Displaying items by tag: TV

Apple has announced news, gaming and TV/streaming services which will be launched later this year.

Apple has set out to build a streaming and TV service which will offer original content and programs, on-demand and ad-free.  The price of this new service is yet to be determined.

Several people have been recruited to collaborate with Apple on this project such as Oprah Winfrey, Steven Spielberg, J.J. Abrams and Jennifer Aniston.

Apple TV is expected to be launched in May and be available on all Apple devices with a new feature for Channels where users will be able to subscribe to a variety of additional streaming services such as Showtime and HBO.

The app will also be available on Amazon Fire TV as well as smart TVs from Sony, LG and Samsung.

In addition to this, Apple has also been working to increase the popularity of mobile gaming so it also plans to launch Apple Arcade. This service will require the user to subscribe to it where they would receive access to over 100 exclusive games which could be played on any Apple device whether it be online or offline.

As part of its offer, Apple emphasized that privacy was part of their new offer and mentioned that Arcade will not track what gamers play or which devices they play from.

Apple has not disclosed the expected price of this service as well but they have stated that it will be offered to more than 150 countries.

Apple also announced a news service called Apple News+ which will collect content from 300 magazines. There will also be live covers, infographics, lists of trending stories and personalised recommendations to give the users a more interactive experience.

The News+ subscription would cost $9.99 per month according to Apple, which includes family sharing.

The service was made available in the US on Monday and will be released in Canada soon before it reaches the rest of the world.

Published in Apps

US tech giant signs content agreement with Samsung

Written on Tuesday, 08 January 2019 09:22

US technology behemoth Apple has signed a new agreement with Samsung in relation to its streaming and content services in an effort to offset a decline in iPhone sales. The deal brokered between Apple and the South Korean conglomerate will enable the use of iTunes streaming services on Samsung smart TVs.

Published in Telecom Vendors

The European Commission has approved the acquisition of de facto control over Telecom Italia by Vivendi. The decision is conditional on the divestment of Telecom Italia's stake in Persidera.

Telecom Italia is an Italian company, which provides voice and data services through mobile and fixed technologies, digital content services and IT services to enterprises. It is also active, through its subsidiary Persidera (a joint venture with Gruppo Editoriale L'Espresso), in the market for the wholesale access to digital terrestrial networks for the broadcast of TV channels.

Vivendi is a French company, which controls a group of companies active in the music, TV, cinema, video sharing and games businesses. Vivendi's affiliate company, Havas, is active in the advertising industry in Italy. Vivendi holds a significant minority stake in Mediaset, which is also active in the market for the wholesale access to digital terrestrial networks for the broadcast of TV channels.

The Commission found that, post-transaction, Vivendi would have had an incentive to raise prices charged to TV channels in the market for wholesale access to digital terrestrial television networks, where Persidera and Mediaset each hold a significant share.

The benefits of such a strategy would be obtained either directly through Persidera or indirectly via the minority shareholding in Mediaset, since other players active in the market do not represent a viable alternative for TV channels. As a result, TV channels would have found it more expensive to reach their audiences in Italy.

The Commission also investigated whether the relationship between Vivendi's activities in Italy in advertising, music, TV and mobile gaming and Telecom Italia's activities in fixed and mobile telecommunications raised competition concerns. In this respect, the Commission concluded that Vivendi would not have the ability or incentive to shut out other competitors from the relevant markets.

In order to address the competition concerns identified by the Commission, Vivendi committed to divest Telecom Italia's stake in Persidera. In view of the remedies proposed, the Commission concluded that the proposed transaction, as modified, would not significantly reduce competition in the European Economic Area (EEA) or any substantial part of it, including Italy. The Commission's decision is conditional upon full compliance with the commitments.

The Commission has exclusive jurisdiction to assess the impact of the proposed transaction on competition in the various markets affected within the EEA. However, the EU Merger Regulation recognizes that Member States may take appropriate measures, including prohibiting proposed transactions, to protect other legitimate interests, such as media plurality. A media plurality assessment typically looks at wider concerns about whether the number, range and variety of persons with control of media enterprises are sufficiently diverse.

In a decision issued on 18 April 2017, the Italian Communications Authority (Autorità per le Garanzie nelle Comunicazioni, 'AGCOM') found that Vivendi's position in the Italian markets for media and content is in violation of Italian media plurality rules.

As the Commission's investigation and findings concern solely the competition aspects of the proposed transaction, the Commission’s conditional clearance decision is without prejudice to the Italian media plurality review process.

Published in Government

Facebook is “closing the gap on TV advertising” according to an Ampere Analysis study, with the average Facebook user soon to be worth more than an average TV viewer. The study suggests that the average revenue generated per user by Facebook advertising has increased 6x in North America and 4x in Europe in the past five years.

The findings from the study place Facebook’s advertising influence behind Google, which is closest to TV on the ARPU (average revenue per user) measure. Google’s quarterly revenue for each monthly active user currently sits at US$7 from advertising on its websites while Facebook is close to US$5 per monthly active users.

The tech giants are still lagging behind TV, however, which draws between US$10 and US$11 of advertising revenue per quarter. But TV user growth has plateaued compared to Google and Facebook. The value of a TV viewer has had growth of less than 7 percent in both North American and Europe over the same decade, according to the study.

“It may be in second position now, but when it comes to ARPU, Facebook advertising has been rapidly closing the gap on Google’s lead,” says Ampere research director, Richard Broughton. Facebook’s advantage, he says, is its ability to let advertisers keep track of the effectiveness of their online campaign compared to traditional TV advertising.

Broughton said: “As Facebook continues to invest in video and its ARPU increases, it is conceivable that in the not-too-distant future an average Facebook user will be worth more than an average TV viewer in terms of advertising.”

Published in Finance

Unused analogue and television spectrum is being auctioned by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the US government agency which regulates interstate and international communications by radio, television, wire, satellite and cable, in an incentive to free up more spectrum for 4G and 5G and also advanced wireless services such as mobile and video.

The two-sided auction for the spectrum was intended to pay broadcasters a fair share for their assets before selling them to the highest-bidding mobile carriers. After several months, bids from those looking for more spectrum totaled up to $19.63 billion for 70 MHz of spectrum sold by broadcasters in an earlier, reverse auction phase.

What follows is a smaller assignment phase that could generate extra funds as bidders try to get more specific frequencies in markets. But with the auction mostly complete, the US Treasury will reportedly get about $7 billion for deficit reduction.

The second forward phase of the auction just came to a close. Once the assignment phase comes to an end in a few weeks, the FCC will reveal the bid winners from the spectrum auction. According to reports, broadcasters from the reverse auction are allowed to discuss the winnings publicly, but forward participants must remain silent for now.

Broadcasters that decide not to participate will have their spectrum 'repacked' into other bands to protect their signals from neighboring interference and ensure uninterrupted TV services, Rapid TV News reports.

The FCC has proposed setting aside up to two UHF (Ultra High Frequency) channels in every US TV market for Wi-Fi and other unlicensed services too, but this proposal dubbed 'vacant channel' has been controversial, as some broadcasters argue it takes valuable real estate away from low-power television stations (LPTVs) looking to source new homes after the FCC's repacking.

Published in Government

With 3840 x 2160 pixels, 4K TVs can show much greater detail than even before, but the key to the ideal 4K resolution is to address the all-important issues of contrast ratio, says Samsung. That’s where HDR technology steps in. HDR an acronym for ‘High Dynamic Range’ is all about the expression of images and is a result of the depth of contrast between light and dark colors that a TV can produce.

Producing images at up to 1000 nits brightness, Samsung’s HDR 1000 feature harnesses the available brightening and dimming technology’s power to make blacks look really dark and whites vibrantly bright.  At the same time, not all 4K TVs in the market can process HDR videos.

Organizations that create their own content are adopting the technology necessary to create and distribute content that is compatible with 4K HDR TVs, says Samsung. At the current rate, it looks certain that HDR is something that the industry will be increasingly embracing. Even for older films and TV series that may not be 4K or HDR ready, Samsung SUHD TV will upscale content to the extent possible in order to maximize image quality.

The newly introduced HDR+ Mode (available as an automatic update) will improve picture quality even further by adjusting the color and brightness range, ensuring that standard dynamic range (SDR) content will look like HDR content.

It not only enhances SDR, but the new HDR+ algorithm also enhances standard HDR content increasing the level of contrast ratio to differentiate objects from the background, while still depicting more image details on the screen for an overall better picture. With HDR native contents, HDR+ also uncovers previously hidden images from darker content scenes, supplementing the level of brightness to express objects hidden in darker shadows.

Features designed specifically for picture quality experts have also been enhanced with HDR+. In “Expert Mode,” picture quality experts can customize HDR effects to suit individual users by calibrating brightness, contrast ratio and gradation to the finest degree.

SUHD TVs also employ a technology called Ultra Black that channels light in a manner that reduces glare on the display surface. So even when you’re watching TV in a room drenched in sunlight, you can still savor every tiny detail because you won’t be distracted by the reflection of your surroundings on the screen.

Published in Gadget

Millennials are technology natives, and have a sea of options when it comes to viewing digital content. But even though streaming content online has taken the world by storm, a U.S. study says more adults aged 18-34 watch TV now than they did at the start of the millennium, suggesting that TV isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.

The study, conducted by the Video Advertising Bureau, says branded TV content, accessed across screens, is still its most popular form of digital viewing. The study says more millennials continue to watch television, where the majority of video consumption takes place than any platform or device. The reason TV remains popular with millennials, the report found, is because TV continually creates moments that transcend the viewing experience and generates a social atmosphere.

The results of the study are similar to one conducted among Mexican millennials. The study reports that even though millennials are taking to streaming content online, they spend more time with TV brands than with any other site across a wide variety of internet genres. One of the most surprising findings of the study is that many millennials are consuming more TV content than they are checking Facebook or watching YouTube videos. That’s why millennial-focused TV shows deliver higher audiences and engagement than most popular personality-driven YouTube channels.

 

Published in Satellite Industry

Huawei and Ooredoo join to bring 4K TV to Qatar

Written on Sunday, 17 April 2016 06:32

TV has come a long way since the dark days of black and white. Today, there is a host of new TV quality improvements to note, and there are likely to be more on the way. But at this stage, no other TV advancement outweighs 4K high resolution TV, and this time it’s not just for the tech-minded early adopter market. For example, in Qatar, Ooredoo recently introduced 4K entertainment to Ooredoo TV with the support of Huawei, whose technology supports the Ooredoo fiber network.

Doha, known for its futuristic skyscrapers and advanced infrastructure, played host to a dazzling launch event at The Pearl Qatar, which saw a host of Ooredoo and Huawei representatives, press and Qatari celebrities gathered together eagerly awaiting a demonstration of Ooredoo 4K TV to be introduced to the Qatari market. The new service, which will replace Ooredoo’s Mozaic TV, has been designed as an evolution in home entertainment services, combining apps, on-demand and live television in one easy-to-use box.

Ooredoo is Qatar’s leading communications company, delivering mobile, fixed, broadband internet and corporate managed services tailored to the needs of consumers and businesses. As a community-focussed company, Ooredoo is guided by its vision of enriching people’s lives and its belief that it can stimulate human growth by leveraging communications to help people achieve their full potential. Through 4K TV, Huawei and Ooredoo are providing rich and inspiring entertainment to the people of
Qatar.

Deploying cutting-edge fiber and WiFi technology, the Ooredoo TV service delivers an incredible range of channels and enables customers to pick the package that best suits their viewing preferences. In addition, the powerful fiber connection offers incredible 4K TV viewing quality so that viewers can enjoy a high definition experience even on the largest screens.

“This is a proud day for Ooredoo, as we take home entertainment to the next level in Qatar,” said Waleed Al Sayed, chief executive officer, Ooredoo Qatar, whose charisma ignited a frenzy of excitement during a demonstration of 4K. “Ooredoo TV will deliver more power, more choice and a smoother experience for customers and deploy the full strength of the Ooredoo SuperNet. Our Mozaic TV customers will be amazed at how easy it is to upgrade to Ooredoo TV and will be delighted by the quality of service when they do.”

Commenting on the significance of the launch, Charles Yang, president, Huawei Middle East, said: “Ooredoo’s launch of 4K in Qatar makes Ooredoo one of the first operators in the region to launch this service commercially. It demonstrates Ooredoo’s focus on providing a superior customer experience that surpasses expectations, and it also highlights the robustness of their network that can handle delivering this amazing performance.”

Huawei is the world’s largest supplier of TV set top boxes and live streaming video servers. The Chinese company has provided a solid video platform to Qatar for a number of years now and brings a combination of experience, reliability and professionalism with their delivery platform and 4K TV STBs.

4K resolution represents a huge leap forward in television clarity. But what exactly is 4K? And why is it so important? According to Leo Xu, president of Ooredoo Group Key Account at Huawei; 4K, also known as ultra high definition, is a picture technology that quadruples the number of pixels found in a full HD picture, and increases the color resolution by up to 64 times.

With 4K, pixels are arranged in a 3,840 x 2,160 configuration and offer as many as 1 billion colors per pixel. The frame can go as high as 120 frames per second, giving increased smoothness of motion. Many major studios have been shooting movies in 4K for some time now, and some online streaming service providers already offer a range of movies and serials in 4K formats.

What is the difference between 4K and full HD? Xu explained: “4K provides more than 8 million pixels in total, which is four times the number in full HD (1,920 x 1,080). Colors go up from 16 million to as much as 1 billion per pixel. The improved resolution and color range provides detail that is as good as the human eye can discern. Watching 4K TV at its best, you’ll see everything on screen in crystal-clear and sumptuous detail.”

“It enables an immersive viewing experience that is unprecedented and is sure to delight Ooredoo TV customers,” Xu further explained about the benefits of 4K. “Images appearing on 4K ultra HDTV screens are smoother, more realistic and highly detailed. More pixels per square inch and the greater color range translates into a better quality image, whether you’re looking at a television or photos taken on a digital camera. The higher frame gives much smoother motion and the addition of high dynamic resolution will display imagery that draws you into the scene as if you were really there.”

Users of Ooredoo TV will be able to experience this unprecedented TV clarity firsthand. Ooredoo TV is a multi-screen service, so customers can use their Ooredoo broadband WiFi to enjoy a vast range of content on every screen in the house, including smartphones and tablets. Of the 260,000 homes in Qatar that have already been installed with Ooredoo fiber, it will be able to self-install the new Ooredoo TV service automatically.

“We have 23 years of experience in providing home entertainment,” Waleed Al Sayed said at the launch event. “We have been doing it since 1993, from the time that the decoder was as big as the TV or a fridge, until now where we provide a Mozaic TV, very modern and sleek with above average services.

“Our vision is that we’d like to bring the latest and best services to our customers through our SuperNet network that we have built throughout the years. We have spent more than $1 billion providing fiber to homes, and also building a 4G+ network. Now is the time for us to send content over this fast and efficient network.”

Al Sayed further added: “Today, what we are providing is not only the latest, but the future of technology where the customer can enjoy 4K, a very new technology in the market. It has the best picture clarity and voice quality with a selection of 8,000 titles throughout our library of movies and series. In addition, these services allow you to switch between tablet and TV, and also to go back in time and replay shows and movies you have missed, plus access to apps.”

Al Sayed believes that in Qatar, at the present, Ooredoo provides the number one TV entertainment. The company’s overall ambition is to penetrate all the houses of Qatar with Ooredoo TV in order to enjoy 4K TV in all its wonder.

“We believe we’ve built everything our customers would want into the Ooredoo TV service,” concluded Mr. Al Sayed. “It’s one of the most exciting new product launches in the history of Ooredoo.”

Published in Featured