Ofcom proposals for spectrum from digital dividend review
Ofcom, the communications regulator for the United Kingdom, has set out proposals for how it will release the spectrum that will be freed up as a result of the switch to digital television. It says the aim is not to raise revenue for the government but to enable innovative services that will deliver significant benefits to citizens and consumers.
DirecTV and Thomson upgrade digital distribution system
American satellite broadcaster DirecTV and technology provider Thomson have upgraded their digital distribution system for multi-home developments. The system receives a satellite feeds through a private head-end and distributes signals using internet protocols to multiple homes in apartment blocks or gated communities. The platform enables bundles of video, voice, data and interactive services to be delivered over a single connection.
Inuk Networks receives further funding for Freewire platform
Inuk Networks has received £9.5 million in a second round of funding to develop its Freewire broadband platform. The investment is led by a subsidiary of Welsh channel S4C from its commercial revenues, together with initial investor the venture capital firm Wesley Clover. Freewire is already the largest true IPTV service in Britain and is planning international expansion.
BT Vision begins charging for repeats of BBC programmes
BT has started charging for replays of BBC programmes on its BT Vision broadband video service. They were previously available for free and can still be freely downloaded or streamed online through the BBC iPlayer. Plans have now been announced to make the entire BBC One channel available online. Viewers will still apparently need a television licence but it is unclear how this will be enforced.
New standard enables applications in smart card modules
A new standard could enable more advanced interactive applications to run in plug-in conditional access modules for televisions and set-top boxes. The Common Interface Plus or CI+ standard has the backing of several leading consumer electronics companies. Ocean Blue and SmarDTV have produced the first CI+ application, previewed at the Anga Cable show in Cologne.