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  1. #1
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    Default Transponder news 29.05.2008

    Sony Electronics and major cable operators signed an agreement that will enable consumers to purchase "two-way" digital televisions and other devices that can receive interactive digital and high-def video services without a set-top box. The electronics giant made the announcement along with the National Cable and Telecommunications Association. The binding Memorandum of Understanding was negotiated by Sony with Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Cox, Charter, Cablevision and Bright House Networks.
    PEOPLE - Globecomm Systems, a provider of satellite-based communications solutions and services, said Stephen Wilson, formerly vice president of operations for Globecomm Services Maryland, has been appointed vice president of American sales.
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    Arianespace Ready for Third Mission of 2008

    Arianespace's third Ariane 5 flight of 2008 is set to take place at the end of the week, launching the Turksat 3A and Skynet 5C satellites from the launch services provider's Spaceport in French Guiana.
    The upcoming mission is scheduled for Friday. The Ariane 5 dual-payload "stack" places Turksat 3A in the lower passenger position, with the satellite being released in the final phase of a multi-step mission trajectory. Riding in the upper passenger space is Skynet 5C.
    Turksat 3A was built by Thales Alenia Space, and will be utilized by Ankara-based Turksat for telecom services and satellite TV broadcasting over Turkey, Europe, the Middle East, North Africa and Central Asia. Skynet 5C is a secure military telecommunications satellite that will be operated by U.K.-based Paradigm
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    RajTV to close, seeks £400k for EPG slot

    The operators of English-language Asian channel RajTV are seeking offers in the region of £400,000 for its slot in the Sky electronic programme guide.
    Raja Khan, the Birmingham-based businessman who began the service in September 2005, plans to close the channel once a buyer is found to take up channel 171.
    Mohammed Naeem, a consultant for RajTV operator RTV Productions, said: "The channel is in the entertainment section and quite low in the list.
    "There has been quite a lot of interest in the last few months because Sky has stopped issuing slots. We have been told the value for that particular position is around £400,000."
    Naeem said Khan had decided to close the channel and move into other areas of business. The channel and its boss were the subject of a BBC Two comedy documentary, No Time for Tea at RajTV, in 2006.
    In March Discovery paid Sumo.tv broadcaster Cellcast £1.4m to take over channels 144 and 145, also in the entertainment section.
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  4. #4
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    Virgin Media bets on hunger for VOD

    Virgin Media has stepped up its efforts to convince everyday viewers to embrace video on demand with a TV dinner-themed marketing campaign.
    The cable operator has commissioned several pieces of "food art" depicting hit BBC shows to promote the availability of iPlayer content on its cable service.
    The pieces by Prudence Emma Staite, titled TV Dinners, are a clear attempt to link family favourites such as Doctor Who and traditional viewing habits to the relatively new possibility of VOD.
    Virgin has expanded its on demand offering over the past year, notably with the addition of iPlayer last month, and average views per customer have grown from 11 to 24 in a year. However, just 48% of its 3.5m TV customers are said to be "regularly using" the service.
    The company's major advertising campaign this year, featuring Samuel L Jackson, also focused on the benefits of VOD, while the firm has declared its ambition to "redefine the TV experience through on demand".
    Chief executive Neil Berkett has identified the service, along with high-speed broadband, as something for Virgin to boast over its competitors, in contrast to the premium movies, sport and linear HD channels on offer from Sky.
    Content chief Malcolm Wall today said he expected use of Virgin VOD to "continue to grow strongly" following the full integration of the iPlayer into its programme guide next week.
    The new images, promoting BBC programmes as well as Virgin's products, also highlight the level of collaboration between the two in developing a specifically designed version of the iPlayer. Virgin is keen to enhance its services while the BBC is working quickly to bring on demand viewing to new platforms.
    Salut Prieteni!


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    Digital TV disappoints UK consumers

    Nearly three million new homes took up digital TV in 2007. Today, nearly 9 out of 10 homes in the UK have ‘gone digital and spend £4.2 billion (E5.25bn) on their service every year. However, the first ever digital TV customer satisfaction survey by uSwitch.com, featuring the top three providers - who hold 95 per cent of the market - reveals that more than 1 in 4 customers are not satisfied.
    The survey of 10,000 digital TV customers says over a quarter of customers (6 million) are not satisfied with their digital TV company. Three companies account for 95 per cent of the digital TV market: Freeview (43 per cent), Sky (37 per cent) and Virgin Media (15 per cent).
    Sky has been voted number 1 by its customers for best overall satisfaction. 76 per cent of its customers are satisfied with its service overall. Yet despite winning the top award for overall satisfaction, Sky’s customers have voted it last for value for money. Its 57per cent score in this category leaves 3.6 million customers undecided or dissatisfied with the value for money they receive from their service. Sky customers pay an average of £31.17 per month for their digital TV service – almost double the £16.70 paid by Virgin Media customers.
    Freeview is the undisputed winner of the best value for money award. Three quarters (75 per cent) of its customers are satisfied with the value they receive from their service.
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    Sony to eliminate cable STBs?


    Sony has signed a deal with six major cable TV operators in the US that will pave the way for digital TVs that can receive cable programmes without the need for a set-top box. The agreement, which other consumer electronics manufacturers are invited to join, is to create TVs and other devices that can provide interactive digital and HD video services, the cable television trade body NCTA said.
    The six cable operators who have signed the agreement with Sony are Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Cablevision, Cox Communications, Charter Communications and Bright House Networks.
    The NCTA said the agreement will help establish a competitive market for "two-way" digital cable-ready products. It addresses how such products will be brought to market with interactive services like video-on-demand, digital video recording and interactive programming guides.
    The companies will use the Java-based technology called Tru2way for their interactive ‘plug-and-play’ standard. Tru2way, which was formerly called OpenCable, is built into televisions, set-top boxes and other devices, and will allow companies to develop services that can be offered across all products that comply with the specification.
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    Bundesliga rights sought after

    Rights for live coverage of German Bundesliga football have attracted the attention of a range of German broadcasters and platform operators. Questioned during the CEO Strategy Summit at ANGA Cable, a number of executives confirmed they had registered their interest in the rights auction.
    Michael Boernicke, CEO of pay-TV platform Premiere, which previously held the rights, said that the operator was interested in all packages that were available, and stressed that if successful, it would "make it simple" for the viewer to access them.
    While Boernicke was confident that Premiere would be successful in regaining the rights, which it lost to cable operator consortium Arena, Andreas Bereczky, Director, Production at state broadcaster ZDF, said that there may be "some crumbs" left for the service. "We’ll take a look at the new constellation," he said.
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    VRT to launch HD version of first channel

    The Belgian public broadcaster VRT will launch an HD version of its main first channel Eén in July. The cable operator In-Di has said it will carry the HD version on its platform.
    Native HD programming will include live coverage of the Tour de France and the Summer Olympics in Beijing.
    Salut Prieteni!


  9. #9
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    Eutelsat to extend KabelKiosk offer with TC bouquet


    ANGA Cable - Cologne. The channels from the RTL Group and ProSiebenSat1 will be part of the head-end in the sky project from Tele Columbus and Eutelsat’s Kabelkiosk. Negotiations about carriage are now in the final stages with RTL and have been completed with ProSiebenSat.1.
    Conracts have also been signed with a number of smaller channels including BBC World News, Tier TV, Sportdigital TV, Volksmusic TV, Luxe TV, the financial channel DAF and home & gardening channel XX Home. These channels will be in addition to the current KabelKiosk offer.
    The venture encompasses a portfolio of basic private digital channels to be made available to Tele Columbus digital cable subscribers and other network operators. Starting with two transponders, Tele Columbus plans to ramp up to five transponders hosting between 50 and 60 digital channels and services. The initial offer of around 30 private German channels will be multiplexed, encrypted and uplinked by Eutelsat. There will be dual encryption using both Conax and NDS. TeleColumbus will use NDS encryption.
    The platform is also an important step in extending the digital service provided by KabelKiosk to independent cable operators and also to other interested operators.
    KabelKiosk already delivers 60 German and international channels to more than 230 cable network operators in Germany.
    Salut Prieteni!


  10. #10
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    ZDF has doubts about 2010 ASO


    ANGA CABLE - Cologne. Andreas Bereczky, production director at ZDF, said he seriously doubts if the analogue switch-off can go ahead in 2010 as planned. He made the remark during the Strategy session at the ANGA Cable conference. Bereczky said ZDF is active in all fields of new media and very much supports analogue switch-off, but doubts if it will happen in 2010. He even doubts if it will happen in 2012. “The consumers are not yet ready, too many people still watch analogue. Of course we like to use the capacity for HD.”
    His remarks concern satellite DTH reception only, since analogue switch-over of the terrestrial networks is progressing according to plan. But with satellite being the dominant means of reception in the country, about half of all DTH homes still watch analogue. Digitalisation is also happening on cable, but at a slow pace.
    Salut Prieteni!


  11. #11
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    Conax secures Hellas Sat contract


    ANGA CABLE – Cologne. Hellas Sat is to use the Conax CAS7 conditional access system for its forthcoming HD platform.
    The premium pay-TV offering is the first in Greece to use the high definition format.
    “Conax content security provides Hellas Sat with the proven solution, long experience, stability and flexibility we need to ensure a highly successful HD offering,” said Georgios Skikos, Executive Technology & Operations Officer, Hellas Sat.
    The platform is expected to launch in the next few months from the 39 degrees East position.
    Salut Prieteni!


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    Muslim TV channel to stage interfaith game show



    Britain's first interfaith game show is to be launched, pitting Jews against Muslims, Sikhs against Christians and Hindus against Buddhists, with contestants competing for cash prizes.
    Faith Off, the working title of a series on the Islam Channel, will attempt to promote good relations and mutual respect between Britain's religious communities. Two teams of four will go head to head in each episode, answering quick-fire and general knowledge questions in the eight-part series hosted by the Muslim comedian Jeff Mirza.
    There will be a multiple choice current affairs segment in addition to a home or away round, when contestants can answer questions on their own faith or the opposing team's for further points.
    Players will also have to identify religious figures, such as the Dalai Lama and the Pope, from blurred footage.
    The programme is likely to have all the elements of a traditional gameshow - a garish set, flashing lights, puns and loud buzzers - plus the added twist of headscarves, turbans and yarmulkes.
    Participants in the show, the makers say, will have varying degrees of knowledge. Some of the contestants responded directly to online adverts on Muslim websites, while others were found via the Islam Channel's networks.
    The show is not aimed at theologians or scholars, said its producer, Abrar Hussain, who also produced the programme Model Mosque, a national competition to find Britain's best mosque.
    Hussain said: "We're living in a multifaith, multicultural society. I know a bit about Christianity but nothing about Judaism.
    "You learn about religions at school and then you forget, so it's about transferring the basic blocks of knowledge ... It's also about learning the similarities between religions, instead of focusing on the differences."
    He conceded that the prizes were modest. "We'd like to offer more but it's not about winning, it's about taking part."
    One of the Jewish contestants, 42-year-old Danny Judelson, said: "A gameshow is an original idea, to say the least ... I thought it was interesting that the channel were taking seriously the opportunity to educate their audience. There's a very serious purpose behind it."
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    French plans for eight digital terrestrial HD channels to be available by the end of the year are facing delay due to a lack of enthusiasm from broadcasters.
    Licences for free-to-air HD channels were issued last week to France 2 and Arte, both run by state broadcaster France Televisions, and privately-operated TF1 and M6.
    The Conseil Supérieur de l’Audiovisuel had hoped several broadcasters would launch subscription HD DTT services but last week it announced that only Canal+ had applied for a licence.
    Additionally, France Televisions, operator of France 2 and Arte, is slowing its investment in HD because of uncertainty about its funding, saying it will show none of this year's Olympic Games in the format.
    Advertising will soon be banned from the broadcaster's channels during primetime under a mandate from president Nicholas Sarkozy.
    In January the CSA said it wanted eight terrestrial HD channels to be available in some areas by the end of the year.
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    Japan to start Ultra HD broadcasts in 2011

    Japanese public broadcaster NHK could start experiemental test broadcasts of its next-generation hi-def TV systemn as early as 2011.
    Ultra HD, officially known as Super Hi-Vision, uses a 7680x4320-pixel image which is intended to match the resolution of human vision.
    NHK, which has already been developing Ultra HD for a decade, wants to start test transmissions shortly after Japan switches off analogue terrestrial TV on July 24, 2011.
    Some of the old analogue frequencies will be reserved for NHK's experiments - unlike the UK, where Ofcom will auction off all our publicly-owned UHF spe_ctrum after analogue switch-off in 2012
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    SeaChange in Berlin VOD wholesale trial

    ANGA Cable – Cologne. SeaChange international is to work with Telefonica and Samsung on the creation of a white label network that will be used to wholesale VOD and other IP-based value added services to third party operators.
    The trial in the German capital Berlin has been initiated by cablenet Tele Columbus with SeaChange subsidiary On Demand Deutschland providing the content. “It will piggy back off the Telefonica network, which means it can be up and running quick,” SeaChange chief marketing officer Simon McGrath told Broadband TV News. “Fundamentally its an opex model, running pay as you grow, so working on a pay-per-sub basis.
    The service is being demonstrated on the SeaChange stand at ANGA Cable.
    Salut Prieteni!


 

 

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