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IPTV English News by InformITV (22/02/2010)

iptvnewsSezmi opens alternative to cable or satellite
Sezmi has launched a service blending free and pay-television broadcast channels with video on demand delivered over broadband. Initially available in the Los Angeles area, assuming it proves successful, the venture capital backed start-up company plans to expand nationally across America. Sezmi combines terrestrial transmissions with online video but could struggle to compete with existing pay-television providers.

Google puts mobile first as smart phone market expands
Google is putting mobile at the heart of its strategy.”The new rule is mobile first,” Dr Eric Schmidt told delegates of the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. The chairman and chief executive of Google forecast in his first keynote address at the mobile convention that in three years, if not sooner, sales of smart phones will pass global sales of personal computers. He said: “Now our programmers at Google are doing work on mobile first”.

SeeSaw to open in crowded online video playground
SeeSaw is a new online video service that aims to become a one-stop shop for television programmes from leading broadcasters. It has been raised from the ashes of the Kangaroo joint venture between British broadcasters the BBC, ITV and Channel 4 which was blocked by the Competition Commission. The service will still feature programming from most of the same broadcasters but is now being run by Arqiva, the company that transmits their television signals.

English News

IPTV English News by InformITV (08/02/2010)

iptvnewsSky begins 3D broadcasting as HD becomes standard
Sky has broadcast the first live 3D TV sports event to a public audience, in preparation for the launch of a dedicated Sky 3D channel in April. There are now over 2 million Sky high-definition subscribers in the United Kingdom and Ireland. Sky plans to provide the 3D capable Sky+ HD box as standard to all new and upgrading customers and is introducing an optional premium product with a terabyte of storage. Sky is set to exceed its target of 10 million subscribers by this year and continues to set the pace of innovation.

Apple iPad display falls short of high-definition
Much has already been written about the new Apple iPad, which some have dismissed as little more than a large iPhone. It is undoubtedly more than that, but falls short of expectations in its inability to display or output high-definition video. Despite the disappointment of some, the iPad is a significant device in the development of digital video distribution.

Brightcove signs up Ping Identity for TV Everywhere
Online video platform Brightcove has developed a solution to enable programming providers to offer TV Everywhere compatible catch-up television services. It is intended to simplify the challenge of allowing users to access online video based on their pay-television subscription. The company has teamed with Ping Identity to provide a user authentication and authorization system built on existing open standards.

English News

IPTV English News by InformITV (25/01/2010)

iptvnewsNet connected TV could approach half a billion homes
Sales of internet video devices are forecast to increase by nearly 80% this year, with the most significant uptake in the form of network connected televisions and Blu-ray disc players. Lower prices, the addition of network connections and the prospect of 3D video will help make Blu-ray a more compelling consumer proposition, with forecast shipments of 28 million connected players next year. In five years there could to be almost half a billion households able to view internet video on television.

BBC iPlayer passes 100 million requests a month
The BBC Trust is conducting a consultation to gauge reaction to the iPlayer, two years after its official launch. The BBC iPlayer received over 100 million requests in December 2009. One in eight requests came from games consoles. The Sony PlayStation 3 contributed 8% of all requests, while the Nintendo Wii logged 3%. Together they accounted for more than the Apple Mac platform. Mobile usage was minimal at less than 1%. The most popular programme received over a million online requests, representing a seventh of its total viewers.

ITU sets vision for future generations of 3DTV
The International Telecommunications Union has set out a road map for 3D TV implementation. The initial levels defined by the ITU distinguish the different approaches to encoding stereoscopic images that are currently being employed and deployed. They also serve to demonstrate that stereoscopic 3D TV is not really three-dimensional, but simply adds further depth information to a two-dimensional representation. The ITU envisages that in 15-20 years there will be systems that will accurately mimic the way our eyes and brains perceive the visual world.

English News

IPTV English News by InformITV (14/12/2009)

iptvnewsComcast deal marks beginning of new era
The planned joint venture between Comcast and NBC Universal will create a massive media production and distribution machine that marks the move from the traditional television and movie business into a new era of networked digital distribution. There are already questions about what that means for Hulu and the implications for the OnDemand Online service that Comcast is rebranding Xfinity as part of its own TV Everywhere ambitions.

BBC spins web site to canvas support
The BBC has commissioned a web site to promote Project Canvas, its proposed joint venture partnership with ITV, Five and BT to promote a new platform for broadband connected television. The new approach hints at signs of greater openness in the project, which is lobbying for approval from the BBC Trust. It is now proposed that the joint venture will not be controlled by public service broadcasters and all partners will have an equal share in the business. There is also a commitment to publish the technical specifications.

YouTube signs Five for more full-length shows
Following its landmark deal with Channel Four, YouTube has added full-length programmes from channel Five in the United Kingdom. It significantly strengthens the position of the Google owned video platform in an increasingly competitive environment. If other broadcasters follow suit it could be very difficult for third-party aggregators to compete.

English News

IPTV English News by InformITV (30/11/2009)

iptvnewsBBC iPlayer usage still marginal to broadcasting
The BBC iPlayer is reaching over four million online video viewers a week in the United Kingdom, which represents an impressive reach of over 6% of all television viewers in the country. However, the audience peaks at around 135,000 concurrent video viewers and just 35,000 simultaneous online radio listeners, according to the latest figures. That could change if more people are able to access the service on their television. The BBC also released images that may suggest a new native application in development for the Apple iPhone, which appears to feature the option to download video, rather than simply stream it in a browser.

Virgin wins Gemstar patent case on programme guide
A High Court judge in London has dismissed claims that Virgin Media infringed patents covering key aspects of its electronic programme guide and has ruled that the patents are invalid, at least in the United Kingdom. Gemstar-TV Guide, now part of Rovi, formerly known as Macrovision, brought the case against the cable television operator. The ruling will be carefully examined by operators around the world, some of whom have licensed what seemed to some, including the judge in this case, patently obvious features.

Virgin embraces TiVo for better television experience
Virgin Media has done a deal with TiVo to develop the interface for its next generation high-definition set-top boxes. The main cable television operator in the United Kingdom has entered into a mutually exclusive partnership with the digital video recorder pioneer. It aims to deliver the first co-branded product in 2010.

English News

IPTV English News by InformITV (09/11/2009)

iptvnewsFreesat gets iPlayer without waiting for Canvas
The BBC iPlayer online video service will soon be available to Freesat viewers over broadband. A trial service on the subscription-free satellite platform will launch before the end of November. It calls into question the need for the proposed Canvas platform. A decision from the BBC Trust on whether to proceed with the proposed platform is expected soon. In the mean time, the BBC is hedging its bets and will make its iPlayer available in a number of standard formats.

Cable companies respond to online video
Steve Burke, the chief operating officer of cable company Comcast, opened an industry summit saying that the two big opportunities for cable are interactive television and offering programmes on the web. He warned that if programming providers and cable operators do not note the shift of viewing habits to online they may end up without a business.

Sky and OpenTV plan new interactive services
British Sky Broadcasting is extending its partnership with interactive television middleware company OpenTV to support the ongoing development of the Sky digital television platform. The companies will work on a proof of concept that could lead to the deployment of the latest OpenTV Core3 software on some Sky set-top boxes. The announcement comes as the Kudelski Group steps up its attempts to take full control of the company, arguing that OpenTV faces strategic challenges as a standalone business in view of pressures from more open solutions.

English News

IPTV English News by InformITV (26/10/2009)

iptvnewsBBC iPlayer plan fails Trust test
A BBC proposal to allow other public service broadcasters to make their programming available through its online iPlayer has been blocked by its governing Trust because it was “too complicated” and did not necessarily deliver value to licence payers. The rejection of the “Marquee” project leaves the future of its “Canvas” initiative in further doubt.

Video on demand services proliferate across Europe
There are more than 700 different video-on-demand and catch-up television services in Europe. These will be covered by the new European Audiovisual Media Services Directive which is currently being implemented in national laws in European Union member states. Maintaining the distinction between services that are similar to television and other online video offerings will be increasingly difficult as the market develops.

Sky parries Canvas and engages Fetch TV
Contrary to some reports, the leading pay-television operator in the United Kingdom is still far from persuaded by the arguments that the BBC needs to establish a new television platform to support broadband services. Device and display manufacturers are already enabling hybrid broadcast and broadband delivery. Sky is extending its distribution to different devices, like the Fetch TV proposition from IP Vision, demonstrating that suitable standards and technology exist today.