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Thread: Daily Satellite TV News

Wuaki baits World Cup hook Juan Fernandez Gonzalez | 03 June 2014 Wuaki.tv wants to attract more customers throughout the

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    Wuaki baits World Cup hook

    Juan Fernandez Gonzalez
    | 03 June 2014

    Wuaki.tv wants to attract more customers throughout the World Cup and to this end has made an agreement with Gol Televisión so that new subscribers to the streaming platform will have free access to 39 World Cup matches.


    While Wuaki.tv's regular customers don't seem to be getting any reward, newcomers who subscribe to at least three months of the Selection package will be able to see the World Cup. Not revealing many details, the streaming platform promises to give instructions on how to connect to its premium football channel once the subscription is made.

    The Gol Mundial channel – the special name for Gol T during the period of the World Cup - will be available on computers, Samsung and Sony smart TVs, Xbox consoles and smartphones and tablets with iOS, Android and Windows Mobile.

    The pay-TV network is actually the only one broadcasting the 64 matches live in Spain.

    Wuaki.tv has also launched the app Gol Mundial, which will take the World Cup everywhere via mobile devices and includes a social TV feature for live commentary on the matches.

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    Telefónica gets controlling stake in Canal+

    Juan Fernandez Gonzalez
    | 03 June 2014

    No more rumours or speculation, Prisa and Telefónica have finally signed a deal through which César Alierta's company becomes the king of Spain's pay-TV market, with a 78% share of Canal+.

    Prisa, the publishing house of the newspaper El Pais, announced that it has sold 56% of Canal+ to Telefónica for €750 million. The rest of the platform (22%) is owned by Mediaset.

    The terms of the contract will be communicated to Mediaset this week who will then have 15 days to execute its preferential acquisition right. The agreement is also pending on the approval of the banks which own Prisa's debt as well as the competition regulators.

    The deal will help Prisa with its huge debt and support the company's restructuring.

    "It's a great new for Prisa and Telefónica," said Juan Luis Cebrían, Prisa's president. "We announced a few months ago our efforts to bring the company into the education and information business, with special focus on Latin America. Our pay-TV platform is a symbol due to its high quality and I'm sure Telefónica is going to consolidate the market's leadership with it."

    César Alierta, Telefónica's president, added that the operation is "a step forward in the process of transforming the company to an exemplary digital telco".

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    ASTRA 5B goes live

    Editor
    | 03 June 2014

    SES has confirmed that its ASTRA 5B satellite, launched in March 2014, has begun operational life at the orbital position of 31.5 degrees East over Central and Eastern Europe, Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States.

    Built by Airbus Defence and Space Systems and launched by an Ariane 5 rocket from the European spaceport in Kourou, French Guyana, the spacecraft is designed to provide direct-to-home (DTH) as well as direct-to-cable services and contribution feeds to digital terrestrial television networks in its target markets. The satellite is equipped with 40 Ku-band transponders (36MHz equivalent) and six Ka-band transponders.

    ASTRA 5B replaces ASTRA 1G at the orbital position of 31.5 degrees East, SES's new video neighbourhood for CEE, Russia and CIS. With ASTRA 5B the available capacity at that SES slot increases from 19 to 40 active transponders. "In line with our well-defined strategy, ASTRA 5B greatly increases SES's satellite capacities over CEE, Russia and the CIS," explained SES CTO Martin Halliwell. "With the Operational Service Date (OSD) of ASTRA 5B, SES has as of today 1,536 active satellite transponders on its global satellite fleet, comprising 55 active spacecraft at 37 orbital slots around the world. We would like to thank our European partners at Airbus Defence and Space Systems and Arianespace for the successful ASTRA 5B mission."

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    BT launches multi-room YouView service

    Editor
    | 03 June 2014

    As the non-subscription on-demand video service grows in the UK, YouView has been given a boost by BT who is offering customers the option of having two YouView+ boxes in different rooms in their homes.

    The Extra Box will automatically include the same channel subscriptions and bolt-ons as a home's principal YouView, facilitated, says BT, by high-speed fibre connectivity which supports simultaneous viewing of live channels on multiple TVs, in high definition quality.

    "We are delighted to be able to offer BT customers the added flexibility of having two YouView+ boxes in their home," explained, BT director of TV Alex Green. "Over the past year, we have transformed our service by introducing pay-TV channels delivered in fantastic HD quality on our market-leading YouView+ box. We believe this offers the best quality TV experience and the most competitive bundle with fibre in the market."

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    Iris opens as Pixelworks world-first mobile video display processor

    Joseph O'Halloran
    | 03 June 2014

    Display processing technology provider Pixelworks has launched what it claims is the world's first mobile video display processor enabling no less than cinematic picture quality on smartphones and tablets.

    The company is acting on the belief that video is becoming the online killer app with increasing numbers accessing such video on mobile devices. However it cautions that a large number of current mobile devices lack the video display processing pipelines that remove video artifacts in today's high-resolution large-screen applications.

    Pixelworks says that it is the first to solve this problem with its Iris family of mobile video display processors, and promises to create a new class of mobile device, differentiated on the basis of video quality and user experience on mobile screens.

    The new Iris processor is attributed with offering several important system advancements that improve the mobile viewing experience overall such as optimising all aspects of the display that affect video quality, including scaling, motion blur, judder removal, colour management and image enhancement. Working at the system level to offload both the CPU and GPU, improving battery life and freeing up valuable system resources addition, it also incorporates contrast management and LED backlight control for optimal viewing in any ambient lighting condition.

    "To date, mobile devices have yet to fully address the issue of video quality," said Bruce Walicek, Pixelworks president and CEO. "But mobile screens are far too pervasive and popular to ignore the problem any longer. We're very proud of the work we've done to bring Iris to fruition, and we think that with the addition of this technology to mobile devices, consumers will receive the same kind of cinematic viewing experience they're used to seeing on the highest quality televisions."

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    OTT, multiscreen TV spur streaming video, broadcast equipment spending

    Editor
    | 03 June 2014

    In global marketplace transformed by multiscreen and over-the-top (OTT) services, spending on broadcast and streaming video equipment market grew 5.6% worldwide to $1.6 billion in 2013 according to Infonetics Research.

    Driving the increase in revenues was spending on content delivery networks (CDNs) which the research found to be evolving to support an increasing number of OTT formats such as HTTP Live Streaming (HLS) and Microsoft Smooth Streaming. Two of the strongest growing segments in the broadcast and streaming video market are CDN edge servers, which Infonetics expects to grow at a healthy 17% CAGR from 2013 to 2018, and multiscreen broadcast encoders, growing at an 8% CAGR. By contrast, spending on contribution encoders and video-on-demand (VOD) playout servers decreased.

    Infonetics discovered that pay-TV providers were using a wide variety of platforms, from GPU-based devices to software only, to create massive and distributed encoding horsepower in the cloud-all managed centrally via software-defined networking (SDN) controllers.

    "We are very early in a long-term transition to software-based and SDN-controlled video processing, but we believe the shift will result in increased spending on both multiscreen encoders and content delivery network equipment, as pay-TV and OTT providers begin purchasing these platforms to more efficiently process and distribute video content," said Jeff Heynen, Infonetics principal analyst for broadband access and pay-TV commenting on the survey. "Multiscreen and multi-format video give providers the flexibility to deliver video to any end device from nearly every point in their network."

    In a world where binge-viewing and multi-room and multiscreen become the norm, Infonetics forecasts the total equipment market to top $2.5 billion by 2018 and adds that there will likely be an increase in cloud-based storage capabilities.

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    Starman launches TV Everywhere

    June 3, 2014 08.55 Europe/London By Chris Dziadul



    The Estonian cable operator Starman has launched a TV Everywhere (TVE) service.

    According to the company, it is currently in beta testing and should be available to subscribers in the early autumn.

    It adds that the service is being offered through Starman STARboxes and Android (version 4.1) and iOS (version 6 onwards) mobile devices.

    Starman is the leading cable operator in Estonia, with its closest competitors being STV, also a cable operator, and the TeliaSonera-backed incumbent Elion.

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    Animation, short movies, DIY top Atresmedia Awards

    Juan Fernandez Gonzalez
    | 03 June 2014

    Atresmedia and Spain's Academia de Televisión have awarded two short films, one 3D animated piece and a "do it yourself" video as the winners of their first competition for young audiovisual creators.

    The audience could vote for nearly 200 projects, with 41 pre-selected according to technical criteria, and after 20 days the ten chosen pieces went on to compete in the final round, in which Atresmedia picked three winners, deciding also to award with an extra prize to a short film not included in the audience's selection.

    The awarded creations were Chesster - a short animated film in 3D by José María Peña, Olvido – a short movie about Alzheimer's disease directed by Javier Valenzuela, and Hecho a Mano - a documentary and tutorial movie about DIY by Ane Pujol.

    The jury decided to award Manual de Amor as well, a short film by Eirc Monteagudo, due to its original idea and quality of production.

    All the winners will be broadcast through DTT on Neox during the show La Escalera del Sótano and will be available on-demand on antena3.com.

    The initiative is promoted by the TV academy, which is looking for a space in the private networks to broadcast and promote the country's young audiovisual creators.

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    RTL to support DVB-T2 transition in Germany

    June 3, 2014 09.53 Europe/London By Jörn Krieger


    Hamburg Rosengarten Sendeturm (Media Broadcast)German commercial broadcast group RTL Deutschland wants to maintain digital terrestrial TV distribution in Germany and transmit its free-to-air channels in HD quality from 2016 with the introduction of DVB-T2.

    The DTT contract with transmitter network operator Media Broadcast which would have run out at the end of 2014 has been extended by two years, the broadcaster announced in Cologne. RTL, VOX, Super RTL and RTL II as well as n-tv in Berlin will thus continue to be available via DVB-T in standard definition (SD) until the end of 2016.

    With the nationwide DVB-T2 platform planned by Media Broadcast, RTL sees for the first time a viable commercial business model for DTT. According to the broadcaster, the target is to offer its advertising-funded channels encrypted in HD quality to DTT households in future. For a binding commitment to DVB-T2, however, several framework conditions still have to be met, stresses RTL.

    DVB-T2 new (October 2010)“We are working with all TV broadcasters to promote the implementation of DVB-T2 and would like to offer viewers an even broader range of channels in HD quality from as early as 2016,” said Wolfgang Breuer, CEO of Media Broadcast. “It’s good to know that Mediengruppe RTL is on board with its attractive channel family.”

    Excluded from the continuation of its DTT engagement are the terrestrial TV offerings in the regions Stuttgart and Halle/Leipzig which are operated under the brand name viseo+ in another technology, according to RTL group.

    In early 2013, RTL group announced its nationwide retreat from DTT by the end of 2014 as there would neither be sufficient prospects for economic success nor long-term security for the frequencies. At the end of 2013, the broadcaster revoked its decision as the new German government included a notice of intention in its coalition agreement to safeguard the frequencies for broadcast usage for the transition to DVB-T2.

    German public broadcasters ARD and ZDF announced in autumn 2013 their support for a transition to DVB-T2. Commercial TV group ProSiebenSat.1 is also open towards DVB-T, but expects clear political commitment regarding the preservation of the frequencies for broadcast usage instead of handing them over to mobile network operators.

    DVB-T2 enables better picture quality, more channels and HDTV via digital terrestrial frequencies, but viewers need new reception devices.

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    Abertis withdraws from Eutelsat

    June 3, 2014 10.13 Europe/London By Julian Clover



    AbertisSpanish infrastructure firm Abertis has sold its 5.01% stake in Eutelsat Communications.

    The “accelerated bookbuilding process” took just a day to complete with the assistance of UBS and Barclays Bank.

    Abertis is the majority shareholder in Hispasat and is seeking to take control of the Israeli satellite operator Spacecom through a deal with 64.5% owner Eurocom.


 

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