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Thread: Daily Satellite TV News

KVH launches satellite content service for seafarers Michelle Clancy | 15 May 2014 The IP-MobileCast content delivery service developed by

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    KVH launches satellite content service for seafarers

    Michelle Clancy
    | 15 May 2014

    The IP-MobileCast content delivery service developed by KVH Industries for its mini-VSAT Broadband satellite network is now live.



    The system will enable seafarers in the middle of the ocean to have affordable access to daily digital newspapers, television news, sports updates, music, new-release blockbuster movies and TV programmes via a multicasting service.

    IP-MobileCast service utilises multicasting technology to deliver large amounts of content to many ships at once, overcoming the prohibitively high satellite communications costs typically charged to deliver files for individual use. Content is delivered over the top of the network so there is no charge for the delivery, only for the content itself. The multicasting transmission does not affect the vessel's mini-VSAT broadband onboard data speed and the service ensures digital rights management (DRM) of copyrighted material, such as Hollywood movies and television programmes. Content is delivered using forward error correction to minimise burden on the mini-VSAT broadband network.

    "The IP-MobileCast service is revolutionary in the richness of fresh content that can be delivered to mariners at sea, who up until now have not had access to updated news, sports, television or movies onboard their vessels," said Martin Kits van Heyningen, KVH CEO. "Now, mariners in the middle of the ocean can experience an incredible amount of news and entertainment content the entire time they are at sea, and maritime operators can benefit from providing crew welfare services reliably and affordably."

    The 2014 FIFA World Cup will be of particular importance. "We're broadcasting football highlights from the games in Brazil, culminating in complete, live coverage on 13 July," said Jim Dodez, KVH's senior vice president for marketing and strategic planning. "We're especially proud to bring globally celebrated special events to mariners at sea, to strengthen their ties to home and family. It's how we interpret the spirit and the letter of the MLC-2006 crew welfare act."

    The content can be delivered to a flat-screen TV, a computer, or a Wi-Fi enabled personal device such as a smartphone, tablet or laptop.

    "We can provide content from anywhere in the world to a vessel anywhere at sea, and the user has an experience that is even better than that on land," aids Brian Arthur, KVH vice president of product development. "On land, people have become accustomed to viewing entertainment content via a streaming device, which is subject to freezing or interruption. With the IP-MobileCast service, the content is broadcast over the KVH mini-VSAT broadband network and stored on an onboard server, so everyone watching it is viewing something locally, with no streaming interruptions. The reaction we have had from our beta testing users has been fantastic."

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    Netia chooses Witbe for CDN quality assurance

    Michelle Clancy
    | 15 May 2014

    Polish telecom operator Netia has selected Witbe's CDN Video Quality Manager to monitor its TV delivery network.


    Netia wanted to provide multiscreen access to popular Web TV content as well as linear HD channels with quality of experience (QoE).

    "Witbe offered us all the technological features and guarantees of reliability and conformance we were looking for," said Miroslaw Suszek, CTO at Netia. "We are confident that thanks to Witbe's CDN Video Quality Manager, our subscribers will benefit from the service performance and availability that they are entitled to expect at all times."

    Witbe's solution includes OTT Monitoring Robots, embedding its new OTT v2 plugin for adaptive bitrate streaming. They have the capacity to interact with CDN cache servers, just as any viewers would do using a mobile TV application. They can identify manifests, chunk errors, detect loops in live streams, measure download speed and highlight load balancing issues proactively, before customer complain.

    In all, Witbe's CDN Video Quality Manager monitors 176 channels over its CDN infrastructure in order to detect unavailability, performance and conformance issues, and to enforce SLAs with their CDN providers

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    Amazon adds the Spectacular Now to Prime Instant video

    Michelle Clancy
    | 15 May 2014

    Amazon has added the comedy-drama the Spectacular Now, starring Shailene Woodley and Miles Teller, exclusively to its Prime Instant Video content library.

    Premiered at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival, the Spectacular Now is a coming-of-age love story based on a novel by Tim Thorpe and co-written by 500 Days of Summer writer Michael H Weber. In the film, Woodley and Teller play high school students who are drawn to each other, despite their vastly different social circles.

    The addition is part of the previously announced content licensing deal with A24. "We are always looking for new ways to bring our Prime Instant Video customers, unique, exclusive movies and TV that we think they will love," said Brad Beale, director of digital video content acquisition for Amazon. "As always, we monitor DVD and digital sales very closely and A24 movies such as Spring Breakers and The Bling Ring are exceptionally popular among our customers. This ... deal with A24 allows us to offer those same titles to our Prime Instant Video customers soon after they are released on DVD and Blu-Ray and at no additional cost."

    The deal will also include A24's upcoming releases like Jonathan Glazer's Under The Skin, starring Scarlett Johansson; and the Rover directed by David Michôd, starring Guy Pearce and Robert Pattinson.

    "As an independent film distributor, our relationship with Amazon Prime Instant Video marks the next generation in output deals," said Matthew Bires from A24. "It speaks to the larger shift in customers' consumption habits. Not only can we share our content with an engaged audience, we have access to better analytics to monitor the films' reach. Amazon is an extremely innovative and entrepreneurial company and the scope and dynamism of the platform is incredibly exciting for our films."

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    Argentina's cable TV industry fears 4G

    Juan Fernandez Gonzalez
    | 15 May 2014

    Following the Government's announcement of a 4G coverage expansion, Argentina's cable TV association ATVC says it can't see the benefit of the development, stating that only over-the-top (OTT) pay-TV platforms and telcos will realise profits on mobile networks.

    In a release, ATCV says that the country is making an effort with LTE while 3G has not yet been fully exploited by the telcos. It is concerned that the Government's move at a difficult time in Argentina's financial situation will lead to foreign companies occupying space in the local market.

    But what has really worried the cable association seems to be the position of the Secretary of Communications, Norberto Berner, who stated that Argentineans could now watch Netflix on their smartphones. "Berner is advertising a multinational company which is not paying taxes in Argentina," explained ATVC in the release. "Besides, video delivery on phones is not considered in the current media regulation".

    The country's recently announced 4G bid will allow Argentina's telcos, some of which are also offering pay-TV through direct-to-home (DTH), to improve their data capacity and transmission speed.

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    ARD-aktuell taps Quantel for news production

    Editor
    | 15 May 2014

    ARD-aktuell, whose flagship Tagesschaü programme is the most-watched daily show of its kind in Germany, has made a significant investment in Quantel technology for all its news broadcasts.

    The broadcaster went on-air in April with a full HD service, with production powered by a Enterprise sQ fast-turnaround production system supplied by Quantel on whom ARD has relied for news production technology since 2006. The move to all-HD production required a major upgrade of ARD-aktuell's Quantel system, all carried out while daily news production operations continued unaffected.

    The new system supports around 100 sQ Cut desktop editors on the journalists' desktops, which are fully integrated with ARD-aktuell's NRCS. In addition, ten Quantel craft editing workstations handle production of high production value news packages. The Enterprise sQ system is split into two zones to provide additional redundancy and has storage for 600 hours of HD, said to be more than enough to keep a full week's media instantly available to all users of the system.

    "We carried out extensive checks to ensure that the system would continue to perform faultlessly with the higher data load of HD," explained Andreas Lützkendorf, head of programming for tagesschau24. "It was very important to us that the production workflow wasn't compromised during the four months' changeover period to HD, and the Quantel system met this requirement and is delivering very stable performance at HD."

    The ARD-aktuell upgrade also entailed the construction and commissioning of a new 320m² HD news studio, which includes a 17.5m media wall behind the news anchors' desks, featuring a constantly changing panorama of pictures and graphics. The studio includes two galleries - one for the daily news shows such as Tagesschaü and Tagesthemen, the second for tagesschau24, ARD-aktuell's 24 hour news channel.

    "We have chosen to stay with a two-zone model not only to ensure that broadcasting can continue even in the event of a major failure but also to allow upgrades to be carried out without taking the system off air. For a broadcaster who is transmitting around the clock it is not possible to go off air to install an upgrade," added Detlef Kopp, ARD-aktuell's technical head. "We're producing 14 hours of programming a day with the Enterprise sQ system; for our news production users, it's a real success story."

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    Clyfer co-op launches cable TV

    Juan Fernandez Gonzalez
    | 15 May 2014

    Far away from the developments of the big market players, other TV initiatives are being developed in Argentina, with the Cooperativa de Luz y Fuerza Eléctrica de Rojas (Clyfer) having installed the first dish for its cable TV project.

    Clyfer, operating in the Rojas district, north of the country's capital Buenos Aires, plans to start broadcasting on 10 June to coincide with the co-op's 80th anniversary.

    The Argentinean company already offers telephony and Internet services, and the TV launch will complete its offer to enable Clyfer to deliver a triple-play package.

    The TV channel will be received through dishes and delivered through Clyfer's fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) network.

    The co-op is also building a studio and central offices from which local cooperatives will be able to produce and broadcast their own programming. The project will have a basic package of 80 different channels for a price that is expected to be lower than its private competitors. The technology will initially be analogue, as the digital migration will start once the cable network is operating.

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    Talent TV wins contract for London Live documentaries

    Editor
    | 15 May 2014

    Leading UK-based indie production company Talent TV South has secured a first-time commission with the recently launched UK broadcaster London Live.

    The documentaries will air on the channel's Sunday evening strand Platform 8 and each hour-long programme will be produced by a new generation of filmmakers commissioned to uncover realistic portraits of London life. The first documentary film, entitled Beggar Off, marks Andre Holzinger's directorial debut and explores the theme of how to tell the difference between a real and fake beggar.

    "It has been great working with such talented individuals to produces these outstanding docs," said Kate Beal, managing director, Talent TV South. "The Platform 8 strand on London Live is the perfect platform to showcase their films, and it's a pleasure to work with a channel that encourages young talent to make meaningful programmes they believe in."

    The documentaries will begin on London Live each Sunday through to the end of May. The films were commissioned by London Live's Derren Lawford and executive produced by Kate Beal of Talent TV South.

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    Boomerang sells Los Protegidos to Intrigue

    Juan Fernandez Gonzalez
    | 15 May 2014

    Spanish production house Boomerang TV has sold the Los Protegidos format to US producer Intrigue.

    The negotiations started during MIPTV, but the deal was not closed until this week.

    The series, which has been sold under the international title A Normal Family, is about the daily lives of a group of people with supernatural powers.

    "We are convinced this format perfectly fits the US audience's preferences and we are very happy working with Intrigue, as they are also enthusiastic about this format," said Beatriz Setuain, Boomerang TV's manager for international sales.

    Boomerang has lately sold several series formats around the world, with particular success in the US and Latin American markets. Productions including The Time in Between and The Mysteries of Laura have been sold internationally, achieving great success for the company.

    "Los Protegidos' format caught our attention from the first second," stated Kelly Pancho, development VP at Intrigue. "The series has certain qualities which makes it very attractive for the American audience."

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    Hispasat, Intelsat join forces in Latin America

    Juan Fernandez Gonzalez | 14 May 2014

    Hispasat and Intelsat will join their satellite network at 55.5º West to improve reach in Latin America. The two operators will relocate Intelsat's Galaxy 11 and Hispasat's Amazonas 1 at 55.5º West for two years, increasing capacity to expand their services.

    Under the agreement, Amazonas 1 will provide both operators immediate growth capacity within Latin America for the next two years. Hispasat will use the Amazonas 1 from this new position to provide part of the audiovisual services for Brazil's World Cup. HISPASAT and Intelsat will share orbital resources to expand services available for media and other customers in the region.

    "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," commented Stephen Spengler, president and chief commercial officer of Intelsat.

    Carlos Espinós, CEO of Hispasat, added 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 us 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."

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    Tata taps Technicolor in 'first major' 4KTV set-top box deal

    Editor
    | 15 May 2014

    India's leading DTH provider Tata Sky has made what technology provider Technicolor says is a ground-breaking deal for volume shipments of its 4K set-top box (STB).

    The new deal is the latest in a business relationship between the two parties stretching back to 2005 and is the result of a series of trials that have been carried out around the world. Technicolor says that it is endeavouring to deliver the most immersive 4KTV experience on the market, building particularly on its expertise in compression and colour science to deliver an augmented content experience that it claims is capable of delivering Hollywood-grade picture quality to viewers.

    "Technicolor once again leads the market in landing the first high-volume deal to deliver 4K set-top boxes to consumers. This deal further solidifies our leadership in the 4K marketplace," said Michel Rahier, president connected home. "With the promise of an unparalleled immersive viewing experience and the predicted rapid growth of the 4K market, this agreement is a valuable strategic business opportunity for Technicolor and our long-term partner, Tata Sky."

    "4K is an important milestone in Tata Sky's product portfolio and we are confident of the timing and quality of delivery because of our partnership with Technicolor" added Harit Nagpal, CEO Tata Sky


 

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