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Thread: Daily Satellite TV News

Measat-3b set for May 28 lift-off May 4, 2014 15.57 Europe/London By Robert Briel measat-3bThe Measat-3b satellite is confirmed for

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    Measat-3b set for May 28 lift-off

    May 4, 2014 15.57 Europe/London By Robert Briel




    measat-3bThe Measat-3b satellite is confirmed for launch on May 28, 2014, on Ariane Flight VA218.

    Manufactured by Airbus Space and Defence, the Measat-3b satellite will be launched on an Ariane 5 ECA launch vehicle from the European Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana.

    Launch and Early Orbit Phase operations will be conducted from the Airbus Defence and Space’s spacecraft control centre in Toulouse.

    Measat-3b is the 36th Eurostar E3000 satellite. Two other E3000s are about to be launched in the next few weeks from their respective launch sites and nine more are currently at various stages of production in Airbus Defence and Space’s factories.

    Measat-3b is designed to provide an additional 48 high-powered Ku-band transponders to expand direct-to-home and VSAT services across Malaysia, India, Indonesia and Australia at the 91.5 degrees East orbital slot.

    Co-located with Measat-3 and Measat-3a, the satellite will more than double Measat’s Ku-band capacity at this orbital location.

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    Amazon gains traction in US connected homes

    May 4, 2014 16.06 Europe/London By Robert Briel


    Amazon has made significant gains in the OTT video market as nearly 20% of all US broadband households now have an Amazon Prime Instant Video subscription, according to Parks Associates.

    The Q1 2014 survey of 10,000 US broadband households finds the annual growth rate for Amazon Prime subscription averages over 55% since 2012, compared to a 16% year-over-year growth for Netflix service subscriptions.

    “Roughly 50%-60% of U.S. households using connected CE devices subscribe to Netflix, but the percentage of connected CE users subscribing to Netflix did not substantially change between 2012 and 2013,” said Brett Sappington, director, research, Parks Associates.

    “By comparison, the percentage of U.S. broadband households with connected CE and an Amazon subscription more than doubled in the same time period, from an average of approximately 13% to 27%. For example, households with a connected streaming media player that also have an Amazon Prime subscription jumped from 22% to 34%.”

    Parks Associates research also shows 12% of US broadband households use Hulu Plus.

    “Amazon is certainly getting traction in the market—especially when compared against Hulu Plus,” Sappington said.

    “Amazon’s growth shows how dynamic the OTT space truly is. While Netflix remains the dominant player, consumers are still open to alternatives with interesting content and business models.”


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    Flipps raises $2.4 million to grow

    May 4, 2014 16.19 Europe/London By Robert Briel


    Flipps on AndroidFlipps, the app to stream video from mobile devices to a TV set, raises $2.4 million from Earlybird Venture Capital and existing investors including Tim Draper.

    Flipps will use the investment to build on its growing business in the US and Europe while expanding its library of premium content. Flipps, formerly known as iMediaShare, is a mobile app for entertainment enthusiasts who want to discover and project content onto any connected TV using their mobile device (as a remote control) without any additional hardware or set up.

    Flipps’ patented technology works with over 250 million connected TVs and is compatible with over 5,000 manufacturer models requiring no set up, no pairing of devices, no cables, no dongle and no set top box.

    The Council for Research Excellence confirms that TV is still the primary viewing platform with 84% of viewing hours. Additionally, Nielson cites that searching for and viewing online entertainment on a mobile device continues to accelerate rapidly with the latest year-over-year increase of 37%.

    “With over 10 million downloads of its mobile app, Flipps is successfully addressing both of these trends by combining the richness of TV viewing with easy content discovery on a mobile device,” the company said in a statement.

    Flipps selected publishers can now expand their reach across hundreds of millions of TVs worldwide without the need to develop proprietary apps or specialised software to accommodate thousands of different TV models.

    “Flipps helps content owners save tremendous resources because integration onto the Flipps video adaptive platform is effortless and scalable,” according to Dan Lupu from Earlybird Venture Capital. “With our investment, Flipps accelerates its incredible growth and will finalize more deals with forward thinking publishers eager to reach new audiences.” The Flipps distribution channel also offers flexible monetization solutions in the form of advertising and subscription models.

    Famed Silicon Valley investor Tim Draper added, “Flipps has created a scalable new TV distribution channel. It is an elegant user experience where TV goes mobile – wherever your mobile device goes so goes your TV. Flipps is turning an entire industry on its head.”

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    Spiegel.TV joins German multithek

    May 6, 2014 10.44 Europe/London By Jörn Krieger

    multithek©MEDIA BROADCAST_Frau auf dem SofaGerman transmitter network operator Media Broadcast has added Spiegel.TV to its HbbTV-based OTT service multithek.

    DTT and DTH satellite households can take the web-TV channel to their TV screens through the interactive TV companion service.

    In addition to a linear 24 hour channel offering documentaries and reportages covering politics, economy, society, history, sports, culture and entertainment, Spiegel.TV comprises an on-demand service through which selected programmes can be watched at any time.

    Spiegel.TV is distributed via internet to the multithek users who can select the service in the channel list like a conventional TV channel. For reception, a TV set or digital receiver is required which is compliant with interactive multimedia standard HbbTV and connected to the internet. The data rate should amount to at least 2Mbps.

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    Arabs wish for regional content while embracing Western TV

    Rebecca Hawkes | 05 May 2014

    Increased programming portraying Arab culture and history is being craved by 65% of Middle East TV viewers, according to a new study by the Northwestern University in Qatar and the Doha Film Institute.

    International content still benefits 66% of those surveyed, although over 70% would like greater regulation of romantic and violent content, according to the study, Entertainment Media Use in the Middle East.

    Around 79% of respondents feel that more should be done to preserve cultural traditions, although 70% agree with the statement that more should be done to integrate their respective cultures with modern society.

    The survey also showed that 49% of women and 31% of men in the Arab world ‘binge watch’ TV series with two or more episodes being consumed in one sitting, whether online or on television.

    “This study is the first of its kind in our region and we believe that the findings will be of great benefit to all sectors of the entertainment industry, from both a commercial and cultural standpoint,” said Abdul Aziz Al Khater, CEO, Doha Film Institute.

    “What we see from these numbers is a growing demand for locally generated entertainment. The findings reinforce the idea that nurturing a thriving creative industry in our region is vital to enabling the creation of content that accurately reflects Arab culture.”

    The findings come from 6,035 face-to-face interviews in nationally representative samples in Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Egypt, Tunisia and the UAE. The interviews were conducted, in collaboration with Harris Poll, between 27 January and 26 February 2014.

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    Pay-TV growth slows in Asia-Pacific, though OTT, IPTV show promise

    Rebecca Hawkes | 05 May 2014

    The growth of digital pay-TV in the Asia-Pacific is slowing, particularly in China, India and Thailand, however broadband expansion is increasing the regional demand for IPTV and OTT services, according to Media Partners Asia (MPA).

    The Asian pay-TV sector added an estimated 26 million new customers in 2013 – the lowest annual growth rate since 2007 – Vivek Couto, executive director of the consultancy, told attendees of the Asia Pacific Operators Summit in Bali.

    MPA now expects a 9% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) for pay-TV growth in the region, with pay-TV penetration to increase to 60% by 2018 from a 52% market share in 2013.

    The growth of wireless broadband use in China, India and Indonesia is driving an increased consumption of video content however, while the Asia Pacific is expected to witness a significant rise in fixed broadband subscribers – particularly in China, India, Thailand, Philippines and Australia – to reach 400 million by 2018, from 310 million in 2013.

    The first two phases of India’s mandatory cable TV network digitisation programme boosted pay-TV growth in 2012, although currency depreciation and the macro environment worked in part to slow growth in 2013.

    “Now we see the next delayed phase of digitisation that is phase III, boosting net new subscribers to eight million a year in 2015 and seven million in 2016 before decelerating again by 2018,” said Couto.

    India has more than 60 million active paying digital TV subscribers, with 37 million of these direct to home (DTH) satellite customers and 23 million to cable TV providers, he added.

    New subscriptions slowed in South East Asia from 3.7 million in 2012 to 1.9 million in 2013, although MPA expects net additions to accelerate again in the region to up to 2.5 million a year driven mainly by Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines. The Thai market is expected to suffer from disruption, and pay-TV growth in Vietnam and Singapore are expected to be minimal.

    IPTV services in China added 5.6 million subscribers in 2013, driven by improved content and increasing broadband reach. This, and the growth of over the top (OTT) video services from operators such as Wasu, LeTV, XiaoMi and BesTV, has had a detrimental effect on the growth of cable TV subscriptions in the country, according to MPA.

    “Looking at the macro landscape, you can see pay-TV penetration marginally improve in China over the next five years and this will deliver real pay models, driven largely by IPTV. It might improve further as operators become challenged by the new regulatory policy that establishes a set-top box internet-TV model,” said Couto.

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    Indian MSO Hathway launches online TV service

    Rebecca Hawkes | 05 May 2014

    A new video upload service termed H-tube has been unveiled by Indian multi-system operator (MSO) Hathway to provide subscribers the opportunity to watch their own videos on TV.

    “H-tube is a part of our ongoing endeavor to connect with our customers in numerous ways. User-generated content for TV is an untapped source, which we would like to access and give a platform for exhibition. We hope this unleashes the latent creativity of our customers,” said Jagdish Kumar, managing director, Hathway Cable and Datacom.

    “This is a first of its kind service in the world which fully exploits the synergies of the Hathway Broadband and Cable service. We are confident that being watched by a potential viewer base of 50 million TV viewers will add to the appeal of the product”.

    Kunal Ramteke, head of broadband business at Hathway, added: “There is an inherent excitement for any viewer to watch himself on TV. The TV viewing behavior of customers is increasingly being shaped by technology. Our 50Mbps fibre broadband service and our large TV viewership provide the perfect combination for true democratization of TV. H-tube is an exciting platform for budding artists, housewives, students to showcase their talent and our role is to help them discover their inner artiste.”

    Currently the service is only available to Hathway TV viewers in Maharasthtra, though it will soon be extended to subscribers across the country.

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    UltraFlix adds 4K content to streaming service

    Michelle Clancy | 05 May 2014

    UltraFlix, NanoTech's all-4K UltraHD IPTV and over-the-top (OTT) streaming video service, is adding 70 new 15-minute general entertainment episodes to its library from High4K.

    The deal also provides for another 80 hours of native 4K UltraHD content from Footprint Media Holdings to be featured service later this year.

    "We're very pleased to provide 4K content for NanoTech's UltraFlix service," said Eric Klein, CEO of High4K. "Some of the biggest players in the industry have confirmed NanoTech's highly reliable solution that delivers the enhanced viewing experience that consumers want today. We are very excited to be a part of NanoTech's ground breaking 4K UltraHD solution delivering the future of television to consumers now."

    NanoTech's Nuvola NP-1, which comes with UltraFlix and several video, gaming and social media applications pre-installed, is a multifunction device that can stream videos in HD, SD and 3D formats as well as 4K.

    "High4K has large production capacities worldwide and uses proprietary equipment specially created and constructed for producing the very best 4K videos in the world,” said Aaron Taylor, NanoTech's executive vice president of sales and marketing. “We are committed to delivering the High4K content along with the UltraFlix library on a variety of platforms including our own award winning Nuvola NP-1 as well as many next generation Smart TV's that support 4K Ultra HD Streaming to the consumers with the existing Internet connections available today."

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    Technicolor chooses ViXS for 4K STBs

    Michelle Clancy | 05 May 2014

    Technicolor has chosen the ViXS XCode 6400 system-on-a-chip (SoC) to power its 4K set-top box (STB) product line.

    The STBs will support the High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC) MAIN10 Profile at up to 60 frames per second for service operators looking to launch UHD 4K content services. The STB is the industry's first high frame rate 4K STB, and is targeted for cable and satellite services operators globally. ViXS expects them to begin shipping within the year.

    An active contributor to the HEVC Standard, ViXS Systems supplied reference code for the MAIN10 profile during the development of the HEVC technical specifications. MAIN10 profile content is becoming the standard throughout the broadcast and media industry with key advantages in higher colour bit depth allowing for smoother colour transitions in video, resolving colour-banding, increasing end users perceivable video quality and bringing more than one billion colours to life.

    "Technicolor has a long history of technology leadership in the service provider equipment market, and we are elated they chose ViXS as their SoC provider for the new Ultra HD set-top boxes," said Sally Daub, president and CEO, ViXS. "Our leadership position is the result of the technical expertise, extraordinary vision and dedication shown by the ViXS team, and we look forward to the XCode 6400 shipping in volume in Technicolor's STB family."

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    Vodafone NL launches cloud DVR with Edgeware

    Michelle Clancy | 05 May 2014

    Vodafone Netherlands has deployed Edgeware´s distributed video delivery networks (D-VDN) solution to deliver the Vodafone Thuis service to its Dutch fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) subscribers.

    The Edgeware D-VDN is a consolidated caching, recording and delivery network provides network recording for on-demand TV services such as catch-up TV and cloud DVR. It has enabled the launch of the Thuis service over Vodafone´s own fibre network following the acquisition of Dutch FTTH provider Wiericke last year. The service was deployed within less than six months and offers three all-in-one packages including high speed Internet (50MB, 100MB or 500MB), phone calls, a video-on-demand (VOD) library including movies and series, as well as 53 digital TV channels with a 10-day catch-up library from public broadcasters and channels.

    "Edgeware's highly scalable D-VDN Solution enabled us to rapidly deploy advanced video services over our high speed fibre network," said Ruud van den Oosterkamp, IPTV project lead at Vodafone Netherlands.

    Joachim Roos, CEO and founder of Edgeware, added: "We are excited to be part of Vodafone's innovative multi-service delivery platform which we see as one of the first examples of an emerging trend with mobile operators moving into the video delivery space. With our unified video delivery solution we are well positioned to provide the scalability and quality of experience needed for mobile communication providers like Vodafone to deploy successful next-generation video services over converged networks."


 

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