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Cable & Wireless Flows the Caribbean TV shows’ talent Juan Fernandez Gonzalez | 25 February 2017 Three of the Caribbean’s

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    Cable & Wireless Flows the Caribbean TV shows’ talent
    Juan Fernandez Gonzalez
    | 25 February 2017


    Three of the Caribbean’s leading film producers will develop pilots for original TV series projects thanks to funding from Cable & Wireless’s Flow and CaribbeanTales Media Group.


    cti flowWith $40,000 funding for each project, production work will begin on Battle Chronicle, a sci-fi/drama animated series created by Alain Bidard; and continue with Heat, a drama series filmed in Barbados from Menelik Shabazz, and Caribbean Girl NYC, a female-driven sitcom from New York-based Guadeloupian filmmaker Mariette Monpierre.

    “We recognise the significant hurdles that Caribbean producers face in financing and producing their content, and getting it out to audiences,” said John Reid, CEO of Cable and Wireless, operator of Flow. “We are honoured to help support this programme that is enabling the production and monetisation of this exciting emerging cultural industry.”

    Production on the pilots will begin in April 2017 and all of them will premiere this year at the 12th annual CaribbeanTales International Film Festival (CTFF) (CTFF), of which Flow is also a sponsor. It will be held in Toronto, Canada, between 6 and 20 September.

    Frances-Anne Solomon, CEO of CaribbeanTales, added: “We are delighted that, together with Flow, we are able to provide the Caribbean’s top filmmakers with funding and a platform to produce top quality, local, content with the capacity to reach audiences across the region and the world.”

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    HBO awards Latin America exclusive Oscars rights


    Just as the Academy is preparing for its big night, HBO has announced exclusive Latin American rights for nearly half of the nominated films.


    rogue oneFollowing several agreements with major production and distribution companies including Sony, Disney, Warner and Universal, HBO has confirmed TV and streaming rights to air 21 of the 50 nominated films across the Latin American region.

    After tomorrow’s Oscars gala and throughout the rest of the year, the movies will first premiere for HBO/MAX subscribers, and then become available on HBO Go. HBO’s video-on-demand service works as a TV everywhere or standalone platform, depending on the territory.

    The 21 movies set to premiere on HBO throughout Latin America are Sony’s 20th Century Women, Land of Mine, The Lobster, Passengers, Manchester by the Sea and Arrival; Disney’s Doctor Strange, Moana, Star Wars Rogue One, Zootopia and The Jungle Book; Warner’s Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find them, Suicide Squad and Sully; Telefilms’ Hacksaw Ridge, Lion and Moonlight; and Universal’s Hail, Caesar!, Kubo and the Two Strings, Loving and Nocturnal Animals.
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    Facebook in talks to stream MLB games once a week


    Opening Day for Major League Baseball in the US is 3 April, and Facebook is giving fans a new way to watch.


    ml bReuters is reporting that the social network is looking to do a deal with the league that will let it stream one MLB game per week — very similar to Twitter’s arrangement with the NFL to stream Thursday Night Football last season. That experiment proved out the case for social media-as-distributors: the first NFL game to be streamed on Twitter drew more than 2.3 million viewers. Facebook also is in the midst of building a premium video option, so the idea makes all kinds of sense for the company.

    The deal would bring new fans to the MLB and offer it a way to engage Millennials, who famously eschew traditional live-linear TV for other consumption methods. It would also give it more international exposure; access online would allow folks from baseball-crazed China, for instance, to follow the world’s top league live.

    “The scope of their audience is worldwide,” said sports media consultant Lee Berke, speaking to Reuters. “They have a range of audiences and sports loyalties they can appeal to.”

    It’s likely that baseball’s main distribution partners, like Fox and ESPN, won’t be in love with the idea of streaming games. But arguably, the sheer number of games in any given season means that fans are unlikely to find themselves at home for all of them; there’s a case to be made that the ratings effect will be additive rather than cannibalising.

    Baseball has been dabbling in digital experiments a bit of late: Sports Illustrated and FOX Sports teamed up last autumn on a live digital baseball pre-game show entitled Live @ The World Series, which aired on location from every game of the Fall Classic. Episodes aired live on the @MLBonFOX Facebook page and were shared across various Fox Sports and Sports Illustrated Facebook channels, reaching a combined audience of 13.5 million users.
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    Nokia, AT&T conduct 5G streaming tests with DIRECTV NOW


    Even before the current next-generation infrastructure is anywhere near complete, work is apace to roll out 5G networks, and the latest project sees Nokia and AT&T in a trial for the latter’s TV provider DIRECTV NOW.


    The US comms giant and Finnish technology provider are collaborating to further advance 5G technology in the 39 GHz band by recently completing fixed wireless 5G tests based on the commercially available AirScale radio access platform intended for the online TV streaming service for which AT&T has high hopes.

    The test demonstrates how new services can be successfully delivered with new technologies operating at high frequencies. AT&T regards both the 39 GHz band and the 28 GHz band as particularly attractive due to the large bandwidth available, with the former having significantly more, making it a strong candidate to support 5G deployments. Nokia began testing mmWave technology with AT&T in 2016 and for its recent tests of DIRECTV NOW over 39 GHz, Nokia delivered a 5G radio access system, conducting the trial at the AT&T Labs facility in Middletown, New Jersey.

    AT&T revealed that the results from this world’s first such trial will help advance the viability of 39 GHz, which it expects to play a key role in 5G development and deployment. It says that the testing of DIRECTV NOW also demonstrates 5G’s promise of providing new experiences to end users with its ultra-low network latency and higher throughput.

    “With this trial, we’re doing something that no other operator has done – regionally or globally,” explained AT&T senior vice president, wireless network architecture and design Tom Keathley.

    “We expect 39 GHz to be an important 5G band in the United States, and we look forward to continuing our collaboration with Nokia to further advance 5G technology in this band. The work coming out of AT&T Labs will provide valuable contributions to future 5G standards, and allow us to pave the way for delivering significantly faster speeds and a better overall network experience for our customers across the US.”
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    Meredith Corp taps Telestream for Facebook Live strategy


    meredith facebook liveUS broadcast conglomerate Meredith Corp has mandated that its local TV stations stream breaking news and news-related content directly to Facebook Live.


    Meredith owns and operates 15 US DTV stations in 13 markets, including Atlanta, Phoenix, St. Louis and Portland, reaching 12 million people, or 11% of US households. It has issued a corporate directivea corporate directive to its digital content teams at its stations to use Facebook Live to reach new viewers that tune into social media more often than TV, connect with loyal viewers outside normal news cycles and serve as a news source for the Facebook community.

    “Since live video news is a key service that we provide, Facebook Live presents a unique opportunity for us to raise the visibility of our media brand on Facebook, and to share the timely, trusted news programming that airs on our main channels,” said Larry Oaks, vice president of technology at Meredith.

    To support the strategy, Meredith has chosen the Telestream Wirecast Gear appliance — a streaming production solution from Telestream — in all of its markets nationwide, to stream content via Facebook Live, and eventually to other social media platforms, on a regular basis.

    “Our primary interest is to use Wirecast Gear for breaking news outside our typical news cycle but also for simulcasts of our studio broadcast, or promotional and pre-recorded content,” said Oaks. “With the ability to interface with our routers, we can drive any content from our facility or a remote shoot to Facebook Live, complete with branding.”

    Wirecast Gear integrates a user interface; image branding, graphics and keying for the placement of logo bugs; multi-camera switching, audio mixing, roll-ins, green screen keying and other production tools; and connections to go live on leading social media sites.

    For the last seven years, Meredith has been using Telestream's Vantage platform running on Lightspeed servers to automate its media processing operations.

    “When we were evaluating our choices, Wirecast Gear met all of our criteria,” Oaks said. “This includes integrating the key live production capabilities we need into a single, compact, affordable system that’s easy to learn and operate. More importantly, Wirecast makes it simple to get a secure connection and start streaming media to social destinations. We just select Facebook Live from a pull-down menu and it facilitates whatever handshake, log-in or settings we need to start streaming quickly and reliably.”
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    VITEC expands streaming video focus


    VITEC is positioning its video streaming solutions for police, military and defence applications.


    The VITEC Fully Integrated Tactical IPTV System (FITIS) is an integrated full motion video solution for capturing, processing, archiving, indexing, managing and disseminating tactical ISR video and metadata.

    Designed for rapid deployments and efficient distribution of IP video across LANs and WANs and in any network configuration, it enables real-time playback of tactical and situational awareness imagery, continuous recording and indexing of metadata and retrieval of vital video assets and analysts' notes. It supports propagation of scenario-specific video imagery too, in a variety of formats and bandwidth constraints from high-definition ISR footage for analysts to ultra-compressed streams for transmission to tactical units at the edge.

    VITEC’s PX Media Library meta-solution enables media professionals to seamlessly tag, edit, manage, organise and share media files in an open system that is easily adaptable to industry-specific workflows.

    And, VITEC's MGW Ace Encoder and Decoder is a portable, hardware-based end-to-end 4:2:2 HEVC encode/decode solution. The appliance provides HEVC (H.265) bandwidth-efficient compression as well as legacy H.264 encoding capabilities. With a wide selection of I/Os and low power consumption using VITEC's HEVC compression chip, it allows for streaming video, audio and KLV metadata while in the field or on the move.
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    NAB 2017: Triveni Digital to debut ATSC 3.0 broadcast starter kits


    Triveni Digital has announced a series of ATSC 3.0 starter kits designed to bring broadcasters up to speed with the new broadcast television standard in a real-world environment.


    atsc 3.0The starter kits will be rolled out at NAB 2017, and will encompass everything from file-based monitoring to live encoding and over-the-air transmission options, leveraging Triveni Digital's GuideBuilder XM signalling and announcement generator, ROUTE/MMTP encoder and StreamScope XM MT service quality assurance system, along with third-party technology from trusted ecosystem partners.

    "The ATSC 3.0 standard is on the verge of completion, which will provide broadcasters with a wide range of benefits based on the ability to comprehensively distribute a hybrid mix of broadcast and broadband IP content to fixed and mobile receivers for the very first time," said Ralph Bachofen, vice president of sales and marketing at Triveni Digital.

    “It will also require a steep learning curve for broadcasters. Joining forces with other technology leaders, we're excited to offer broadcasters complete ATSC 3.0 solutions for various needs, from file-based monitoring to over-the-air reception. Becoming familiar with the new standard now, in their own facilities, broadcasters can ensure the transition is fast and smooth."

    The starter kits will be available in several options to meet broadcasters' unique infrastructure requirements and knowledge of the ATSC 3.0 standard. The entry-level package includes Triveni Digital's StreamScope XM MT, without any physical inputs, for file-based analysis. Using this solution, broadcasters can gain greater insight into the physical structure of ATSC 3.0.

    Option two expands upon the entry-level package by including Triveni Digital's GuideBuilder XM, ROUTE/MMTP encoder and a live source simulator. More advanced starter kits will feature additional elements of the ATSC 3.0 workflow such as encoding, packaging, modulation, gateways and exciters from third-party technology partners.

    The implementation of the next-generation ATSC 3.0 broadcast standard is expected to bring significant advantages to medium- and large-market television stations in the US, including more ad revenue, television viewership and management of digital competition.

    A recent BIA/Kelsey report examining the conversion to the ATSC 3.0 standard from a business perspective concluded that larger stations that were considering implementing the ATSC 3.0 standard would be recouped within three years.

    “ATSC 3.0 will change the business of broadcasting into a next generation wireless communications business,” said Mark Fratrik, chief economist and SVP, BIA/Kelsey.

    “This new technology will give broadcasters the ability to pursue multiple new business models, which will significantly diversify their current revenue mix.”
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    MWC 2017: consumer VR industry ready for major content push
    Editor
    | 28 February 2017


    vr ibb 28 Feb 2017The recent momentum created within the virtual reality (VR) sector as regards devices, especially headsets, is paving the way for a ‘flood’ of innovative VR content in 2017, says research from IBB Consulting.

    In its survey of 3,199 online consumer adults in the US, 16% expressed an interest in virtual reality, three-tenths of whom said they already own VR equipment. Of consumers that own equipment, 56% paid for it versus 44% who received it free as a gift or as part of a smartphone bundle.

    Regarding the places respondents said they’d use VR, just over three-quarters said they want to use it at home. When respondents were asked to choose the type of VR content they’d be most interested in experiencing, gaming was unsurprisingly the most popular with just over one-third of respondents (37%) named gaming as their top interest. Travel was second with 20%, followed by movies, TV and news (17%).

    Discerning future trends, IBB also found that headset take-up rate has increased but there is considerable room for growth. It noted though that virtual reality content was now needed to maintain and increase engagement and that VR content should take into account that with so many headsets obtained for free, many are potentially low-end devices with limited functionality.

    Commenting on the report, IBB senior partner focusing on mobile innovation, Jefferson Wang, said: “IBB Consulting’s research shows that more VR headsets continue to make their way to consumers, demonstrating healthy early spending. And we see good room for growth, with three-quarters of consumers interested in VR saying they’re more willing to buy VR equipment if they’re able to try it firsthand. Clearly, the VR usage environment matters for consumers.”

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    MWC 2017: Netgem launches SoundBox to simplify connected home digital clutter

    Telco TV and entertainment solution provider Netgem has launched a new connected device category enabling mobile and TV providers to add value to their bundles.

    The new SoundBox combines the functionalities of a connected speaker with the capabilities of a TV box to create what Netgem calls a unique platform for a new generation of connected entertainment services that takes away the hassle of having different sound and video systems in the house.

    Integrating a voice assistant, compatible with Amazon Alexa, SoundBox devices are powered by the latest generation of the Netgem Home software platform, offering a combined video and audio experience from and on any screen, and combined with centralised management tools for service providers.

    Customised solutions based on SoundBox will be available to service providers to help them launch a new generation of household bundles beyond traditional triple or quad- play services. Netgem believes that the solution will enable them to increase services revenue by capitalising on the strong consumer appetite for music streaming services and quality audio systems, and the growing demand for digital simplicity.

    Yet significantly and indicating that Netgem is looking outside its traditional user base, SoundBox is being premiered at Mobile Word Congress (MWC). Netgem sees SoundBox as creating an opportunity for mobile network operators (MNOs) to combine their mobile tariffs with a new music experience driven by a disruptive, new smart device form factor. Moreover, it says that they can now enter the smart home through differentiated family bundles that will simplify their customers’ digital lives, increase service revenue and reinforce loyalty.

    “Mobile network operators aren’t naturally associated with delivering smart home solutions,” commented Netgem MD Sylvain Thevenot.
    “SoundBox will enable them to change that perception for the first time by giving them an opportunity to redefine the way they approach family bundles.”

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    Nokia, AT&T conduct 5G streaming tests with DIRECTV NOW

    Even before the current next-generation infrastructure is anywhere near complete, work is apace to roll out 5G networks, and the latest project sees Nokia and AT&T in a trial for the latter’s TV provider DIRECTV NOW.

    The US comms giant and Finnish technology provider are collaborating to further advance 5G technology in the 39 GHz band by recently completing fixed wireless 5G tests based on the commercially available AirScale radio access platform intended for the online TV streaming service*for which AT&T has high hopes.

    The test demonstrates how new services can be successfully delivered with new technologies operating at high frequencies. AT&T regards both the 39 GHz band and the 28 GHz band as particularly attractive due to the large bandwidth available, with the former having significantly more, making it a strong candidate to support 5G deployments. Nokia began testing mmWave technology with AT&T in 2016 and for its recent tests of DIRECTV NOW over 39 GHz, Nokia delivered a 5G radio access system, conducting the trial at the AT&T Labs facility in Middletown, New Jersey.

    AT&T revealed that the results from this world’s first such trial will help advance the viability of 39 GHz, which it expects to play a key role in 5G development and deployment. It says that the testing of DIRECTV NOW also demonstrates 5G’s promise of providing new experiences to end users with its ultra-low network latency and higher throughput.

    “With this trial, we’re doing something that no other operator has done – regionally or globally,” explained AT&T senior vice president, wireless network architecture and design Tom Keathley.

    “We expect 39 GHz to be an important 5G band in the United States, and we look forward to continuing our collaboration with Nokia to further advance 5G technology in this band. The work coming out of AT&T Labs will provide valuable contributions to future 5G standards, and allow us to pave the way for delivering significantly faster speeds and a better overall network experience for our customers across the US.”


 

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