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Thread: Daily Satellite TV News

4K-UHD Summit 2016: quality still an issue for VR, says Sky Even though it has been investigating the technology it

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    4K-UHD Summit 2016: quality still an issue for VR, says Sky


    Even though it has been investigating the technology it regards as a new frontier for two years, Sky has revealed that virtual reality still has quality issues hindering mass adoption.


    Sky Italia 12 NovSpeaking at the 4K-UHD Summit 2016 in Seville, Massimo Bertolotti, head of engineering and innovation Sky Italia, said that the company’s fundamental intention regarding VR was to create new content and product experiences for customers. He added that as regards content at least, all the trends pointed to the fact that VR was “an interesting platform” from which Sky could create a new experience in a country where it had not yet rolled out 4K services (unlike the case with its subsidiaries in the UK and Germany).

    Bertolotti said that the task ahead for Sky Italia was to go and generate content to create such new experiences from sport to films and from TV series to documentaries. The experience established for each of these categories would be different, plus, and most crucially, he said that the company was busily rolling out 360-degree video in news.

    The executive stressed that he was not taking about TV – “360-degree is not ready for that yet,” he said — but nevertheless he regarded 360-degree video for news as a revolution where Sky had the opportunity not just to show some highlights but instead have the possibility for real context and real live views.

    “VR can offer a new relationship between the customer and the digital platform. In some cases journalists have difficulties in presenting in 30 seconds a full story. They can do so now and let the users really understand the context,” he revealed.

    Yet despite this process, Bertolotti cautioned that Sky Italia was not yet fully ready for VR. In the two years that the company has been using VR, it was confident that it found a good post-production ecosystem and workflow and had a good idea as to what content will be interesting or not. But one big issue was quality.

    “A portion of [the picture that is delivered to a user] is less than 4K for users. Also users typically watch VR from a mobile phone and they often can’t get a 4K stream all of the time. Our technology people are working on a solution for this but it affects workflow, every part of which has to change.”

    Concluding, Bertolotti said that Sky’s roadmap was to create an ecosystem of the future despite VR not enjoying the same levels of investment enjoyed by 4K service and that maybe it would be two or three years before “the full story” emerged.
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    TV4 inks Viacom OTT partnership



    Genre-specific over-the-top channel provider TV4 Entertainment has announced a partnership with online video firm Vimeo to launch over 20 of its direct-to-consumer subscription video on demand (SVOD) channels.


    vimeotv4 12 NovTV4 boasts distribution partners such as Hulu, Amazon, AOL and Sony PlayStation and regards its latest partner as an important first step in delivering worldwide, direct-to-consumer experiences to global audiences. Timed to coincide with Veterans Day in the US, the partnership begins immediately with the premiere of the All Warrior Network, a warrior-themed entertainment destination for service members, military veterans and fans of the warrior.

    The first five channels will also include Motorland, an on-demand entertainment channel for automotive enthusiasts; Gone TV, for those that love hunting, fishing and the great outdoors; worldwide martial arts, sports and entertainment channel BLACKBELT TV; and the DocComTV curated documentary channel.

    “We are excited to announce this partnership with TV4. Their model of launching interest-based OTT channels targeted at tribal audiences is a perfect fit for our OTT platform,” said Jamie Wilkinson, general manager, Vimeo OTT Services. “Media is changing from a wholesale-based approach to having a direct relationship with consumers and TV4 is helping to push this market forward.”

    Added TV4 Entertainment founder and CEO Jon Cody: “We are thrilled to enter into this partnership with Vimeo and VHX to take our brands directly to our millions of monthly viewers. The companies share a common vision of providing worldwide communities with programming targeted to their shared passions and we have found the ideal technology partner to further our mission.”
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    Solid growth in Q3 but ITV warns of headwinds towards 2017


    ITV pic bigThe UK’s leading commercial broadcaster has enjoyed a healthy third quarter of the year, driven by its studios division, but has warned that Brexit uncertainty will apply a brake on profits over the coming months.

    For the quarter ended 30 September 2016, ITV reported that total external revenue had risen 5% year-on-year to £2.157 billion, with growth mainly from a 15% increase in non-net advertising revenue (NAR). In particular the key ITV Studios division, which has acted as a driver of growth for the recent past, continued to deliver, with acquisitions taking revenue up 18% on a yearly basis to £923 million. Revenues for the Online, Pay & Interactive division were up 22% with online viewing up 49% and long-form video requests up 22%. By contrast Broadcast & Online revenue inched up 1% to £1.537 billion while ITV Family NAR slipped 1%.

    Among the highlights at the Studios division was strong performance across key genres, with scripted programmes such as Victoria, Poldark and The Good Witch all sold to over 100 countries; around 60 formats sold internationally including The Voice, Hell’s Kitchen, Love Island and This Time Next Year. ITV also gained 162 new commissions and 139 recommissions across the business which it said will drive a return to good organic revenue growth in 2017.

    Yet the company’s outlook for the rest of 2016 and beyond was rather pessimistic. Even though it was confident of outperforming the TV ad market, ITV Family NAR is forecast to be down around 7% in Q4 and down 3% over the full year. Due to the absence of a major sporting event next year, NPB was predicted to be around £25 million lower than in 2017.

    Outlining what could be the challenges ahead, ITV plc to chief executive Adam Crozier said that in recent weeks the political and economic uncertainty has increased and that the company was currently seeing more cautious behaviour by advertisers. He added: Our strong on screen performance and continued ability to deliver mass audiences gives us the confidence that based upon the deals we have done we will also outperform our estimate of the TV ad market in 2017. We remain committed to our strategy of rebalancing and strengthening ITV and building a global content business of scale and we see clear opportunities to continue to invest for further growth across the business both organically and through acquisitions.”
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    2016 a banner year for 4K/Ultra HD


    Research from the Consumer Technology Association (CTA) in the US has revealed that 4KTV sales are set for 40% annual growth as the Ultra HD ecosystem continues to expand.

    RTVev May 2016 HDR 4K Sony TV The CTA data found that shipments of 4K/Ultra TV in the key Q4 selling period are set to reach 4.5 million units, driving total 4KTV sales for the year to ten million units. The key driver for the increased demand is principally the fact that more brands and screen sizes are available at lower prices, complemented with wider availability of new technologies such as high dynamic range (HDR) and wide colour gamut (WCG) which make for better sets.

    The CTA added that even as HDR-compatible sets and displays with other new technologies comprise an increasing share of the product mix, the average wholesale price of 4K/Ultra HD TVs has fallen 22% since the beginning of the year.

    The CTA forecasts 4K UHD displays will account for 56% of all TV sales during Q4 as the category steadily moves toward comprising nearly half of total annual TV sales. CTA’s annual research also showed that TVs are among the most desired technology gifts during the coming holiday season this year, behind notebook computers and tied with smartphones.

    “We’ve been bullish about 4K UHD since day one, and market growth continues to justify our enthusiasm,” said CTA president and CEO Gary Shaprio. “Manufacturers are introducing an increasing variety of 4K UHD displays at a range of price points. Many of these displays include new innovations like HDR and WCG that make the viewing experience more immersive. Strong growth in display sales, combined with the increasing number of 4K UHD Blu-ray discs and other content, 4K cameras, and additional devices in the market will cement 2016 as a ’banner year’ for 4K UHD.”

    Despite the healthy growth forecast, the CTA conceded that the total will fall some way short of the 14.5 million units it predicted at the start of the year. It noted that the updated forecast reflects finalised Q2 data showing a more gradual growth curve as TV makers transitioned to new 4K/Ultra HD models.

    “We expected to see TV manufacturers move more quickly to a greater mix of 4K in screen sizes above 4”, which now appears to be shaping up as a 2017 trend,” added Steve Koenig, CTA’s senior director, market research. “Growth of the 4K UHD market continues to dwarf the transition to high-definition television. Just three years since introduction, cumulative sales of 4K UHD displays are forecast to hit 18.6 million units, while sales of HDTVs reached 4.2 million units in their first three years on the market.”
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    TBC taps NAGRA to protect new digital platform


    Multi-system cable operator Taiwan Broadband Communications (TBC), has turned to content protection and multiscreen TV protection firm NAGRA to secure its new digital TV services.

    NAGRA 8 Sep 2016NAGRA has been a partner in TBC’s ongoing digitisation efforts providing the operator with both its OpenTV 5 set-top box software and system integration services required to support a rapid transition to an all-digital platform and the fulfilment of regulatory requirements.

    OpenTV 5 is part of NAGRA’s MediaLive Suite, a set of digital TV solutions designed to provide secure, engaging and intuitive user experiences via a back-end that supports an all-screen connected home scenario.

    TBC has been an OpenTV 5 customer since April 2015 and has already shipped close to one million set-top boxes powered by the 5 operating system, marking the largest deployment of OpenTV 5 in Asia. The new deployment will enable TBC to roll out a hybrid platform combining broadcast and Internet TV services.

    “We are very pleased with our partnership with NAGRA and its ability to adapt, integrate and launch the OpenTV 5 operating system on our platform,” said TBC chief executive officer Jimmy Chen. “We look forward to continued growth and maximising customer satisfaction by delivering a new generation of high quality services to our subscribers.”
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    Getty Images snaps up rights to run ITN video archive sales

    The UK’s Independent Television News (ITN) has appointed Getty Images as exclusive global distributor of its ITN Source video archive.

    ITN is a made up of two business divisions - Broadcast News and ITN Productions - and provides daily TV news programmes for ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5. ITN Source is part of Digital Content Services within ITN Productions and the agreement with Getty, beginning from the middle of 2017, will apply to the entirety of ITN’s digitised video archive that dates back to 1955.

    Aiming to reassure customers, ITN Source said that it remains open for business as usual and advised that during this transition period, customers could continue to licence archive clips from partner archives, including ITV Studios, Fox News, Fox Movietone, ANI, HUTC, Images of War and UTV, but from January 2017, it would no longer be representing the Reuters archive.

    ITN will retain ownership of its archive and a spokewoman told Rapid TV News that move was a strategic decision as ITN company moves towards its 2020 Vision objectives “to become a world-class production company.” However, the spokeswoman confirmed that as a result of the new partnership, 20 jobs at ITN Source were now at the risk of redundancy.

    The spokeswoman added: “The outlook for ITN’s future remains both ambitious and optimistic, and given the continued growth projections, we fully anticipate that by 2018 we will be back to our current levels of staff numbers as new jobs are created in parts of the business which are expanding rapidly.”
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    UFC’s NYC event to stream in 4K

    UFC 205 is gearing up for its Madison Square Garden debut in New York City on 12 November, with HD and 4K digital access.

    ufc 205 nyc 10 nov 2016NeuLion powers UFC.TV, and will be delivering the UFC 205 digital ticket, offering fans live and on-demand pay-per-view access for the mixed martial arts (MMA) event. Fans can buy a digital pay-per-view ticket for $59.99.

    For Sony Ultra HD TV buyers, the event will be shown in 4K live streaming, for models in all countries except China.

    “With Super Bowl-like ticket prices, the anticipation for UFC 205 in New York is fantastic,” said NeuLion president and CEO, Roy Reichbach. “We are excited to be a part of such a historic event and give fans outside the arena the ability to watch the action live in stunning 4K quality. This event is another milestone for us as we continue to build momentum delivering the best fan experience and driving 4K content availability worldwide.”

    The 4K market continues to grow as more and more people buy 4K TV sets. IHS predicts penetration of US households who will own at least one 4K TV set will rise quickly, hitting 34% by 2019, representing about 34 million homes. With this, the availability of 4K content will also continue to rise and live sports proves to be the most compelling and engaging in the higher quality.
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    Viki taps Limelight for CDN

    The Viki global over-the-top (OTT) video service is using the Limelight Networks CDN to send films to millions of viewers across the Americas and Europe.

    viki 10 nov 2016Based in Singapore, Viki delivers subtitled video on-demand content in more than 200 languages to millions of viewers. It offers exclusive shows from the top broadcasters in Korea.

    More than 91% of viewers binge-watch shows, and 58% watch more than two hours a day. Since the digital media space is constantly evolving, Viki is always looking for new opportunities to push the envelope and provide a unique video on-demand experience for its dedicated fans.

    “With Limelight Networks, we’re able to stand out from the crowd by giving fans the content they want, when they want it, on the devices they use every day. Our viewers can find the content they love and consume it seamlessly,” said Rohit Dewan, CTO at Viki.

    “Quality of experience is now as vital as quality of content when it comes to OTT services,” added Jaheer Abbas, Southeast Asia regional sales director at Limelight Networks. “Viki is keeping fans online and engaged by delivering consistent, reliable and fast broadcast-quality content with our CDN.”

    Viki relies on Limelight to deliver high quality video content on any device to a fan base that averages more than 1.3 billion minutes watched per month.
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    Sky Atlantic commissions new original dramas

    The drama arm of the UK’s leading pay-TV channel, Sky Atlantic, has announced the commission of two Sky original productions.


    sky atlantic 21 JanThe first on the slate is Gone from World Productions, the company behind the Line of Duty series. Directed by BAFTA winner Nick Murphy, it was created and written by Lennie James who also starred in the first series of the award-winning drama. James, who wrote award-winning drama Storm Damage, also stars in the series with BAFTA winner Suranne Jones (Doctor Foster, Scott & Bailey) and Stephen Graham (This is England, Boardwalk Empire). Set in a South East London housing estate, Gone is the story of a man facing the stark and painful reality that the very worst thing happening to someone he loves could be the best thing that has ever happened to him.

    Gone is produced by World Productions, the maker of RTS award-winning and BAFTA-nominated Line of Duty. Executive producers for the series are Simon Heath and Jessica Sykes for World Productions. International distribution is to be handled by Sky Vision.

    The Tunnel: Vengeance marks the third and final instalment of the crime thriller with Clémence Poésy and the International Emmy award-winning Stephen Dillane. The six-part final instalment has been penned by lead writer Emilia Di Girolamo finale and brings together Poésy with her British counterpart (Dillane) and is set in a Europe amid hysteria around a refugee crisis, the increasing threat and horror of terrorism and with far-right groups growing in power.

    Commenting on the commissions, Sky head of drama Anne Mensah said: “I’m really excited about these two brilliant dramas coming exclusively to Sky Atlantic. The multi-talented Lennie James has mixed a gripping mystery with utterly unique characters. Gone exemplifies the originality we aim for on Sky Atlantic. In The Tunnel: Vengeance we return to our incomparable English and French detective duo, Karl and Elise, examining questions which politically couldn’t be more pertinent.”

    The Tunnel: Vengeance is produced by Kudos, the maker of BAFTA award-winning Broadchurch, and is executive produced by Manda Levin and Karen Wilson for Kudos. The producer is Toby Welch, and the series will be directed by Anders Engstrom and Giles Bannier. International distribution is to be handled by Endemol Shine International.
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    BT Sport ends free bundling



    After establishing itself since 2013 as a real rival to Sky in premium sport, especially with Premier League and Champions League rights, BT Sport is to lose one of its key attractions: its free bundling with BT Broadband.


    BT sport 21 Jan 2017In its last yearly results for 2016, the substantial investment that BT made in content, especially premium football, saw BT’s consumer division’s revenue rise 9% year-on-year to £1.175 billion. The spur to the consumer group was the broadband and TV lines whose collective revenue was up 21%. Superfast fibre broadband growth continued with 181,000 retail net additions, taking BT’s customer base to 4.3 million and of the broadband customers, 47% were now on fibre networks that can support high-quality TV experiences from the likes of the BT TV IPTV offer and BT Sport, which in the year announced support for 4KTV sport and Netflix services.

    Yet now, as part of a wide range of price increases in basic services, BT has announced that as of August 2017 the sports package will no longer be bundled free of charge with BT TV for entry level packages and will now cost £3.50 per month. BT broadband customers watching BT sports as an app will need to pay £5 more. It will retain its free status for customers who take on higher priced bundles.

    Commenting on the rise, BT consumer chief executive, John Petter insisted that "in exchange for paying a little more," customers would get a better package and improved services. BT also noted bullishly that its monthly rise was still half the price of a Sky Sports single day pass on Sky’s NOW TV OTT package package.
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