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Thread: Daily Satellite TV News

BIT Broadcast to focus on new platforms Juan Fernandez Gonzalez | 16 May 2014 BIT Broadcast 2014 is aiming to

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    BIT Broadcast to focus on new platforms

    Juan Fernandez Gonzalez
    | 16 May 2014

    BIT Broadcast 2014 is aiming to meet the demand for new broadcasting technologies and platforms; while a platform for more traditional broadcasters will still be available, a new room for streaming, digital signage and conferencing will be at this year's event.

    The event, taking place at Madrid's IFEMA from 20-22 May, will gather 224 companies from 25 different countries. Over 11,000 visitors are expected to attend BIT Broadcast, at which the world's major broadcasters and technology producers will be present.

    Sony, which will have its own stand, will present its 4K technology - including the α7S which premiered at NAB, the XDCAM equipment used by some of Europe's main networks such as TVE and RAI, and its live production system with HD filming and 3G connection which was recently installed at Atresmedia's studios.

    During BIT Broadcast, a workshop will concentrate on new technologies and innovative projects. 4K will of course be the centre of attention and TVE will be sharing its experiences with the documentary El Prado in 4K. Smart TVs, the multiscreen environment and the importance of second screens, hybrid TVs, the future role of satellite and crowdfunding for productions will also be discussed during the event.

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    42 million US home with connected TVs in first quarter 2014

    Joseph O'Halloran
    | 17 May 2014

    Once regarded as a niche activity, connected TV has now established itself right into the mainstream in America according to NPD research.

    The NPD Connected Intelligence Connected Home Report found that during the first quarter of 2014 there were 42 million US households with a TV connected to the Internet, either via a video game console, Blu-ray disc player, streaming media player or a smart TV itself. This meant that the number of homes with a TV connected to the Internet grew by six million year-on-year with the vast majority of this growth driven by an increase the number of homes with connected TVs and streaming media players.

    Interestingly the survey found that for the first time, there are now more US households with streaming media players than Blu-ray disc players connected to the Internet. As a result, the streaming media player platform now reaches a larger digital audience than the app-related content on Blu-ray disc players. "Consumers want devices that can deliver high quality content to their TVs," said John Buffone, executive director, Connected Intelligence. "The increase in connected TV and streaming media player penetration is proof that consumers are investing in solutions that can provide app-related content in the simplest, most effective way."

    Having the ability to connect these devices wirelessly is the most important feature for a consumer said a complementary NPD report, the Connected TV User Experience Report. In this, two-thirds of connected TV users said having a device that can connect with Wi-Fi influenced their decision regarding the device they preferred to use for apps on TV. Among the top ten features highlighted by consumers were ease of use, whether device-centric or related to searching for content. These features include an easy to use remote, easy to use home screen, the ease of finding an app or channel the viewer is looking for, and the ease of finding new apps.

    "In some ways the TV viewing experience consumers want has not changed, although how they receive it continues to, and an app experience is no different," Buffone added. "Consumers want easy to find, entertaining programming and a quality picture that does not buffer. While device manufacturers cannot solve all of the challenges inherent in Internet content delivery, they can ensure viewers have an easy to use remote and home screen as well as facilitate content discovery."

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    FCC approves broadcast spectrum auction rules

    Michelle Clancy
    | 17 May 2014


    The Federal Communications Commission has voted 3-2 to approve a framework for its coming broadcast spectrum auction, with caps in place to ensure that the two largest providers – AT&T and Verizon – can't snag all the new capacity.

    The FCC is preparing for a two-sided auction for local broadcasters' unused analogue TV signals, to kick off in late 2015. The first auction will ensure that participating broadcasters get a fair market rate for their assets, and then the FCC will turn around and re-auction the airwaves to mobile carriers.

    The spectrum sits in the 600MHz band and is particularly attractive because signals can propagate over longer distances and it allows signals to penetrate through obstacles more effectively. In turn, that makes 4G LTE more cost-effective to deploy and improves in-building coverage.

    The original idea was to set aside 50% of the spectrum for rural operators and smaller national wireless companies like Sprint and T-Mobile to bid on, excluding the Big Two. The FCC has decided to reduce that amount, while preserving some capacity for competitors.

    The Expanding Opportunities for Broadcasters Coalition (EOBC) and the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) had called for a framework that supports "open participation by all wireless firms while meeting the price expectations of potentially-willing TV broadcast sellers for their spectrum as repurposed for wireless broadband, maximising the benefits for consumers and public safety."

    They argued that bidding restrictions could reduce incentive auction revenues by nearly $5.8 billion, because it's called an incentive auction for a reason: TV stations need a reason to put the airwaves up for sale. Larger players in the mix foment higher bids, the reasoning goes, reducing the incentive for those with "reserved" capacity forego participation in the auction and pursue alternative options in the marketplace. They also said that such moves have failed to spur widespread, long-term participation by small firms in the wireless industry as originally intended. In addition, they said that such restrictions could delay the provision of new wireless services to 68% of the public by a weighted average of nearly seven years.

    "New options are emerging for TV stations to use their existing spectrum licenses," said Preston Padden, executive director, EBOC. "To attract the critical mass of broadcasters necessary to make the auction a success, we need competitive bidding among all wireless carriers for every license and the assurance that every TV station will be fully compensated for its spectrum rights."

    The National Associations of Broadcasters meanwhile accused the FCC of jeopardising hundreds of TV stations and millions of over-the-air-TV viewers by requiring some non-participating translators and stations to shut down their OTA feeds or move as the FCC consolidates or packs the adjacent auctioned spectrum.

    "We are disappointed that today's vote fails the mandate of Congress to hold harmless those broadcasters who choose not to participate in the spectrum auction," NAB executive vice president of communications Dennis Wharton. "Simply put, a deeply-divided Commission chose not to fulfil required obligations under the Spectrum Act."

    Those on the competitive telecom side of course applauded the move.

    "I commend chairman Wheeler for his leadership on the Broadband Television Incentive Auction," said Chip Pickering, CEO of COMPTEL. The Commission has adopted a balanced set of rules that will raise the necessary funds for FirstNet and help our nation achieve its first, nationwide advanced public safety network. In addition, this action will promote competition in the wireless marketplace and ensure a competitive bidding process where companies of all sizes will have an opportunity to acquire the valuable spectrum needed to supply American consumers with the broadband mobile services they desire."

    The Competitive Carrier Association, which represents rural wireless operators, was also pleased.

    "Creating a spectrum reserve will allow every carrier, large and small, the opportunity to bid in the auction, which is critically important given the superior propagation characteristics of low-band spectrum," Steven Berry, head of the association, said.

    And T-Mobile was of course happy. "T-Mobile appreciates the FCC's vote today moving ahead with the incentive auction and spectrum aggregation proceedings," said Kathleen Ham, vice president of federal regulatory affairs for T-Mobile. "While we would have preferred the FCC to reserve more spectrum for competitive carriers, we are hopeful the auction rules will enhance competition and benefit consumers."

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    ESPN Digital Media sets new mobile record for sports

    Joseph O'Halloran
    | 17 May 2014

    With 49.6 million uniques and 764 million total visits, ESPN has set a new benchmark for mobile viewing in April 2014 across its digital assets.

    comScore data found that the month was the eight consecutive in which more unique people visited ESPN on smartphones and tablets (49.6 million) than on desktop and laptops (32.0 million uniques, 2.8 billion minutes). Three-quarters of ESPN's users accessed content on mobile devices, which generated 2.6 billion minutes of usage. April was also the first month in which more than half of ESPN's unique digital users (52%, 34.0 million people) exclusively accessed ESPN content on smartphones and tablets. Nearly half (48%) of all time spent with ESPN digital content was consumed by mobile device users.

    The sports broadcaster said that leadership in overall consumption across all key audience metrics in the digital sports category was driven by interest in the start of the NBA Playoffs and the MLB regular season. ESPN reached 66.1 million unique users across computers, smartphones and tablets, an increase of 27% from a year ago.

    Sports fans spent 5.4 billion minutes using ESPN digital properties, a category record for the month of April. ESPN accounted for 30.1% of all sports category usage on digital platforms, more than the combined total of the next two properties, Yahoo! Sports-NBC Sports Network and MLB respectively.

    ESPN also reported that fans watched 313.6 million ESPN digital video clips on ESPN platforms in April, up 24% from a year ago and the 11th straight month of year-over-year growth. Almost three-quarters (73%) of clips were viewed on computers, 20% on mobile devices and 6% on connected TVs. Viewers spent 482.4 million minutes with WatchESPN and ESPN3 live and on-demand programming across all platforms, up 97% from April 2013. 3.3 million unique devices streamed WatchESPN and ESPN3 content. ESPN networks and ABC sports television content generated 15 million tweets in April, accounting for a fifth of all TV-related activity during the month.

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    BeIN Sports goes OTT for World Cup

    May 17, 2014 09.12 Europe/London By Robert Briel


    bein-sportsFrench premium sports broadcaster BeIn Sports will launch a special OTT service covering this year’s FIFA World Cup in Brasil.

    Called BeIn Sports Connect the broadcasters has acquired live rights to all 64 games of the World Cup. The BeIn Sports 1 channel will broadcast three matches a day, various magazine programmes and repeats of matches. BeIn Sports will bring a total of 350 hours of programming. Subscriptions cost €12 per month, or €11 per month when ta,king out a full year’s subscription.

    The channel currently has 1.7 million subscribers in France and plans to offer the OTT service for all those people who don not have access to cable, satellite or IPTV, and hence can not subscribe to the channel via their TV set.

    “This new service is targeted primarily at viewers who can only receive TNT (the French digital terrestrial network – ed.) and therefore can not now subscribe to BeIn Sports via their television set, as well as those who watch TV on their computers,” said the broadcaster in a statement.

    The Qatar based broadcaster has rights to all the World Cup games, private French broadcaster Tf1 has the rights to 28 matches, which will be broadcast free to air in France.

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    Don’t forget to download the ANGA COM 2014 App

    May 17, 2014 09.30 Europe/London By Robert Briel


    ANGA COM 2014 appIf you will be travelling to Cologne for the ANGA COM 2014, don’t forget to download the ANGA COM 2014 App.

    The ANGA COM 2014 is available for download in the respective app stores for iOS and Android. A version for Android is now available from Google Play store. The app ANGACOM app for iOS can be downloaded from the iTunes Store.

    The app includes comprehensive information on the exhibition and events at this leading fair for broadband, cable and satellite, which takes place in Cologne from Tuesday, May 20 till Thursday, May 22.

    The app lists all the exhibitors, complete with stand numbers and contact details. There is also a map of the two exhibition floors. This list is also a good industry source book, with contact details and direct links to the website of all companies.

    A special Twitter function collects all the tweets about #ANGACOM, while users have also the possibility to directly send their own tweets from the app.

    There is a complete overview of all the conference sessions. Visitors can mark their favourite sessions and will receive an alert when their prefered session is about to begin.

    The ANGA COM app has been developed by Stoneroos, and is sponsored by Conax.

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    BBC LATAM's interactive app nominated for Appy award

    Juan Fernandez Gonzalez
    | 18 May 2014

    BBC Worldwide's interactive app BBC IQ for Latin America and US Hispanic has been nominated as top three finalist at the Appy Awards in the Multicultural Media App category. The annual Appy Awards, held in New York, are dedicated to acknowledging creativity and excellence in app design.

    Designed by BBC Worldwide Latin America & US Hispanic and Zed USA, the BBC IQ app allows fans to watch BBC content on their mobile devices.

    The interactive trivia app tests fans’ knowledge of the network's popular shows, such as Doctor Who, Top Gear and programming blocks, such as London Calling. Users can either play single quick rounds against time, challenge a friend or play in a tournament by answering questions about the programmes.

    Over the coming months, more brands will be added to this app, as will additional languages like Portuguese, in addition to Spanish and English.

    Fred Medina, EVP and managing director, BBC Worldwide Latin America & US Hispanic, said: “The BBC constantly drives and delivers innovation. Digital is a key component of our growth strategy. The success of BBC IQ, along with other BBC apps, showcases our long-standing commitment to make our content available to fans when and where they want."

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    Movistar TV wins exclusive Spanish rights to broadcast Roland Garros 2014

    Juan Fernandez Gonzalez
    | 18 May 2014

    Movistar TV has announced that it will be exclusively broadcasting the Roland Garros 2014 tennis tournament in Spain through a deal with Eurosport 360HD, the live sport multi-feed service. This forms part of a three-year rights deal between Movistar TV's parent company Telefónica and Eurosport.

    Eurosport 360HD debuted on Sky Deutschland in August 2013 with the US Open Grand Slam. Now the multi-feed service will be accessible to subscribers of Telefónica's pay-TV platform starting with the 2014 French Grand Slam.

    Movistar TV's schedule also includes Eurosport and Eurosport 2, but through Eurosport 360HD the viewer has the control of the live action and access to the multiple camera feeds from the event. In Grand Slam tennis this allows the viewer to choose which match to follow from all the filmed courts of play, and will include seven courts at the French Open and six at both the US and Australian Open tournaments.

    Other sporting events are included in the deal for Telefónica subscribers, which kicks off with the Le Mans 24hrs race.

    Jean-Thierry Augustin, CEO of the Eurosport Group, said: “Eurosport is continuously looking for new ways to make the live viewing experience for fans more immersive and more entertaining, alongside providing unique added value to our platform partners, and with Eurosport 360HD we can deliver this.”

    Via Telefónica's platform, the programming is also available for tablets, smartphones and computers, reinforcing the multiscreen value of the broadcasting.

    “The Eurosport 360 project is a great example of how the company is able to bring its 25 years of knowledge and expertise around live sport production into the living rooms of fans across Europe. In less than a year this service has been launched and deployed in key, early adopter markets and we are very excited about its potential with other sporting events,” added Augustin.

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    Wuaki.tv, Google partner for Chromecast distribution

    Juan Fernandez Gonzalez
    | 18 May 2014

    The over-the-top (OTT) and video-on-demand (VOD) Spanish operator Wuaki.tv has announced a deal with Google to officially launch on Chromecast following months of beta-testing.

    By attaching Google's multimedia dongle to a TV, users can stream Wuaki.tv content through their device. Chromecast works through HDMI and connects the TV with any smart devices, such as tablets, Android and iOS phones or computers via Google Chrome.

    Jospe Mitjà, Wuaki's CEO, told Europa Press, that “according to our figures, nearly 80% of users watch our content through TV, using smart devices or consoles”.

    Wuaki.tv has been adding to its catalogue of supported devices recently, launching on iOS 7 in March and on consoles last year.

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    MobileTV adds South African soaps to its line-up

    Rebecca Hawkes
    | 19 May 2014

    South Africa's MobileTV has concluded a content deal for soap operas Generations, 7de Laan, and Isidingo as well as the revival of Shaka Zulu and Yizo Yizo.

    The television network, which broadcasts via Digital Multimedia Broadcasting (DMB) and the direct-to-home (DTH) TV4U platform will benefit in particular from the addition of South Africa's "number one soapie, Generations," says Dr Mothobi Mutloatse, chairman, MobileTV.

    "SABC's impressive catalogue has been creatively repurposed, repackaged and realigned on a single channel, enhanced by the familiarity and popularity of the content on offer," he added.

    MobileTV has now successfully tested DMB with the content of SABC 1, 2 and audio channels 5FM and MetroFM.

    "DMB is not only unique, it is without comparison as it is the only technology dedicated to mobile television broadcasting incorporating the compelling threesome of video, audio and data-casting," said Mutloatse.

    "We hope to commence broadcasting the SABC programmes in phases, soonest."

    MobileTV is one of five broadcasters recently awarded a provisional pay-TV licence by the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa.


 

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