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    Red Bull Media signs content deal with MediaCorp
    Louise Duffy | 13-06-2013
    Red Bull Media House has entered into a partnership with Singaporean media giant MediaCorp. Under the terms of the deal MediaCorp will feature Red Bull Media House content as one of the key offerings and attractions of its new Toggle personal entertainment service.
    The MediaCorp alliance is Red Bull Media House's second major deal in Singapore - it also partners with cable TV provider StarHub.
    An over-the-top (OTT) service, Toggle offers entertainment, information and news that is portable across multiple platforms and via any Internet service provider. Red Bull Media House content available on Toggle in Singapore will include documentaries, TV series and feature films that audiences can watch as video on demand via IPTV, online, on smart mobile devices such as phones and tablets and on smart TV.
    “Our prime asset is our content, which has high appeal to an active and engaged demographic,” said Alexander Koppel, chief commercial officer of Red Bull Media House.
    “Accessibility is key, and MediaCorp’s innovative Toggle service will enable viewers in Singapore to experience our premium products wherever they are, whenever they like, however they wish – with the flexibility that accommodates their lifestyle.”

  • #2
    Miranda awarded hybrid router patent
    Michelle Clancy | 13-06-2013
    Miranda Technologies, which provides production, playout and delivery systems for television broadcasters and MSOs, has been awarded US Patent 8359417 for a process invented by its NVISION routers team to dramatically reduce audio latency in its NVISION 8500 Hybrid Router series.
    Researched, designed and manufactured at Miranda's Grass Valley facility, Miranda's NVISION hybrid routers streamline television infrastructures and eliminate audio-to-video delay issues by incorporating integrated audio processing.
    The method patented by the NVISION team vastly reduces the delay inherent in most audio disembeders and re-embedders. With their patented design, the company said that NVISION routers are able to reduce the delay of the disembedder (typically 20 lines or 24 audio samples), the TDM (memory based time switch) audio crosspoint (typically one or two audio samples), and the embedder (typically 20 lines or 24 audio samples), down to as short as one line of delay when the video formats are the same, and up to three lines worst case with mixed video formats (like 625i/50 and 720p/59.94). The latency reduction technique is an advance in hybrid audio/video routing that results in the industry's fastest router processing, and therefore shortest audio-to-video delay.
    "Our Grass Valley team continues to set the standard for world class signal distribution technologies," said Scott Murray, Miranda's senior vice president for Core Products. "This patent is further confirmation of our leadership position as the most respected brand in professional routing systems and reinforces our ongoing drive to develop innovative solutions for the broadcast industry."
    The NVISION 8500 Hybrid router series takes advantage of Dynamic Hybrid Pathfinding (DHP), which routes signals through audio processing modules within the router whenever required, either automatically or under manual control. Importantly, the DHP capabilities reduce costs by enabling facilities to use the 8500 series without having to fully populate it with hybrid-only modules.
    Murray added: "We have redoubled our commitment to disciplined innovation throughout our product range, evidenced most recently by the return of Chuck Meyer as CTO for Core Products. Chuck's previous tenure at the helm of NVISION means that he returns to us with a wealth of invaluable experience that we'll leverage to the benefit of Miranda customers."
    As a whole, the signal processing capabilities of NVISION hybrid routers, powered by Miranda's patented technology, provide a considerable benefit to broadcast facilities by eliminating the need for external devices to process those signals separately.

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    • #3
      DIRECTV advocates end of retrans fees to Congress
      Michelle Clancy | 13-06-2013
      DIRECTV would like to see retransmission fees to national broadcasters for must-carry networks eliminated, and isn't shy about letting Congress know its opinion.
      Michael Palkovic, executive vice president at DIRECTV, will submit testimony to the US House Communications Subcommittee hearing on reauthorising a law that allows satellite TV operators to beam in out-of-market affiliate signals. Must-carry regulations were also covered, and Palkovic urged lawmakers to "jettison broadcast regulations altogether" if they're not going to make the laws "smarter to reflect the marketplace," according to a copy obtained by Broadcasting & Cable.
      Simply put, the retrans scheme allows broadcasters to almost extort pay-TV providers out of money in exchange for content that it can't do without. "The 1992 Cable Act has maximised broadcasters' leverage to levels unforeseen by its authors," he said. "The results for a consumer are higher prices, lack of choice and a total of 154 losses of local programming."
      He also struck a pro-consumer chord, noting that programming blackouts have been the result of many retrans disputes in recent months. In addition, he brought up the practice of content bundling by media companies – which forces DIRECTV to take some networks that are unpopular along with high-rated nets. "Broadcast television has gotten far too expensive," he said. "It is often unavailable where consumers want it, when they want it. Customers are forced to buy unwanted programming to get it, and the broadcast industry increasingly takes it away from viewers in 'blackouts'."
      He said the situation is not being remedied by the free market as it should be. "If the media conglomerates continue to reject calls for packaging flexibility, then they leave us no option but to support Government intervention. The status quo is simply unacceptable," he said.
      B&C reported that Palkovic also will take on "special privileges for broadcasters," like network non-duplication, syndicated exclusivity rules and the prohibition on dropping broadcast programming during sweeps weeks.
      Congress "must address the imbalance created by decades of regulatory underbrush clogging the video marketplace," he said.

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      • #4
        ESPN to drop 3DTV services
        Editor | 13-06-2013
        In what could be the first nail in the coffin for the technology, ESPN is discontinuing its 3DTV service by the end of 2013.
        Officially ESPN says that it is keeping its options open if 3DTV does ever take off but the company has confirmed that it was discontinuing the offering due to limited viewer adoption. In a tweet, ESPN spokeswoman Katina Arnold said simply: “ESPN 3D was great at home but due to low adoption of 3D to home, we are discontinuing to focus on other products for fans and affiliates.”
        ESPN 3D began broadcasting in on 11 June 2010 with the first match of the FIFA World Cup and claim’s to be the only 24/7 3D sports network. Its current slate offers over 100 live sporting events including CFB regular season games, the BCS championship, CBB regular season, Big East tournament and X Games.
        The news comes as there were murmurings that despite a glacial evolution— hampered by the lack of compelling content in high enough quality, and cost of technology —3DTV was beginning to grow. In March 2013, according to the Smart TV Consumer Survey conducted by the IHS Screen Digest TV Systems, American television buyers’ key criteria were seen to be changing, with an increased importance on technology features such as 3D.
        The survey also showed that 18.8% of consumers planning to buy a television said they intend to purchase a 3D model. “Features most commonly found on high-end TV models and bigger screen-size sets, like 3D and Internet-connectivity, are becoming more important to US consumers,” said Veronica Thayer, TV systems analyst at IHS. “But the appeal of 3DTV remains far lower than that of Internet-enabled sets.”
        As it struggled to take off, 3DTV has been overshadowed, and some say overhyped, by UltraHD 4KTV. Indeed ESPN is making a huge play in this sector.

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        • #5
          Tightrope launches Cablecast video server
          Michelle Clancy | 13-06-2013
          Tightrope Media Systems has released the Cablecast SXHD LE video server, a new multi-format HD and SD video server that joins Tightrope's Cablecast family of all-in-one broadcast automation systems.
          SXHD LE is a single-box, 1-RU solution for video playout that includes 4TB of storage and built-in branding functions, aimed at small-scale broadcast operations such as public, educational and government-access TV stations, campus television, local origination cable channels, hospitals and cruise ships.
          "The feature set at this price point is remarkable, which is a boon for smaller broadcasters with fewer resources because it can save time on the production side and money on the operations side," said JJ Parker, CEO of Tightrope Media Systems. "For example, multi-format playout saves users time because they can go from edit to air without any transcoding. At the same time, back-to-back playout saves money for the facilities because they don't need extra servers or server outputs. One server output equals one channel out."
          The Cablecast SXHD LE video server plays all common video formats, including MPEG-2, WMV, H.264, AVI, DVCPRO HD, and ProRes, with no transcoding required, and it encodes MPEG-2, DV, DVCAM, DVCPRO, DVCPRO HD and ProRes formats up to 220Mbps in the full 4:2:2 profile. Besides having built-in support for all of those formats, the SXHD LE plays video files back-to-back on the same output. Channel branding is made easier with video overlay features such as a station bug, bug text and crawls with both foreground and background images, possibly eliminating the need for a downstream key. The server also automatically down-converts HD files to SD for playout on an SD channel, and up-converts SD to HD for playout on an HD channel.
          As with all Cablecast video servers, the SXHD LE comes with Cablecast station automation and scheduling software, which allows users to "write once, publish everywhere". They simply enter the programme information into the system one time and then drag programmes onto the schedule, and Cablecast automatically publishes the schedule to the channel, the website, TV guide's format, and station programming reports. Cablecast also automates file conversion for Web-based video-on-demand.
          The SXHD LE is a lower-cost alternative to Tightrope's Cablecast SX2HD server in a smaller footprint. It is capable of standing alone or it can control a Tightrope Carousel player through built-in software. The Carousel player automatically shows the programme schedule and promotes upcoming shows throughout the day, and also serves as a community bulletin board for campus, shipboard, and community announcements.

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          • #6
            ARRIS unveils multiscreen workflow for Adaptive Video Packager
            Michelle Clancy | 13-06-2013
            ARRIS Group has launched a multiscreen workflow with the AVP100 Adaptive Video Packager. The AVP100 delivers live linear and on-demand packaging for adaptive bit rate video (ABR) streams, making it an integrated component of the ARRIS end-to-end multiscreen solution, including the Secure Media DRM, GT3 Transcoder and VideoFlow Content Management System.
            Packaging is necessary for any multiscreen service, which is another reason why the AVP100 comes pre-integrated, and is designed as a high performance platform delivering Adaptive Bit Rate value-added services without performance degradation. Service providers now have a solution for the fast and scalable deployment of multiscreen services.
            "The AVP100 can package up to 50 channels of live video in real time or up to 800Mbps of on demand video," said Bruce McClelland, president of network and cloud, global services, ARRIS. "These advanced capabilities are designed for service providers looking for a cost-effective solution with pre-integrated components that allow for the fast and scalable deployment of multiscreen services."
            The AVP100 comes in a high-availability 1 Rack Unit package with dual AC or DC, hot-swappable power supplies, and four Gigabit Ethernet ports for data input/output and management control. It is engineered for delivery of HTTP Adaptive Bit Rate video services to any video display device, including tablets, PCs, MACs, laptops, IP set-top boxes and smartphones. Accepting any combination of MPEG2 Transport Streams, the AVP100 outputs encrypted chunks of video and HLS manifest files to a web server or CDN for delivery to a variety of multiscreen devices.
            "The AVP100 truly gives service providers the multiscreen work flow solution they've been looking for," said McClelland. "It's fully integrated with our multiscreen platform including DRM, transcoding, content management, and next gen IP set-top boxes, creating an unrivalled, complete end-to-end solution."
            The AVP100 includes a full-featured graphical user interface for configuration and management of live streaming. In addition, overall system load, alarms and event monitoring are displayed on the browser-based management console. An extensive XML API is available for content management systems to process video-on-demand files. Full AVP100 configurations are stored in .csv files for backup and restore. Custom configuration synchronisation between the AVP100 and the ARRIS GT-3 Transcoder allow for quick set-up and accurate configuration of video streams from end-to-end.

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            • #7
              ESPN drops 3D, goes for 4K UltraHD
              June 13, 2013 11.45 Europe/London By Robert Briel

              Due to limited viewer adoption of 3D services to the home, ESPN has announced it is discontinuing ESPN 3D at the end of the year.
              In a statement, the US sports broadcaster said that it will now focus on 4K Ulta HD instead.
              “We are committing our 3D resources to other products and services that will better serve fans and affiliates. Nobody knows more about sports in 3D than ESPN, and we will be ready to provide the service to fans if or when 3D does take off,” the company said.
              “As technology leaders, we continue to experiment with things like Ultra High Definition television (also known as Ultra HD television or UHDTV) production tools to produce our current ESPN family of HD channels.”
              ESPN 3D launched in June 2010 and served as an example of 3D sports coverage.

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              • #8
                Sky News enters Yahoo video partnership
                June 13, 2013 12.02 Europe/London By Julian Clover

                Sky News has signed a new partnership with Yahoo! that will make video content from the news channel available to 6.5 million users in the UK and millions more worldwide.
                An online hub will be created for Sunrise, the flagship morning show, presented by Eamonn Holmes and Charlotte Hawkins.
                Three original co-commissioned series covering Politics, Tech and Business and a window to the Sky News live feed during breaking news events will also be made available.
                Previously, content from Sky News has been restricted to Sky subscribers through Sky Go or the dedicated Sky News apps.
                Nick Herm, chief operating officer, Sky News. “We are always looking for innovative and exciting ways to bring Sky News’ content to viewers across all platforms. Partnering with Yahoo is a fantastic way to highlight our unique coverage and programmes to new and existing audiences.”
                Jean-Christophe Conti, Yahoo! Vice President and Head of Partnerships EMEA added: “As a leading news provider, Sky News is the perfect partner to deliver and co-create content on news, politics and business that we know our users want. Yahoo! supplies the cross-device platform and personalisation technology to ensure that Sky’s quality content is delivered to new and existing audiences in the most relevant way.”
                Yahoo! is already the provider of email services to Sky Broadband.

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                • #9
                  BARB to collect online data
                  June 13, 2013 12.11 Europe/London By Julian Clover

                  BARB, the official source of TV viewing in the UK, is to collect census data for TV viewing through all computer devices, including tablets.
                  Contractor Kantar Media will handle the data, which has been made possible by the commitment of the UK broadcasters to embed metadata tags into their programme content.
                  Justin Sampson, chief executive at BARB, said: “This news is pivotal as BARB will track audiences using metadata tags for the first time. Our initial focus is on reporting the extent to which IP content is being downloaded or streamed. This is a significant step forward in our ambition to deliver cross-platform measurement of content. The next step is to invite research companies to tender for the task of integrating this data with the viewing figures that our users are already familiar with.”
                  Measurement of IP-delivered services will commence this autumn, alongside over the air transmissions, which still represent the majority of viewing for the UK’s 26 million households.
                  Field tests of a dedicated app in the early summer should lead to the roll-out of a solution for measuring BARB panelists’ viewing on tablets and smartphones by the end of the year. This will supplement the computer viewing that we are already tracking in 700 panel homes.
                  Richard Brooke, BARB board member and senior communications and buying manager at Unilever UK and Ireland, said: “This is a positive step forward towards measurement of this tremendously complex area. We are optimistic that blending census data with more comprehensive behaviour tracking in the BARB panel is the right way forward.”
                  The release of the TV Player report at the end of the year is seen as the first stage towards a dovtailing of online and over the air data collection.

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