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Thread: Daily Satellite TV News

Global digital TV conversion almost complete by 2020 Joseph O'Halloran | 14 May 2014 An increase of 185% in digital

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    Global digital TV conversion almost complete by 2020

    Joseph O'Halloran
    | 14 May 2014

    An increase of 185% in digital TV homes from 2010–2020 to 1.68 billion will see a total global penetration of 97.9% according to a report from Digital TV Research.

    If realised, says the Digital TV World Household Forecasts report, based on forecasts for 138 countries, this would mean an increase from a penetration rate of 67.7% at the end of 2014 and will mean that 94 countries would be completely digital compared with only 12 at the end of 2013. About 124 countries will have more than 90% digital penetration by 2020.

    Of the 762 million digital TV homes to be added between 2013 and 2020, 258 million will come from digital cable which is set to become the most popular TV platform in 2014, accounting for 33.6% of the world's TV households in 2020, up from 20.9% in 201. Digital cable TV penetration is expected to exceed 50% of TV households in nine countries by 2020, with Belgium leading at 64.9%.

    By contrast, homes taking DTT but not subscribing to cable, DTH or IPTV, are predicted to acquire an additional 292 million homes with about 26.4% of homes will be primary FTA DTT at end-2020, up from 10.5% in 2013. By 2020, FTA DTT penetration will exceed more than half the TV households in 41 countries. Pay IPTV is forecast to more than double to 191 million, with pay DTH up by 79 million. Furthermore the analyst suggests that IPTV-based pay-TV penetration will climb to 11.1% by 2020, up from only 2.5% at end-2010. IPTV penetration will exceed 20% of TV households in 20 countries in 2020, led by Iceland (68.2%).

    Looking at regions, Asia will lead the digital rush with Asia Pacific forecast to more than double digital TV homes between 2013 and 2020, with 88 million added in 2014 alone. The region will supply 501 million (66%) of the 762 million digital TV household additions between 2013 and 2020. Sub-Saharan Africa will more than triple its base over the same period. China became the largest digital TV household nation in 2010, and will boast 460 million digital homes by end-2020 – or 27% of the global total – up by 225 million on 2013. India will add 118 million digital TV homes between 2013 and 2020 and will overtake the US to take second place in 2015.

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    Liberty Media to spin off cable assets

    Michelle Clancy
    | 11 May 2014

    Billionaire John Malone’s Liberty Media has confirmed that it plans to spin off its cable business holdings into a new company called Liberty Broadband. It will include the company’s 26% stake in Charter Communications and a minority investment in Time Warner Cable, along with mobile subsidiary TruePosition.

    The company had originally planned to split the company into two tracking stocks, but has apparently decided to go with a hard spin instead. Liberty then announced in March that it would create two tracking stock distributions, Liberty Broadband Group and Liberty Media Group. Liberty Broadband would include the aforementioned cable assets, and Liberty Media Group will include everything else, including shares in Sirius satellite radio. The idea was to sell the rights to the tracking stock to raise money for investments in new business opportunities.

    However, the new plan "will offer investors greater choice and transparency and is well-timed with Charter's agreements with Comcast, which will result in Charter owning or serving over 8 million video customers,” said Liberty Media president-CEO Greg Maffei. He was referring to a complex, $20 billion plan with Comcast to swap/purchase 3.9 million customers as part of Comcast’s $45.2 billion acquisition of Time Warner Cable.

    To effect the spinoff, holders of Series A-C common stock would get a fourth of a share of the corresponding series of Liberty Broadband common stock for each share of common stock held as of the record date for the spinoff, the company said. Fractional shares would be bought with cash. Additionally, stockholders will also receive a subscription right to acquire one share of Series C Liberty Broadband common stock for every five shares of Liberty Broadband common stock they get from the spinoff.

    Malone has made it a priority to help No. 4 US cable TV provider Charter Communications expand its market presence. He bought his Charter stake last year with plans for using it as a launch pad for further industry consolidation. Charter since then made overtures to acquire No. 2 Time Warner Cable, by hostile takeover if necessary, but it was undercut by Comcast’s agreement to buy TWC itself.

    “We remain very excited about our investments in the cable sector and Charter Communications,” said Malone in March when he announced the tracking stock. “We think Tom Rutledge and his team are successfully executing their strategy to upgrade the network to all digital and accelerate Charter’s growth. We believe the creation of the Liberty Broadband tracking stock and the concurrent rights offering will provide us greater flexibility to, among other things, support Charter in its expansion efforts.”

    Liberty Media reported a first quarter 2014 operating profit of $155 million, $4 million more than the same period in 2013. That was a 20% improvement in revenue, from $1.01 billion to $1.05 billion.

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    Octoshape teams with Harmonic, AirTies on OTT 4K streaming

    Michelle Clancy
    | 14 May 2014

    Octoshape is partnering with Harmonic and AirTies Wireless Networks to demonstrate over-the-top (OTT) 4K streaming, delivered over the public Internet to consumer set-top boxes (STBs).


    The total solution includes Harmonic's ProMedia suite of multiscreen production and preparation applications, integrated with Octoshape's Infinite HD-M suite of stream acceleration and multicast technologies, and the AirTies HEVC/Octoshape-enabled STB.

    The platform includes adaptive bitrate, stream acceleration and a multicast suite of technologies, and targets telcos, operators and content providers to deliver UltraHD quality streams via best-efforts Internet. Quality of service is preserved over broadband utilising the Octoshape stream acceleration and multicast technologies. Content is encoded and prepared by the Harmonic ProMedia solution using HEVC at 4K resolution, and then the video is delivered to the television via the AirTies/Octoshape enabled set-top box.

    "4K stream resolution over the public Internet represents a de-facto standard for the future of video streaming," said Bulent Celebi, executive chairman and co-founder of AirTies. "We are incredibly proud of our partnership with Octoshape and Harmonic, and this successful demonstration solidifies the industries' access to the highest quality solution available on the market today."

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    Turner inks VOD distribution deal with Comcast

    Michelle Clancy
    | 14 May 2014

    Turner Broadcasting System has inked a carriage deal with Comcast to give Xfinity TV customers on-demand access to complete current and previous seasons of programming.


    The deal encompasses Turner's portfolio of networks, including TBS, TNT, Adult Swim, CNN, Cartoon Network and truTV.

    "This new agreement expands our existing relationship with Comcast and furthers our combined commitment to provide the customers we both serve with more popular programming from Turner's portfolio of leading networks," said David Levy, president of TBS. "We all know viewing habits continue to evolve. VOD is a great way to help grow our audience and introduce new viewers to our programming and it also serves as another opportunity for advertisers with their targeted brand messages."

    Additionally, the Turner networks will now insert dynamic ads in Xfinity On Demand programming on TV, as well as on computers, tablets and smartphones, via each company's TV everywhere experiences. The offerings will be made available as inventory in time for the 2014-15 upfront.

    "As viewing habits evolve, we continue to advance our advertiser offerings with stronger, more targeted products," said Donna Speciale, president of Turner broadcasting ad sales. "Through dynamic ad insertion, we now have a new source to swiftly integrate advertising creative in a highly sought after environment."

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    AT&T ups the U-verse ante

    Michelle Clancy
    | 12 May 2014

    Leading US operator AT&T has revealed that it has made huge investments in developing a modern TV infrastructure in Kentucky.


    AT&T has invested nearly $675 million in its wireless and wired networks in Kentucky between 2011 through 2013, it has announced — providing U-verse IPTV and Internet availability to nearly 20,000 new customer locations, including 555 business locations at 27 multi-tenant business buildings and business parks.

    Advancing its Project Velocity IP (VIP), an investment plan to expand and enhance its wireless and wired IP broadband networks, AT&T in 2013 made 760 network upgrades in Kentucky, including new cell sites, addition of wireless and wired network capacity, and new broadband network connections.

    Over the last three years it has launched 4G LTE network in 110 cities in Kentucky, and completed a distributed antenna system (DAS) at Churchill Downs in Louisville, home to the Kentucky Derby. It also launched AT&T Digital Life in Louisville, a home management service.

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    Comcast-based Netflix users see benefit of peering agreement

    Michelle Clancy
    | 13 May 2014

    After negotiating a paid peering arrangement with Comcast for dedicated carriage for its over-the-top (OTT) service, Netflix streams continue to increase their average speed on the ISP's network.


    This is the strand-out finding of the April 2014 Netflix ISP Speed Index, the monthly update on which ISPs provide the best primetime Netflix streaming experience based on data from more than 48 million Netflix members worldwide who viewed over one billion hours of TV shows and movies streaming from Netflix each month. April's survey — which for the first time included Canada — found that Comcast streams averaged 2.77Mbps in April 2014 placing the provider in third slot in the major ISP ranking, behind Cablevision Optimum and Cox.

    When it comes to the Great White North, perhaps not surprisingly, the fibre services from Bell Aliant and Bell Canada top the chart, closely followed by cable provider Shaw. As a country, the average speed for Netflix in Canada beats that of the United States, but ranks below most European nations.

    In Latin America, Telecentro has taken the lead in Argentina, unseating Claro, while in Costa Rica Tigo Star has passed Japi for the top spot and in Ecuador TV Cable ceded the lead to Telconet.

    In Europe there has been continued improvement on Telenor ISPs in Denmark, Norway and Sweden, while in Ireland it saw increased performance on UPC.

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    ABC taps Freewheel to launch programmatic digital video test

    Editor
    | 14 May 2014

    In what is being called a first-of-its-kind initiative, ABC has launched a programmatic video sales effort to help marketers apply data and automation in the premium video marketplace.

    The trial will take place throughout the summer and ABC will be the first media company to offer premium video through the FreeWheel ad monetisation platform, using the latter's simultaneously launched FourFronts programmatic solution.

    ABC's summer trial will include digital video ad inventory across ABC Entertainment and news programming. Sister cable network ABC Family will also be participating in the trial, making video inventory available across its digital portfolio of shows. Neither network will include linear TV inventory in the trial at this time.

    FreeWheel will provide digital inventory management and ad-serving solutions to ABC. Its new FourFronts Programmatic tool will connect ad seller inventory systems with ad buyer demand-side platforms. The company also assures that it can create safeguards for publishers to ensure that automated transactions are handled transparently.

    "We know how important it is to help our clients create value by making media more targeted and the transaction process more streamlined," commented Geri Wang, president of ABC Sales. "Our track record is to lead – we did it with digital distribution and ABC Unified and we will lead in the areas of data and automation as well."

    "We're very excited to have ABC as our first launch partner for this important industry initiative," added Jon Heller, co-founder and co-CEO of FreeWheel. "This is a very exciting time in our industry, and Freewheel is committed to help shape the programmatic landscape so that it works for both buyers and sellers."

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    Hispasat and Intelsat to combine forces at 55 degrees West

    May 14, 2014 09.44 Europe/London By Robert Briel


    hispasat-dishHispasat and Intelsat will co-locate Intelsat’s Galaxy 11 and Hispasat’s Amazonas 1 satellites at 55.5 degrees Wst for two years, increasing capacity to expand their services.

    The agreement will allow both companies to further enhance their positions in Latin America. Hispasat will use the Amazonas 1 from this new position to provide part of the audiovisual services for the Football World Cup. HISPASAT and Intelsat will cooperate at the orbital location, sharing orbital resources to expand services available for Media and other customers in the region.

    According to Stephen Spengler, president and chief commercial officer of Intelsat, “We welcome Hispasat as a partner at the 55.5ºW location. Intelsat has a strong and rich history of providing critical connectivity and content distribution in Latin America. We look forward to working with Hispasat on future opportunities in the region that will further strengthen our combined presence”.

    Carlos Espinós, CEO of Hispasat, stated that “The agreement struck with Intelsat is in keeping with the company’s strategic plan, a cornerstone of which is to target growth through alliances with third parties. This deal also enables Hispasat to fully exploit the capability and service life of Amazonas 1 and to operate at a new orbital position, thereby further strengthening the Group’s position in Latin America. This agreement, unprecedented in the history of our company, exemplifies Hispasat’s endeavours to optimise resources in orbit under its new growth plan.”

    In a related development, Hispamar Satellites, the Brazilian subsidiary of the Hispasat Group, secured rights to operate Ku band at 61 degrees West for the next 15 years, in an open auction held by the Brazilian government.

    The rights are valid for 15 years and may be extended for a similar period. With their offer of 29.5 million dollars, Hispamar Satellites held the winning bid in the auction organised by the Brazilian National Telecommunications Agency, Anatel. Seven satellite operators from across the globe attended the event.

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    Wowza integrates live video into Kaltura's platform

    Michelle Clancy
    | 14 May 2014

    Wowza Media Systems and Kaltura have announced a new partnership that adds enhanced live video streaming capabilities for Kaltura customers.

    The integration enables media companies and operators, educational institutions and enterprises to deliver live video to any device, including smartphones and tablets, connected and smart TVs, set-top boxes and gaming consoles.

    Wowza's live-streaming engine also has ability to deploy with software as a service (SaaS) or on-premises options.

    Customers can have content transcoded in real-time to multiple formats for cross-device distribution, in combination with Kaltura's server-side ad stitching functionality, for a single workflow available via an intuitive interface or API calls.

    Also, live streams can seamlessly transition to video-on-demand (VOD) within the same video player with no need to re-ingest the recording, swap the player embed code or lose time in playback. And, live clipping allows customers to clip small segments of the live stream for VOD publishing during the live broadcast.

    "Kaltura became a market leader with its unique open source model, cutting-edge tools and comprehensive services to simplify the creation of engaging video experiences," said Wowza CEO and co-founder David Stubenvoll. "The addition of Wowza Streaming Engine provides a scalable live streaming solution to enable Kaltura to meet the growing demand for live video with an integrated, elegant solution that provides the best possible user experience for both Kaltura customers and their audiences."

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    Octoshape teams with Harmonic, AirTies on OTT 4K streaming

    Michelle Clancy
    | 14 May 2014

    Octoshape is partnering with Harmonic and AirTies Wireless Networks to demonstrate over-the-top (OTT) 4K streaming, delivered over the public Internet to consumer set-top boxes (STBs).


    The total solution includes Harmonic's ProMedia suite of multiscreen production and preparation applications, integrated with Octoshape's Infinite HD-M suite of stream acceleration and multicast technologies, and the AirTies HEVC/Octoshape-enabled STB.

    The platform includes adaptive bitrate, stream acceleration and a multicast suite of technologies, and targets telcos, operators and content providers to deliver UltraHD quality streams via best-efforts Internet. Quality of service is preserved over broadband utilising the Octoshape stream acceleration and multicast technologies. Content is encoded and prepared by the Harmonic ProMedia solution using HEVC at 4K resolution, and then the video is delivered to the television via the AirTies/Octoshape enabled set-top box.

    "4K stream resolution over the public Internet represents a de-facto standard for the future of video streaming," said Bulent Celebi, executive chairman and co-founder of AirTies. "We are incredibly proud of our partnership with Octoshape and Harmonic, and this successful demonstration solidifies the industries' access to the highest quality solution available on the market today."


 

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