.
    MSKY is also reportedly planning to launch new channels – adding to the current tally of 118 spread between its higher end Indovision pay-TV brand, and its lower cost Top TV and Okevision subscription based TV services. Together the three brands serve 2.4 million subscribers – with Indovision accounting for 51% of them.

    MSKY aims to increase its market share to 75% in 2014 by targeting 600,000 new subscribers, according to the daily newspaper.

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    Cable TV operators combine for China's next gen R&D effort

    Rebecca Hawkes | 01-05-2014

    A major cooperation agreement has been signed in China between six leading cable TV operators – namely Hunan TV & Broadcast Intermediary, Guangdong Broadcast & TV Network, Tianjin Broadcast & TV Network, Hebei Broadcasting and Television Information Network, Yunnan Broadcast & TV Information Transmission Network, and Wasu Digital TV.

    Under the terms of the agreement, the cable operators will collaborate on expanding China's use of next generation broadcast services, such as cross platform and cross device development, according to the Marbridge Daily.

    The tie-up will enhance China's network convergence plan, and help form a next generation broadcast trial platform, develop technical standards and construct a nationwide interactive Internet TV network. In addition, the agreement will explore business models for content providers and operators, as well as support services for video-on-demand development.

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    OSN launches new Arabic reality health show

    Rebecca Hawkes | 01-05-2014

    Saudi Doctors has been unveiled as the latest in-house production for Middle East pay-TV network OSN. The reality show is set to be aired to Arab audiences beginning 1 May 2014 on OSN Ya Hala!HD.

    The show takes on the regionally topical issue of coronavirus in the first episode, with other health issues such as depression and glaucoma, child abuse, and white poisons all being explored during the season.

    "Saudi Doctors is a novel concept and OSN is proud to launch the first health reality show that will not only educate viewers on health and wellbeing but will also encourage positive lifestyle changes in an entertaining format," said Khulud Abu Homos, executive vice president, programming and creative services, OSN.

    It will hosted by cardiac surgeon Dr Abdullah Al kchel, plastic surgeon Dr Wael Daghistani, ophthalmologist Dr Tariq Al Asbali, orthopedic surgeon Dr Ahmed Bin Nasser, and psychologist Samira Al Ghamdy.

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    Cable Show 2014: Brazil's Algar Telecom trials hybrid TV

    Gabriel Miramar-Garcia | 01-05-2014

    Brazil's Algar Telecom is trialling SeaChange International's Cloud Adrenalin multiscreen service, looking to incorporate hybrid TV entertainment with personalised content, social recommendations, social logins and single-sign on capabilities.

    Algar Telecom provides telecommunications services in the Brazilian states of Minas Gerais, Goias, Mato Grosso do Sul and São Paulo. Cloud Adrenalin is aimed at mid-sized and smaller television service providers to deliver multiscreen offers with managed delivery, analytics, promotions and system monitoring. It also features the SeaChange Nitro subscriber experience software, which was recently updated to include advanced content search and recommendations, Web content integration, second-screen syncing, a smart TV app and Twitter integration.

    "We're pleased that the SeaChange Cloud Adrenalin service is available for Algar Telecom and other service providers to evaluate on site, on their systems, ahead of production," said Sud Kaushik, director of multiscreen products at SeaChange. "Our software-as-a-service approach to multiscreen television allows providers to deploy rapidly, scale responsively and pursue return-on-investment faster without compromising on end-to-end capabilities and quality of service assurance."

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    Cable Show 2014: Saffron Digital spices up North American presence

    Michelle Clancy | 01-05-2014

    Saffron Digital has strengthened its North American presence with the appointment of network veteran Tom Ramsey to the position of senior director of sales.

    Ramsey, who has held executive management positions at Starz Entertainment Group, CSTV/CBS Sports, FOX Sports Net and most recently Quickplay Media, has been tasked with generating sales and strategic partnerships to drive growth across the region.

    "Saffron Digital is really making waves in North America and I'm looking forward to being a part of that," Ramsey said. "I have watched its growth over the past year and have seen a noticeable change in industry perception. Saffron Digital has aspirations to become a leader in the American digital entertainment market and I'm looking forward to creating partnerships and driving sales to make that happen."

    Based in Denver, Ramsey joins Saffron Digital just six months after the appointment of Malachi Bierstein, a former Rovi executive, to the role of senior vice president of sales and marketing. Ramsey will report directly to Bierstein and work closely with him to build Saffron Digital's Americas business.

    'Tom's appointment has come at a very important time for Saffron Digital," Bierstein said. "We have made a big investment in North America over the past year with a new office, new talent and new leadership. North America is really embracing multiplatform video services, and as a result we have a number of exciting projects and clients in the pipeline. Tom's strong experience and connections in the US entertainment industry makes him perfectly placed to secure and support those projects and identify new companies looking to launch premium multiplatform video services in the region."

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    BT offers sport free with broadband for second season

    Editor | 01-05-2014

    Five million customers later, three million directly from the telco, BT Sport will be on offer packaged free with its parent company's broadband service for a second season.

    Such aggressive marketing has catapulted BT in the space of 12 months from being a mere contender to being a serious rival to pay-TV behemoth BSkyB which has suffered a dip in its own broadband sales according to its latest financial report.

    BT Sport is now available either via satellite, the BT TV IPTV service or the BT Sport app, with the remainder taking the service via wholesale deals struck by the telco. The service has enjoyed a very strong first year, reaping the benefits of showing football matches from the 2013/2014 Barclays Premier League, the most exciting of its kind for decades which with two games remaining hangs on a knife-edge in a three-way battle between Liverpool, Manchester City and Chelsea, and which has also see the re-emergence of Everton and the equally surprising meltdown of Manchester United with the defenestration of manager David Moyes.

    "Fans have been the winners with BT Sport," commented BT Consumer chief executive John Petter. "Millions of homes have enjoyed the very best sporting action for free. We said we would shake up the market and we have done just that."

    BT also announced that its set-top box service also passed the one million milestone, with the majority of those homes taking BT Sport. BT TV customers can access more than 150 channels as well as a library of on-demand content, including premium movies and box sets, via their broadband.


 

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