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Thread: Daily Satellite TV News

Six More Cable Operators Join Expanding SES Ultra HD Trials SES S.A. (Euronext Paris and Luxembourg Stock Exchange: SESG) today

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    Six More Cable Operators Join Expanding SES Ultra HD Trials

    SES S.A. (Euronext Paris and Luxembourg Stock Exchange: SESG) today announced that six more U.S. cable operators have joined its successful Ultra HD trials, while some of the first cable providers to participate are nearing the historic launch of consumer Ultra HD packages across the country.

    A new wave of Ultra HD trial agreements have been signed with cable operators from coast to coast, including Aureon in Iowa, GVTC Communications in Texas, Highlands Cable Group in North Carolina, KPU Telecommunications in Alaska, Service Electric in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, and Shrewsbury Community Cable in Massachusetts.

    Over 15 cable operators and multichannel video programming distributors (MVPDs), with a combined audience of over seven million subscribers, are currently testing 4K content delivery across SES’s fully-managed, pre-packaged Ultra HD platform. The platform offers the largest Ultra HD programming lineup, together with satellite distribution services and reception gear.

    “Our SES Ultra HD solution is on course to enable live and linear Ultra HD delivery to homes in half the time it took HD to reach the same television milestone across the U.S.,” noted Steve Corda, Vice President of Business Development in North America for SES. “Cable operators have been extremely impressed with how easy it is to implement our pre-packaged Ultra HD solution across their networks. By leveraging the scalability and reliability of satellite, SES has greatly accelerated the delivery of Ultra HD to homes throughout North America. Some of the first cable operators to join our Ultra HD trials early last year are now on the verge of launching the very first consumer Ultra HD packages in the U.S.”

    “KPU TV has initiated its first Ultra HD trials with SES, firmly committed to being the first to offer the best 4K Ultra HD services to our customers throughout Ketchikan, Alaska,” said Jeff Hendrickson, Video Headend Technician, KPU Telecommunications. “Sales of 4K Ultra HD TVs have increased dramatically across the community, and so have customer requests for great Ultra HD content.”

    “Our Ultra HD trials with SES are at the center of our 4K strategy as we ready for the launch of Ultra HD services to our customers in the very near future,” explained Dennis Krumblis, Video Engineering Supervisor, GVTC. “Together with SES, GVTC is well positioned to make Ultra HD services an exciting game-changing reality for our business and our subscribers well ahead of schedule.”

    “Ultra HD has now arrived in Massachusetts thanks to SES’s innovative solution that has allowed Shrewsbury Community Cable to leap to reliable and scalable technologies and accelerate our Ultra HD launch strategy,” said Jeffrey Black, Headend Systems Engineer for Shrewsbury Community Cable. “Together with SES, we’re not only in a position to better compete in the world of Ultra HD, we’re now able to lead the way.”

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    BT kicks off first uncompressed video contribution for Premier League teams


    BT sport 21 Jan 2017Aiming to enhance image quality and minimise any delays for broadcasters, BT Media and Broadcast has opened the UK’s first uncompressed video contribution network connecting all 20 Premier League (EPL) football stadiums.

    The three-year deal was carried out with the EPL’s international broadcasting outlet, Premier League Productions (PLP), a partnership between the Premier League and international sports production company IMG. PLP delivers every match live to the Premier League’s international rights holders, as well as additional production material such as instant replays, highlights packages and ready-for-air channels.

    BT Media & Broadcast will provide uncompressed live HD video feeds between the stadiums and IMG’s studios in London, enabling PLP to provide an enhanced service to its international customers by eliminating all the issues currently associated with distributing compressed video, such as delays and reduced image quality. The deal will also see BT Media & Broadcast installing and managing the new contribution network across the stadia to support its premium service for broadcast customers, with multiple 10Gbps links to PLP studios.

    Crucially, the service offers PLP a launch pad for the move to Ultra HD delivery, with the bandwidth provided through the BT optical network.

    “We are constantly looking to innovate on behalf of the broadcasters we serve all over the world,” said Nick Moody, head of PLP. “The BT network has allowed us to greatly increase flexibility and give us the ability to scale up our service as and when we need to and, in turn, has been extremely well-received by the Premier League’s international licensees.”
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    21st Century Fox’s Sky acquisition goes to European Commission for approval


    The UK government has confirmed that the parties to the proposed merger between Sky and 21st Century Fox have now formally notified the European Commission.


    In her action, Secretary of State for Culture Media and Sport, Karen Bradley, was keen to note that the deal, a hugely controversial act given the history of the Rupert Murdoch-owned firm’s attempts to acquire the pay-TV giant, does raise public interest issues. She remarked: “I can confirm that formal notification for the proposed merger of Sky and 21st Century Fox was lodged with the European Commission… and I have, today, written to the parties to inform them that I am ‘minded to’ issue a European Intervention Notice on the basis that I have concerns that there may be public interest considerations - as set out in the Enterprise Act 2002 - that are relevant to this proposed merger that warrant further investigation.”

    The first public interest ground that raised a red flag with Bradley was that of media plurality; specifically, the need for there to be a sufficient plurality of persons with control of the media enterprises serving audiences in the UK. The second public interest ground on which she was minded to intervene regarded a commitment to broadcasting standards.

    Bradley stressed that she had not taken a final decision on intervention and that in line with the guidance that applies to her role she was inviting written representations from the parties and will aim to come to a final decision on whether to intervene in the merger within 10 working days of the notification.
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    Nickelodeon turns to social media for kids’ TV awards


    Kids’ TV giant Nickelodeon International has teamed up with internationally renowned content creators to form the first official global KCA Social Squad.


    nick soical 4 march 2017The team of social media-aware online video creators will aim to drive attention for the Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards which take place on 11 March, providing an exclusive look inside the official pre-KCAs Nickelodeon International Slime Soiree, Orange Carpet activity, and behind-the-scenes activity leading up to the event itself. The KCA Social Squad comprises Gabriel and Jess Conte; Mario Bautista, Alex Mapeli, Saffron Barker, Dagi Bee and Benjamin Lasnier. Collectively they bring to Nickelodeon a cross-platform following of more than 45 million fans.

    The KCA Social Squad have been engaged to offer the event their personal shooting styles, providing fans from around the world with different perspectives of the show’s experience. Fans can follow along via the official KCA Social Squad hashtag #KCASquad.

    The event will also feature appearances by celebrities including Nikki & Brie Bella; The Chainsmokers; Nick Cannon; Ellen DeGeneres; Chris Evans; Gal Gadot; Kevin Hart; DJ Khaled; Demi Lovato; Isabela Moner; Chris Pine; Chris Pratt; Rico Rodriguez; Zoe Saldana; JoJo Siwa and Zendaya; stars from Nick series Henry Danger, Game Shakers, Nicky, Ricky, Dicky & Dawn, The Thundermans and School of Rock.
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    ¡Hola! TV expands in-house production across the Americas


    Atresmedia’s ¡Hola! TV has launched a new original production through which it aims to gain more daily traction across Latin America and the US Hispanics.


    look nueva vida hola tvPremiering on 6 March, La Hora ¡HOLA! forms part of a new and renovated prime time with a show that features special guests, exclusive interviews and daily news, presented with the positive human focus for which the channel is known.

    Hosted by the Colombian journalist Natasha Cheij, the new show aims to conquer the central time-slot of prime time, which was formerly occupied by the programmes Mundo ¡HOLA! and ¡HOLA! Diario.

    With more premieres scheduled during March, La Hora ¡HOLA! joins Un Nuevo Look Para Una Nueva Vida, Íconos and Domingo de Maratones for a powerful line-up during women’s month.

    With the presence of all Spanish-speaking countries and the US Hispanic market, the pay-TV network, a partnership between Atresmedia Internacional and the magazine ¡HOLA!, has managed to reach over 20 million homes since it was launched three years ago.

    In-house content is one of the main focuses of ¡Hola! TV’s expansive strategy across the region the region. According to its CEO, Ignacio Sanz de Acedo, the network intends to create and produce 100% of its line-up.
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    Shibden Hall opens doors of new BBC, HBO drama


    BBC One and HBO have commissioned Shibden Hall, a brand new eight-part drama series produced by Lookout Point.


    Set in West Yorkshire in 1832, Shibden Hall was created and written by Bafta-winning Sally Wainwright. It is the story of the landowner, Anne Lister. Returning after years of exotic travel and social climbing, Lister determines to transform the fate of her faded ancestral home in Yorkshire by marrying well and reopening her coal mines. However, Lister lived her life like a man and plans to marry a seriously wealthy woman.

    Every part of the story is based in historical fact, recorded in the four million words of her diaries that contain the most intimate details of her life, once hidden in a secret code that is now broken.

    “Anne Lister is a gift to a dramatist. She is one of the most exuberant, thrilling and brilliant women in British history, and I can’t wait to celebrate her,” Wainwright said. “Landowner, industrialist, traveller, mountaineer, scholar, would-be brain surgeon and prolific diarist, Anne returns from years of travel to her ancestral home, determined to restore it to its former glory, and determined to marry Ann Walker. It’s a beautifully rich, complicated, surprising love story. To bring Anne Lister to life on screen is the fulfilment of an ambition I’ve had for 20 years. Shibden Hall is a place I have known and loved since I was a child. I’m also delighted to be working with Faith Penhale again and the wonderful team at Lookout Point after our collaboration on To Walk Invisible, and of course thrilled to be working with the BBC and HBO.”

    Piers Wenger, controller BBC Drama Commissioning, added: “The originality and ambition of the writing in Shibden Hall is Sally Wainwright at her boldest and best. In dramatising the life and loves of Anne Lister, Sally might just have found her most complex and uncompromising female character yet and I’m so proud that they will be making their home BBC One.”

    The 8x60’ series will be directed by Sally Wainwright, produced by Lookout Point for BBC One, and co-produced with HBO. Executive producers are Sally Wainwright, Faith Penhale for Lookout Point and Piers Wenger for BBC One. The series will start filming in Yorkshire next year.
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    Reef to produce Lucy Worsley Opera two-part series


    BBC Two has commissioned Reef Television to produce a two-part series exploring the history of opera, presented by Lucy Worsley, historian and chief curator, Historic Royal Palaces.


    5 Feb 2017Lucy Worsley’s Nights at the Opera comprises two one-hour films that explore several pivotal operas against the backdrop of the cities in which they were premiered.

    Forming the centrepiece of a wider focus on opera and the role music plays in pivotal moments in history, the programmes coincide with the Victoria & Albert Museum’s new exhibition in collaboration with the Royal Opera House: Opera: Passion, Power & Politics. Sir Antonio Pappano, music director of the Royal Opera House, will also play a key role in the series, explaining the music from the operas featured.

    “Lucy Worsley has become one of UK’s most popular storytellers”, said Jan Younghusband, commissioning editor, BBC Music & Events. “Along with Sir Antonio Pappano, we really couldn’t have a better team to celebrate and unpack the stories behind the origins of all the great opera tunes we love, and their context in wider history for a mainstream audience. We are delighted that this series marks an extension of the BBC's long-running relationship with the Royal Opera House, bringing the best of opera and ballet to television.”

    “We’re delighted to be working for BBC Two and BBC Music again”, said Reef’s head of factual Ben Weston. “And also to be collaborating with the V&A and Royal Opera House in such a prestigious season of programming”.

    Lucy Worsley’s Nights at the Opera was commissioned by Younghusband and Patrick Holland, BBC Two Channel Editor. It will be directed by acclaimed producer/director Guy Evans who made The Secrets of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony for BBC Two last year. The executive producers will be Weston and Elizabeth Hartford.
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    Pebble Beach, Blue Lucy partner on Beluga workflow engine

    Automation and integrated playout specialist Pebble Beach Systems has partnered with media asset management software developers Blue Lucy on a new workflow engine, content management and video processing solution.

    The new Beluga integrates closely with Pebble’s Marina automation system to offer targeted file delivery, content preparation, and integrated QC workflows without the need to deploy an enterprise MAM solution.

    Beluga’s content management approach focuses on the tasks of preparing content for playout and distribution. Checking segmentation, programme content, allowing for conformance editing, performing quality control and generating reports are carried out in the playout pipeline. Beluga also adds transcoding and proxy creation to Marina’s existing toolset. As the number of users grows, Beluga’s simple web-based interface enables teams to interact with the media dynamically without having to install dedicated client software.

    “Our Marina automation system currently delivers a level of content management which suits many deployments, but the addition of Beluga to the range opens up the possibility of more advanced functionality where it’s needed, without the customer having to implement a complex and potentially expensive enterprise level solution,” said Pebble CEO Tom Gittins. “We’re excited to integrate it into our range of playout solutions and delighted to be working with Blue Lucy on its development.”

    Beluga is designed to bridge the gap between content preparation, linear playout, and the creation of fast-turnaround video-on-demand-ready media. Its drag-and-drop workflow builder makes it easy for operators to create and edit workflows on the fly.

    Operation is via an HTML5 Web user interface, and the solution can coexist alongside an existing MAM. Users can configure workflows to suit their requirements, and Beluga can support multiple users. Also, a Beluga system can link to multiple Marina systems, so that media can be restored by Beluga based on the earliest usage time of media across all systems.

    “We’re proud to be partnering with Pebble Beach Systems to introduce Beluga, powered by Blue Lucy,” said Julian Wright, founder and CEO of Blue Lucy. “Beluga has been designed to deliver content supply chain management in a targeted way to enhance Marina’s strong feature set, via a cost-effective workflow engine and an easy to use asset management system which can scale from small systems (four channels) to enterprise MAM.”

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    Blue Origin to launch Eutelsat satellite

    As it seeks to expand the methods of delivery of its satellites, Eutelsat has engaged Blue Origin to launch a satellite on its New Glenn rocket, expected to come into operation in 2020.

    The agreement with Blue Origin covers the launch of a geostationary satellite in the 2021-2022 timeframe. The New Glenn launcher will be compatible with virtually all Eutelsat satellites, giving flexibility to allocate the mission 12 months ahead of launch.

    “Blue Origin has been forthcoming with Eutelsat on its strategy and convinced us they have the right mindset to compete in the launch service industry,” said Eutelsat CEO Rodolphe Belmer. “Their solid engineering approach, and their policy to develop technologies that will form the base of a broad generation of launchers, corresponds to what we expect from our industrial partners. In including New Glenn in our manifest we are pursuing our longstanding strategy of innovation that drives down the cost of access to space and drives up performance. This can only be good news for the profitability and sustainability of our industry.”

    Amazon CEO and Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos added: “Eutelsat is one of the world’s most experienced and innovative satellite operators, and we are honoured that they chose Blue Origin and our New Glenn orbital launch vehicle. Eutelsat has launched satellites on many new vehicles and shares both our methodical approach to engineering and our passion for driving down the cost of access to space. Welcome to the launch manifest, Eutelsat, can’t wait to fly together.”

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    Showtime to debut Whitney Houston documentary

    Showtime Documentary Films will premiere Whitney: Can I Be Me, a film exploring the career and complicated life of Whitney Houston, at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York City.

    The powerful documentary is directed by BAFTA Award winner Nick Broomfield (Kurt & Courtney, Tales of the Grim Sleeper) and will air on SHOWTIME later this year.

    “Nick is a bold storyteller with an acclaimed track record of provocative documentary filmmaking,” said Vinnie Malhotra, SVP, documentary and unscripted programming, Showtime Networks. “Showtime Documentary Films is excited to partner with him on this project, as he delves deep into the life of Whitney Houston to tell the real story behind the rise and fall of one of America’s most iconic singers.”

    Houston was one of the most successful female recording artists of all time. After a troubled marriage to singer Bobby Brown and many years of struggles with addiction, Houston died suddenly and tragically at age 48. With behind the scenes materials, candid interviews and performance footage – including many of Houston’s greatest hits – the documentary will offer a raw and uncensored look at Houston, exploring the impact her life and death had on the people around her and the world of music.

    According to her band members, “Can I be me?” was Houston’s favourite expression, one she used so much that they sampled it to play at the start of rehearsals. The film explores Whitney’s central dilemma: even though she had made millions of dollars, had more consecutive No 1s than The Beatles, and was recognised as having one of the greatest voices of all time, she still couldn’t do what she wanted to do, either professionally or in her personal life.


 

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