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Thread: Daily Satellite TV News

UK DTT: the dangers ahead May 20, 2014 12.20 Europe/London By Chris Dziadul, DTG Summit 2014, London Freeview_Channel_Cluster-(feb-2013)Spectrum efficiencies should

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    UK DTT: the dangers ahead

    May 20, 2014 12.20 Europe/London By Chris Dziadul, DTG Summit 2014, London



    Freeview_Channel_Cluster-(feb-2013)Spectrum efficiencies should apply to all market players, not just DTT, according to Jonathan Thompson, CEO, Digital UK.

    Speaking at the DTG Summit 2014, added that the mobile industry, for instance, should look at as such issues as possibly switching off 2G.

    Thompson warned that the 470-694 Mhz frequency bandwidth could be effectively opened up to mobile, being classified as ‘co-primary’, leaving DTT with nowhere to go and undermining investment and confidence in the industry.

    Speaking in a Q&A, Thompson also stressed that there were no plans to include condition access in Freeview. Free access would remain at the heart of the service.

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    ANGA COM 2014: OTT pushes multi-platform delivery

    May 20, 2014 13.03 Europe/London By JÖRN KRIEGER AT ANGA COM 2014


    ANGA COM 2014 Opening Panel-1TV broadcasters and platform operators need to ensure that consumers are able to access the linear and non-linear TV and video content of their choice both on fixed-line and mobile infrastructures on their preferred reception devices.

    This development is boosted by the growing importance of OTT services which follow a multi-platform and multi-device approach as part of their distribution strategy, the panellists agreed at the opening discussion of cable, satellite and broadband trade fair ANGA COM 2014 on May 20 in Cologne.

    Mike Fries, president and CEO of Liberty Global, said that the role of cable operators would be to make “the tons of content” out there easily accessible for consumers on any device. This was the technical challenge the industry is solving, in the case of Liberty Global through its multimedia home gateway Horizon. “We will never be a dumb pipe,” said Fries. Consumers should instead see a cable operator as a supermarket. “We need to ensure that our shelves are stocked with the right products.”

    Fries said that Liberty Global would be open for business models which prioritise certain content providers to ensure high quality of service. The remaining bandwidth would be big enough for all other players as Liberty Global had no interest in making consumers angry. Fries said that regulators should not interfere in this area as this would not make the internet better. In his view, there should be only one regulator anyway: The consumer.

    The mobile industry in Europe is “in real trouble”, said Fries, arguing that it was too fragmented, very competitive, but not providing enough revenues required for network upgrades. “You’ll see consolidation in the mobile industry”, he predicted. “That’s a good thing. We want healthy competitors in that market.”

    In the cable market, Fries sees the need for further consolidation as this would be beneficial for consumers. “Cable struggles with a lack of scale.” Liberty Global’s German subsidiary Unitymedia Kabel BW only covers three of the 16 federal states, but the cartel office Bundeskartellamt has blocked previous attempts to create a nationwide cable operator. Fries said the cable operators’ competitors Deutsche Telekom, Kabel Deutschland/Vodafone and DTH satellite have nationwide reach. This would make it difficult for cable to grow.

    Wolfgang Elsäßer, managing director of Astra Deutschland, doesn’t expect OTT to become a mass phenomenon as the fixed-line broadband and mobile networks would not be able to cope with all the data traffic generated through TV consumption, not to mention the throttling kicking in at some tariffs after a certain data volume has been reached. Thus traditional infrastructures like DTH satellite would remain relevant for linear TV distribution for a long time.

    Conrad Albert, member of the executive board of ProSiebenSat.1, said that the commercial TV group considers OTT to offer new chances for the content industry. ProSiebenSat.1 has been a player in this market for many years with its online video library maxdome. The TV group now generates almost one third of its turnover with digital offerings, said Albert, adding that ProSiebenSat.1 sees this as a growth market. “Infrastructure without content is boring.” That’s why there were be better chances for good content today than ever before, according to Albert. “Television has never been more alive than today.”

    Michael Hagspihl, head of marketing at Telekom Deutschland, said that the telco follows a universal availability approach with its IPTV platform Entertain by making its linear and non-linear content and services accessible to customers on fixed-line networks, Wi-Fi at home and mobile networks on the go. Like Fries, Hagspihl also spoke out in favour of business models which guarantee content providers a certain quality of service. The turnover generated through these agreements could in return be invested into network upgrades. In response to concerns about equal treatment, he said that all content providers would be free to sign such quality of service deals.

    Manuel Cubero, CEO of Kabel Deutschland, said that the media world converges, both content (TV and internet) and infrastructures (fixed-line and mobile access). He expects cable operators to become hybrid providers of fixed-line and mobile services in future, reflecting why the take-over of Kabel Deutschland by Vodafone made sense. This would enable Vodafone to offer consumers all services from one source as bundled packages.

    Cubero said that the cable industry was lucky that, through DOCSIS, their infrastructure enables high-speed internet with more than 100Mbps. Cable operators would therefore be perfectly prepared for bandwidth-hungry OTT services. The trend towards high-speed internet would boost their turnover. According to Cubero, Kabel Deutschland currently achieves an average monthly turnover of €11 with a cable TV customer, but more than €30 with a 100Mps internet customer. Kabel Deutschland would therefore embrace the new OTT players as they provide the cable operator with new broadband internet customers.

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    Conax renews TiVo relationship

    May 20, 2014 14.50 Europe/London By Julian Clover



    Conax has said it is once more working with TiVo, this time bringing functionality from the platform’s middleware into low cost boxes.

    Tom Jahr, EVP products and partners, told an ANGA COM press briefing that the now-Kudelski owned company was initially looking at incorporating TiVo’s search and recommendation functionality.

    “Our current discussion is a demo and we’re looking to see of we can develop this further,” he said. “This would fuel entry level set top boxes. It also shows how the Cubiware low end middleware can have different interfaces sit on top of it.”

    He added that there were also talks about using TiVo’s network PVR functionality.

    The prospect of new work with TiVo comes four years after an announcement from Conax that it would be working with TiVo. On that occasion no client announcements followed.

    Conax also gave details on a new portfolio of solutions that included Secure Clients for OTT operations, a Conax Hardened PlayReady client and a hosted online video platform.

    A live TV app is in the pipeline, enabling operators to quickly launch OTT services on basic/free-to-air channels.

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    ANGA COM 2014: Aurora, Telefunken forge fibre partnership

    Editor
    | 20 May 2014

    Pace subsidiary Aurora Networks has entered into a partnership with Telefunken Communications to launch fibre-based next-generation broadband services in Germany.

    Under the terms of the deal, residential customers in select communities in Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany, can take advantage of new products based on Aurora’s Unified PON (Passive Optical Network) portfolio which can deliver internet speeds up to 150 Mbps. This makes the service ideal for applications such as HDTV and interactive on-demand services. The Unified PON Portfolio also includes 10G-EPON as a future capability.

    "We focus on providing fiber-optic based high-speed broadband services in Germany in areas un- and underserved with other terrestrial networks like ADSL and coax-cable," commented Hardy Heine, member of the Telefunken management board and head of marketing and sales. "Our clear target is to become a leading player and preferred partner for communities in our market. Significant for our expansion strategy in Germany are partnerships with other competent key players In the industry, such as Aurora Networks, so that we can provide our customers with a range of cutting-edge services with the highest quality."

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    LG launches LoveLive TV to bring music video to smart TVs

    Editor
    | 20 May 2014

    Aiming to bring no less than ‘the ultimate’ experience to living rooms and ‘set a new standard for home live music viewing’, CE giant LG has launched LoveLive TV an exclusive new app for its smart TV range.

    Available to download for free from LG Smart World Longitude One - Home LoveLive TV offers content from front-stage and , back-stage at music festival gigs, concerts and sessions from around the world. It claims footage of live performances and interviews from current acts, fully optimised for widescreen smart TVs and delivered in HDTV quality.

    Premium launch content comprises multi-genre musical mix with full and exclusive concerts from A-List artists such as Katy Perry, Florence and the Machine, Bombay Bicycle Club, Disclosure, Kendrick Lemar and Ellie Goulding amongst others. Fresh content will be regularly added from a variety of sources, including LoveLive and Universal Music Group’s extensive and rapidly growing video catalogues, with upcoming highlights including Haim, Chvrches, Sub Focus, Kelis, Lady Gaga and Paul Weller.

    The app allows users to access their preferred artists by searching through the five curated sections: concerts, festivals, sessions, back-stage; live feed. The latter offering exclusive live-streamed concerts will be launched in the coming months.

    All content will be delivered to the app via LoveLive’s recently developed content management system, L-Platform. In the first phase of launch, the app will not be ad-funded but in phase two, to be rolled out in the coming months, opportunities will include category sponsorship, page branding, as well as in-video advertising. Phase two launch will also see LoveLive TV made available on other leading connected TV brands.

    “Contrary to what you may hear, the music industry has never been healthier,” asserted LoveLive CEO Richard Cohen. “Spurred by new technologies, fans have an insatiable hunger for high quality music content, and they’re increasingly consuming in more visual ways. It is in this context that we joined with LG to develop our LoveLive TV app, in order to capture the thrill and excitement of the live music experience, and share it with over a million homes in the country.”

    Added Darren Petersen, senior content & services manager for smart TV at LG Electronics UK, said: “This is an exciting year for LG’s smart TV offering, with the introduction of the revolutionary webOS interface, and we’re proud to be adding LoveLive to our entertainment portfolio. LoveLive’s reputation for creating and curating content with the highest production values means our customers can be put right in the centre of the action, and all from the comfort of their own homes.Through continuing to partner with outstanding service providers, such as LoveLive, we will ensure that LG Smart TV continues to deliver an incomparable entertainment experience.”

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    Turner Studios adopts Pablo Rio post-production system

    Michelle Clancy
    | 26 May 2014

    Turner Broadcasting System’s production arm, Turner Studios, has purchased a Pablo Rio colour and finishing system to provide post-production and creative services to all of Turner's networks.

    Pablo Rio is Quantel's color and finishing system that provides workflow for 2D and S3D projects. However, it’s also capable of handling UltraHD 4K 60p in real time. The technology will see use at channels such as TBS, TNT, TCM, Cartoon Network and Turner Sports. Turner Studios has also purchased a Neo Nano panel for enhanced color control.

    "As an artist, Pablo Rio provides the tools I need with the ergonomics that fit a more creative workflow,” said John Mandato, senior editor at Turner Studios. “I spend a lot less time thinking about the processes, and more time exploring creative options."

    Pablo Rio runs on high-performance PC hardware and exploits NVIDIA Maximus multi-GPU technology to deliver interactivity.

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    TWC, Bright House add FOX TV everywhere apps

    Michelle Clancy
    | 26 May 2014

    Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks have inked a TV everywhere deal with Fox Broadcasting to give subscribers access to the FOX NOW, FXNOW, FOX Sports GO and Nat Geo TV apps for digital platforms.

    The most exciting aspect for consumers is the sports accessibility: FOX Sports GO, set to launch in the upcoming weeks, will offer live sports and shows from FOX Sports 1, FOX Sports 2, FOX College Sports and FOX Deportes, including UFC, NASCAR and the MLB. But crucially, FOX will also include live NFL games this autumn.

    Meanwhile FOX NOW offers content from the FOX broadcast network, including day-after-air access to full episodes and clips of primetime series such as 24: Live Another Day, Family Guy, The Simpsons, New Girl, The Mindy Project and Bob’s Burgers.

    As for the cable nets, FXNOW offers content from FX, FXX and FXM including the Americans, Fargo, Louie and Wilfred, while the National Geographic Channel and NatGeoTV offers Wicked Tuna, The Incredible Dr. Pol and Life Below Zero.

    “We’re thrilled to bring customers even closer to the…programming they love across multiple screens,” said Mike Angus, senior vice president and general manager of video for Time Warner Cable. “Whether its entertainment, sports or news, Time Warner Cable is always on the cusp of having customers experience content front and center through new apps, devices and platforms.”

    TWC and Bright House subscribers can sign in with their cable credentials to access the apps on supported platforms, including iOS, Android, XBOX 360/XBOX One, Windows 8 phone, Roku and PC/Mac.

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    Batman, Captain America round up CTV’s 11 new series for autumn TV

    Michelle Clancy
    | 26 May 2014

    CTV, Canada's most-watched network for past 13 years, has acquired 11 series for the autumn line-up, including the Batman back-story drama Gotham, How to Get Away with Murder and Arrow companion the Flash.

    CTV also secured new Captain America spin-of, Marvel’s Agent Carver, cyber-crime procedural CSI: Cyber, Oscar winner John Ridley's new TV drama American Crime, murder thriller Secrets and Lies, fantastical crime procedural Forever, cop dramedy the Mysteries of Laura, family comedy the McCarthy’s, and an updated The Odd Couple starring Matthew Perry.

    The new series, along with CTV and CTV Two's 2014/15 primetime schedules, will be presented at the CTV Upfront at the beginning of June.

    "We were very impressed the quality of programming at the LA Screenings this year, and feel confident we've come home with the best TV programmes available," said Phil King, president of CTV sports an‎d entertainment programming. "Drama was particularly strong this year, and we're thrilled to have picked up addictive, plot-twisting series, immersive, event-driven shows, as well as fantastical and heroic programmes that follow in the same vein as this year's No. 1 new series Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.”

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    Verizon expands FiOS Quantum TV to Mid-Atlantic region

    Michelle Clancy
    | 26 May 2014

    Verizon Communications is rolling out FiOS Quantum TV for customers in Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C.

    The service will include the ability to record up to 12 shows at once; pause and rewind live TV on any TV in the home; and store up to 200 hours of HD programmes with its two terabytes of storage space.

    "FiOS Quantum TV enables Verizon to further differentiate from the competition by redefining the total TV-viewing experience for our customers, allowing them to enjoy their entertainment on their terms," said Christopher Childs, Verizon's Potomac region president for consumer and mass business operations. "With FiOS Quantum TV, you'll look at TV in a whole new way."

    The Mid-Atlantic region, where Verizon has more than 2.6 million FiOS customers, is the latest market where Verizon is bringing FiOS Quantum TV to its customers. The new service, which launched 1 April in North Texas and Harrisburg, Pa., also is available in the Tampa, Fla.; Pittsburgh; Philadelphia and throughout Delaware. It will continue to roll out in phases over the next several weeks in other markets where FiOS TV is offered.

    FiOS Quantum TV also offers a second advanced tier of DVR service, dubbed Enhanced Service, customers can record up to six shows simultaneously and store up to 100 hours of HD programming with one terabyte of storage space.

    Both tiers of service will allow customers to control live TV in any room, and start watching a show in one room, pause, move to another room and continue watching where they left off.

    Verizon research shows that more than one-third of all TV viewed is recorded content, and adoption of DVR capabilities has grown roughly 60% over the past five years. Simultaneous-recording conflicts have also grown as a major source of frustration among viewers of all ages.

    "By listening to our customers, we're doing for TV what we did for the Internet with the launch of FiOS Quantum Internet service," said Bob Mudge, president of the consumer and mass business unit of Verizon. "We're delivering the best, most satisfying TV experience to customers, with features and functionality they want such as more choice, storage and control.

    According to the latest Verizon FiOS Innovation Index survey, 78% of respondents nationwide want more DVR storage capacity to record and save more TV programs and movies. Survey responses also revealed that 63% want more tuners so everyone can watch and record live TV when they want; 63% want to watch DVR-recorded programs on every TV in the house; and 57% want to pause, rewind and fast forward live TV programs on every TV in the house.

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    One America heads to AT&T U-verse to take on FOX News

    Michelle Clancy
    | 26 May 2014

    FOX News is about to finally get some competition in the right-wing news space: AT&T is bringing Herring Networks’ conservative One America News Network to the U-verse channel lineup.

    The network will be placed in the “news island” on the service, which will widen its audience to about 6 million additional subscribers.

    "We're thrilled to give U-verse TV customers more choices by adding One America News Network to our channel lineup," said Ryan Smith, vice president of content acquisition of AT&T. "The network is devoted to providing an independent and dependable source for news reporting around the clock along with commentary, programming and documentaries."

    Herring Networks also operates the cable network devoted to lifestyles and interests of the rich, A Wealth of Entertainment (formerly known as WealthTV), which AT&T U-Verse TV customers already have access to.

    "We're extremely pleased for the support extended by AT&T U-verse in providing carriage to One America News Network,” said Robert Herring, CEO of One America News Network. “We're grateful for the broad distribution and the channel placement within the cable news neighborhood next to other leading cable news networks. U-verse TV customers will be able to easily find our news channel and we're confident that our programming lineup of national and international news, interactive talk shows, and current affairs programs will resonate well with U-verse TV customers."


 

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