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Thread: Daily Satellite TV News

Netflix expands VPN and proxy blockade Tens of thousands calling upon Netflix to reverse its broad VPN ban, as the

  1. #5711
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    Netflix expands VPN and proxy blockade

    Tens of thousands calling upon Netflix to reverse its broad VPN ban, as the streaming service is expanding its VPN and proxy blockade.

    With the application of commercial blacklist data, Netflix already blocks IP-addresses that are linked to such services, something which also affects well-intentioned customers who merely use a VPN to protect their privacy, reports TorrentFreak.

    In January Netflix announced that it would increase its efforts to block customers who circumvent geo-blockades.

    While the blocks are being rolled out in phases, it’s already clear that some VPN users can’t access Netflix, even if the VPN server is located in the same country as they are. This means that Americans can no longer use a US VPN server to protect their privacy.

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    Millions make unofficial use of Kodi Media Player

    The Kodi media player is currently being used by millions of people for one specific purpose: watching free TV, according to the makers.

    Kodi is an open source media player meant for playing people’s local media files, however due to the open source nature of the software, and its ability to interface with Python plugins, is used by the majority of users to watch free movies and television shows, by interfacing with the most popular of online streaming sites, and displaying them as Netflix-style menus, without any ads or popups of any kind.

    Some of the more popular unofficial Kodi addons now interface with dozens of streaming sites at the same time, giving you access to far more content than any legitimate cord-cutting service would.

    It is interesting because of the fact that Kodi’s official developers have actually spoken against these type of addons, however it remains the main use of the majority of Kodi users.

    “We are the primary source for unofficial addons and tools for Kodi, developers from around the world are on our forums providing user support and updates for their addons. It runs on many platforms including but not limited to Mac, Windows and Android,” writes TV Addons in an email to Broadband TV News.

    ‘Kodi bundled with addons is much safer than Popcorn Time and torrents because it simply accesses streaming content, it doesn’t actually download permanent copies, nor assist in redistributing any content to users whatsoever.”

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    New Czech DTH platform launches

    A new DTH platform known as Flix TV has made its debut in the Czech Republic.

    The service is initially offering viewers a choice of four packages, known as Dobrá, Lepsi, Aktívni and HBO MaxPak. Dobrá consists of 57 channels, 15 of which are in HD, and costs CZK299 (€11) a month, while Lepsi builds on Dobrá with an additional 25 channels, eight of which are in HD, and costs CZK399 a month. HBO MaxPak offers five channels, three of which are in HD, for CZK279 a month, and Aktívni six channels, four of which are in HD, for CZK199 a month.

    As previously reported in Broadband TV News, Flix.TV was awarded a licence for the Czech regular RRTV for the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary last November.

    The new platform is employing the services of Telekom Austria Group on Eutelsat 16A at 16 degrees East.

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    CTC Media adds to channel portfolio

    The Russian broadcaster CTC Media has launched an international version of its thematic channel Domashny.

    The new channel, which began tests last year, was uplinked to Astra 5B in February in cooperation with SES, thereby allowing CTC Media to expand its reach to Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Israel and Kazakhstan.

    Domashny International is also available in Belarus, Moldova, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan and across Europe.

    The broadcaster launched an international version of its flagship channel CTC in 2009 and Peretz, another thematic channel, in 2014.

    Commenting on the latest launch, Sergei Petrov, chief broadcasting officer of CTC Media, said: “The launch of the international version of Domashny will help Russian speakers outside Russia to access high-quality content of the main national TV channel for women. Domashny International is in demand across the world and therefore interesting for cable and satellite operators. International broadcasting is a meaningful source of revenue for CTC Media in the current economy. We will keep developing this area as it is one of the most profitable lines of our business thanks to the effort of our management team”.

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    New channels launch in Croatia

    InTheBox.TV has made its debut in the Croatian pay-TV market by launching three channels – Dr.Fit, Woman and Planet Earth – on Telekom Austria’s Vipnet.

    The three channels first made their debuts in July 2015. They are distributed by SBB Serbia, Telemach Slovenia, Telekom Slovenia, Telemach BiH, Elta-Kabel and a large number of smaller operator in Slovenia and Bosnia & Herzegovina.

    Commenting on the development, Magdalena Malinova, senior advisor to InTheBox.TV’s CEO, commented: “We are excited to launch our channels on Vipnet, and hence bring our content to Croatian viewers for the first time. Market of Pay TV channels is highly fragmented and fairly saturated so it is our mission to bring fresh and unique content to our viewers and innovative business model to our partners – operators. We are delighted that Telekom Austria Group has recognised InTheBox.TV as a valuable partner and we’re looking forward to develop our businesses together.”

    Nikola Francetic, head of media & broadcast department, Vipnet, added: “Vipnet is a leader of innovation in telecom and TV market in Croatia. We always look for new ways to enrich our customer experiences and improve our services to meet their developing needs. Over the past few years Vipnet became the fastest growing fixed operator in Croatia and pay-TV is one of the most important services for us. We strive to provide our customers with the most compelling content and this is one of the reasons why Vipnet is leading telco in Croatia when it comes to customer satisfaction.”

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    Telekom Romania: strategy for 2016

    Telekom Romania plans to stabilise and then “restart” its business back to growth in 2016, according to Miroslav Majoros, the company’s new CEO.

    Speaking to ZF, he added that its shareholders has agreed to increase the investment budget by 35% this year to €180 milion.

    He added that the money would be directed mainly to the company’s fibre optic network and into mobile 3G and 4G technologies.

    Majoros also said the market in Romania is very competitive and without investment is impossible to be successful.

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    OSN signs exclusive content deal with MGM

    Dubai-based OSN has signed an exclusive content deal with MGM for its library of films, future first-run TV series and mini-series.

    David Butorac, CEO of OSN, said: “For over 90 years, MGM has been representing the best in world-class cinema and entertainment. OSN is proud to deliver MGM’s compelling content – both through record breaking movies and smash-hit TV series – exclusively to our subscribers in the region.

    “Clearly, in movie and series content, OSN has surged way ahead in the industry through such long-term partnerships, and we continue to firmly make our mark as the entertainment destination that delivers the widest choice of channels, the deepest archive of international film and TV and with a continued dedication to new and exclusive content. By continually forging new deals and maintaining our relationships with all the top studios in Hollywood, our subscribers experience an unrivalled level of high-quality entertainment straight to their homes or on the go.”

    We are thrilled to extend and expand our longstanding partnership with OSN,” said Chris Ottinger, President of Worldwide Television Distribution and Acquisitions, MGM. “We look forward to continue providing OSN customers access to not only a selection of our theatrical first-run titles, but our classic library and future first-run TV series and mini-series.”

    The new long-term deal marks the next level in the partnership between the two companies. OSN will now have first and second pay window rights for MGM movies including its library of classic movies.

  8. #5718
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    Is my smart TV working for Big Brother?

    The European Audiovisual Observatory had publishes new IRIS Special legal report called Is my smart TV working for Big Brother?

    Samsung have warned owners of their smart TVs that the system’s voice recognition could actually be recording and sharing their private conversations. This “bad buzz” comes at a time when Brussels is in the process of adopting new legislation – the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) – aimed at protecting us from abuse and misuse of our private data and consumer behaviour big data collected by smart equipment such as television sets. The European Audiovisual Observatory, part of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, is keeping track of these developments and has just published a brand new IRIS Special report – Smart TV and data protection.

    This is a joint publication by the Strasbourg-based Observatory and partner institution, the Dutch Institute for Information Law (IViR in Amsterdam). It inspired an expert workshop organised in Strasbourg last December, which looked at “the grey areas between media regulation and data protection”.

    The report kicks off with a very necessary definition of what one means by Smart TVs and what this equipment actually does. The key to understanding the difference between ‘smart’ and ‘non-smart’ lies in the connection of smart sets to the internet, on the one hand, and their capacity, on the other, to collect behavioural consumer data via functionalities such as voice, motion control and facial recognition. Further data can be gathered if viewers choose to create a user account. Chapter I also offers up to date figures on Smart TV shipments which are due to hit an estimated 140 million worldwide in 2016, as opposed to 60 million in 2011.

    Chapter II looks at current media legislation related to Smart TVs. The authors explain that the regulation of Smart TV actually touches no less than five different areas of media legislation: audiovisual media services, electronic communications, data protection, consumer protection, and human rights law. The chapter analyses each current piece of legislation covering these fields before concluding that the pending GDPR represents a complement to the structures already in place. It will, for example, cover situations where equipment manufacturers, platform providers, or indeed online content and service providers are based outside the EU. It will also force service providers to allow us to refuse the processing of our personal data for secondary purposes.

    The report moves on to chapter III which presents various national case studies from Germany, the Netherlands, and the US. The German example shows how various guidelines can evolve from genuine consumer concerns. Germany actually issued a joint guidance document in September of last year which emanated from the different data protection authorities responsible for the private and public sectors. It stipulates, for example, that users must be reliably informed about the collection and use of their personal data; that “privacy by default” settings be respected and that all equipment and services offered protect against data traffic and unauthorised access by third parties. The two Dutch examples illustrate very well the data protection and privacy issues involved, looking at data processing by a company offering Smart TV services through Philips equipment and also a cable TV operator providing audiovisual media to its subscribers.

    The final Chapter IV outlines, in the light of the legal challenges in this field which have been outlined in this report, on what safeguards the forthcoming legislation – the General Data Protection Regulation – might propose. It is in the area of data processing that the GDPR aims at providing solid safeguards, making sure that the user has given clear consent for processing to take place and that processing of the data is indeed unavoidable for the providing of media services required. Interestingly, the ‘right to be forgotten’ also makes its way into the text for the first time, in order that the users may indeed demand the erasure of all personal data related to them. This also applies to viewing history. The GDPR does provide for data transfer between countries but only insofar as the country of destination offers appropriate safeguards.

    In its closing analysis, this report concludes that utopian “one size fits all” legislation will never cover all the regulatory challenges posed by Smart TVs and the services they are able to offer. Instead, the authors feel that “media, privacy and consumer authorities need to work together and coordinate their actions.”

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    AT&T is taking DirecTV over-the top

    WATCH VIDEO. AT&T plans to launch DirecTV streaming video services over a wired or wireless internet connection from any provider and from virtually any device – smartphone, tablet, smart TV, streaming media hardware or PC.

    The operator plans to offer a range of content packages, including much of what is available from the satellite DTH service DirecTV today including on-demand and live programming from many networks, plus premium add-on options. Customers will be able to access the service over a wired or wireless internet connection and on internet-enabled devices. Con

    The operator will offer three versions of the streaming service, DirecTV Now, DirecTVMobile and, as a free offer DirecTV Preview. DirecTV NOw will consist of pretty much the same as the satellite-delivered offer, while DirecTV Mobile is directed at users who are looking for a TV everywhere service.

    The free offer for anyone with a wired or wireless internet connection will feature some of the programming available on DirecTV today. The tailored ad-supported service will showcase content from AT&T’s Audience Network, many networks and other content sources, and millennial-focused video from Otter Media, a joint venture of AT&T and The Chernin Group.

    “These new video subscription models reflect the flexible content choices, viewing options and simple, transparent pricing that consumers want. AT&T intends to be the first company to deliver that flexibility, along with an effortless customer experience,” said John Stankey, CEO, AT&T Entertainment Group.

    “These offers will provide a broad range of customers with greater freedom and choice to watch, binge and even buy premium content, regardless of how and where they enjoy their entertainment.

    “We are looking at these offerings differently than others in the market. We often hear from customers who want more content from streaming services, or who can’t get or can’t afford a traditional pay-TV service,” Stankey said. “We intend to offer customers a quality pay-TV experience, including top channels, sports and more, with increased value and flexibility of pure online streaming and no need for home installation.”

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    Cord-cutting lower in Western Europe than the US

    16% of Spanish pay-TV households subscribed to pay TV for the first time last year, although the country’s broadband households still exhibit high incidences of cord shaving, cord cutting, and ‘cord nevers’.

    Connected Consumer in Europe, a new report from Parks Associattes, reveals Spanish consumers are more likely than consumers in other Western European markets either to have never had pay TV or to have cancelled pay TV in favour of online video sources.

    “First-time adoption of pay TV is up among Spanish broadband households as is the penetration of pay TV overall,” said Brett Sappington, director, research, Parks Associates.

    “The Spanish pay-TV market in general has a very active, cost-conscious base of subscribers, with higher-than-average rates of downgrades and upgrades and a substantial population of cord nevers.”

    Spain actually exceeds the U.S. in percentage of cord cutters and broadband households that watch online video, but in the other surveyed countries — the U.K., France, and Germany — the incidence of cord cutting is far lower than in the U.S.

    “The percentage of consumers in the UK, Germany, and France cancelling pay-TV services and instead using online video is half the rate seen in the US market,” Sappington said.

    BB-HHs-that-Watch-Internet-Video

    Connected Consumer in Europe surveys consumers in multiple Western European countries and provides a complete picture of European connected consumers, including their household demands, expectations, and purchase plans. Parks Associates analysts make direct comparisons to previous EU surveys to gauge the key trends and growth areas for these markets.


 

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