A-V Technology News 

In This Issue
Harris Broadcast acquires Imagine Communications...
Aereo battles broadcasters in Supreme Court..
Eight tech firms join to fight NSA surveillance and snooping..
Apple iPhone share first dropped then rose in October...
Microsoft finally has a win in tablets...
Will OTT lead 4K in 2014?...
Now 4K SD memory cards...



Upcoming Industry Events




AbelCine Workshops in New York


Digital Cinema Society members receive a 10% discount on any AbelCine Training Course below. 


Use code: DCSMember10 for discount. 


To register, visit: http://training.abelcine.com

Training Workshops:



Jan. 11, 2014 - Location Sound for the Camera Operator w/ Dean Miles

Jan. 13 - Digital Technician: Understanding Color / Digital Technician: Understanding Scopes

Feb. 3 - Digital Technician: Camera Matching & Painting Feb. 10 - Digital Technician: Monitor Calibration


Feb. 24 - Digital Technician: Exposing and Shooting Log March 3 - Digital Technician: On Set LUT Creation 101: 1D & 3D LUTs


March: 10 - Copy of Digital Technician: On Set LUT Creation 201: Creative Application

March 24 - Digital Technician: Working with Raw 101.



Moviola Filmmaking Webinars


January 7th - Developing Custom Plugins with FxFactory. 




Check website for times in your area.




AbelCine Workshops in New York


Digital Cinema Society members receive a 10% discount on any AbelCine Training Course. Use code: DCSMember10 for discount. To register, 





Below the Line Screening Series

DCS Members in the Los Angeles, New York and London areas have the opportunity to attend first run screenings through the Below the Line Screening Series. In order to become a part of this program, you must be an approved and registered member of the Below the Line Filmmaker Screening Series. DCS membership does not automatically qualify you to become a registered member. 


To apply for membership, visit:






Among the newest studies to be published this year 

 (click on the link to view prospectus) 


Sports Video World™ 2014





Digital Cinematography World™ 2014





Studio/Box Cameras World™ 2014  





Professional Camcorders World™ 2014 




Channel in a Box World™ 2014




A newly announced first-time study


Professional Lenses World™ 2014




 For more information 



This newsletter is published monthly and press releases may be sent to us at dougsheer@gmail.com or by mail to 


D.I.S. Consulting Corporation
Box 477
Woodstock, NY 12498-1101 USA



Douglas I. Sheer,
CEO & Chief Analyst & Editorial Director
Carol Montana,
Managing Editor / Analyst
Regina C. Sheer,
Reporter / Analyst 
Jill Padua,
Graphics / Design Manager 
Nora G. Licht,
Copy Editor 

All written materials ©2013 D.I.S. Consulting Corporation - All Rights Reserved


Editorial by Douglas I. Sheer




Celebrating 32 years of business


With the arrival of January 2014, we celebrate the 32nd anniversary of the founding of our business, in January 1982, dedicated to serving the research and consulting needs of the broadcasting and professional audio-video industry.


When we set out to do start the business we looked at providing the sort of informational deliverables I had myself looked for in projects that I previously paid for as a client.  Basically, that meant providing the facts and figures that fleshed out the marketing plans and business plans I would write for the companies I worked for.  So, as I designed the first few syndicated report projects - and we have now completed more than 550 of them, historically - by design, these features were built in from the outset.


We have, over that time, and those completed reports, served more than 1,600 mainly manufacturer-clients. Many are clients of our syndicated, multi-client studies, but hundreds also patronized us for custom projects, both studies and consulting assignments.


From our first year (1982) in which we served, among others, Ampex, Sony and Anton-Bauer, we were among the first to innovate the concept of making working professionals our source of data and industry wisdom.

In that same time frame, we contributed data to the researchers of the NAB Show, to dozens of trade magazines and newspapers around the world and supported such governmental agencies as the U. S. Department of Commerce and similar commercial agencies of foreign governments as well.  Among our clients have also been the consulting divisions of the world's biggest accounting firms.


Certainly, many things about the broadcast and professional marketplace have changed in that time. But, many aspects have remained unchanged. For example, while most solutions have been radically updated, even numerous times, the applications and market segments remain very much the same, so may years later.


As we reach this important milestone, we would like to again extend our thanks to our many clients and our contacts among their managers.  We are indebted to your trust and continued business.  And, we are delighted to have been a trusted source of your research data and an often used consultative advisory base.    





Join Our List
Join Our Mailing List
January 2014 Newsletter

This newsletter comes as the year begins. And, as it does, we look forward, with excitement, to renewed prosperity and stronger industry growth.

And, at the same time mark the intensified market interest in Channel-in-a-Box and Automation, 4K/UHD, Sports and Robotics.

Harris Broadcast acquires Imagine Communications




Harris Broadcast has purchased Imagine Communications for an undisclosed sum. Terms of the deal are expected to be revealed during the month of January 2014. The acquisition will likely improve Harris's stance within in the OTT and TV Everywhere applications.   


San Diego-based Imagine is focused on digital video solutions which allow operators to deliver bandwidth-intensive services with optimum video levels.  Harris CEO, Charlie Vogt, in a recent statement said "This acquisition enables Harris Broadcast to take a leadership position in the OTT and TV Everywhere market, while laying the foundation for the first true software defined integration of sales, scheduling, automation, play-out and delivery across both linear and non-linear content distribution networks.  


Additionally, through this acquisition, we will expand our R&D and innovation initiatives, strengthen our encoding, transcoding and ABR market position, and increase our total global addressable market." The announcement affirms the opinion of many analysts that a new Harris ownership and IT-centered direction would likely beget more acquisitions.



Aereo battles broadcasters in Supreme Court
Aereo founder and CEO Chet Kanojia



Aereo founder and CEO Chet Kanojia filed a brief in December in the U.S. Supreme Court in which he agrees to take on the broadcasters in an effort to confirm the legality of their service.


Aereo is rolling out its web-delivered streaming and PVR service on a city-by-city basis and has been met with consistent opposition from broadcasters everywhere, that has recently been building in greater intensity. Now, a number of broadcasters - including reportedly Disney, Univision, CBS, Fox, NBC-Universal and others - are taking their case to the Supreme Court.  Aereo's Kanojia has agreed that this is probably the best way to end the legal battle once and for all, however it turns out. The long-standing landmark Second Circuit decision in Cablevision had served as a crucial proxy underpinning to the cloud computing and cloud storage industry and now the broadcasters' filing makes clear that they are using Aereo as a proxy to attack Cablevision itself.



Eight tech firms join to fight NSA surveillance and snooping   



Eight of the world's largest tech companies, including Google, Yahoo, AOL, Twitter, Microsoft, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Apple, have all joined forces to launch the Reform Government Surveillance website and open letter. The website specifically calls out the US government, and government organizations worldwide, for their intrusive over-reaching and highly opaque information gathering activities. The open letter asks the US government to lead worldwide efforts to ensure that government surveillance efforts are clearly restricted by law, proportionate to the risks, transparent and subject to independent oversight. The coalition is asking for surveillance reform in five areas: 1) limiting the governments' authority to collect users' information, 2) oversight and accountability, 3) transparency about government demands, 4) respecting the free flow of information, and 5) avoiding conflicts among world governments. 


Apple iPhone share first dropped then rose in October  



Apple's U.S. smartphone share dropped in the three months ending in October but then rose in October undoubtedly because of the Sept. 20 launch of the iPhone 5s and 5c, according to a consumer survey by Kantar Worldpanel ComTech.


For the three months tracked ending in October, the sales share held by Apple iOS smartphones fell 6.4 percentage points from the year-ago period to 40.8 percent, while Android share rose 4.9 percentage points to 52.6 percent. Windows share rose by 2.3 percentage points to 4.8 percent, and the BlackBerry share fell 0.8 percentage points to 0.8 percent, respectively.  In October, however, Apple's iOS smartphone share soared to 52.8 percent, in part because the lower priced 5c offered.  


Microsoft finally has a win in tablets  



While Apple and Samsung - and others - have been walking all over Microsoft in the tablet department until now, the one-time titan of OS and the PC has been seeing some recent victories that will reinvigorate its stock value.  


With its Surface series tablets and specifically its latest entry, Surface 2, the big PC guru has finally discovered a way to win the tablet war that until now has been dominated by others. In an almost classic tortoise and hare way, Microsoft seemed to have been keeping a low profile waiting for their moment to catch up or surpass the early leaders. Along the way however, they have had to eat a lot of crow for being out of step. They have, in fact, been painfully slow to get their tablet campaign started. It almost seemed as if they had not even seen the memo. Maybe that's because that message was distributed on Google. But, anyway, it looks like Surface will be a big hit. At $450 for a 32-gigabyte version (with Surface 2) they seem to really be on to something.  


While there has been no public disclosure of exact share of market by them, Microsoft Surface sales through Best Buy indicate they are leading in tablets this Christmas season in the U. S. with that retailer.     


Will OTT lead 4K in 2014?   


Ultra HD, predominantly 4K, might be advancing sooner than many had expected partially thanks to strong interest from OTT players like Netflix. With Netflix wanting to one of the big suppliers of 4K next year, it has been ramping up activities that would permit it to do so. The company recently posted several 4K titles, including one called "El Fuente: 24 MP." According to Netflix, the title is an example of 4K at 24 frames per second, although this has been strictly as test so far.  With 4 times the resolution of HD, the bandwidth required to transport 4K content is substantial. That means HEVC will play a key part in 4K delivery as it shrinks bit rates required for 4K to potentially under the 10 Mbps level.


During the Copenhagen "Future of TV Conference" held in September, presenters promised that consumers wouldn't need more than about a 15 Mbps over a 50Mbps connection to stream 4K video once content is available on the streaming site. He predicted that 4K video will first take hold on secondary platforms before getting onto the big screen. 

Now 4K SD memory cards  

4k sd card


Now, a faster UHS-Speed Class SD memory card has been developed to allow for 4K level recording.  A new Ultra High Speed (UHS) Speed Class 3 (U3) symbol will indicate which cards are capable of recording 4K/2K video and will operate exclusively on or in SDXC or SDHC UHS-I and UHS-II memory cards and accommodating field cameras, camcorders, D-SLRs and other devices. The UHS Speed Class 3 promises a 30Mbps (240Mbps) constant minimum write speed, which should allow 4K video to be recorded on DSLR or mirror-less stills cameras (like D-SLRs) and camcorders, and then played back smoothly. According to the industry body, the SD Association, consumers or pro users can be able to benefit from a single card that is capable of meeting all of their video, photo, music, document and data storage needs. SD cards are the most widely used type of memory card, with more than an 80% share of the market, thanks to their small size and large number of manufacturers supporting them, and are continually evolving to meet industry needs.  UHS-I supports data transfer speeds between the memory card and the device of up to 104Mbps, while UHS-II goes up to 312Mbps. The U1 symbol denotes a 10Mbps minimum write speed, while U3 can achieve at least 30Mbps. The SDHC and SDXC standards offer, respectively, capacities of up to 32GB and up to 2TB. 

Tablets led as Thanksgiving Day topped Black Friday


Black Friday

Approximately a third of shoppers who purchased CE products, on sale, over Thanksgiving and Black Friday, a post-survey showed that the majority of them bought tablets. 

According to the poll, conducted Friday and Saturday by the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), 35 percent of U.S. adults who shopped on "Red Thursday" (Thanksgiving) and Black Friday bought tech products. Of those, 29 percent purchased tablets; 24 percent ordered headphones; 21 percent bought video game hardware; 19 percent bought smartphones; and 17 percent purchased laptop or notebook type computers.


TabletsWhat's more, a record number of consumers - 55 percent - made their tech purchases on-line over Thanksgiving and Black Friday, up 10 points from last year. Thanksgiving Day shopping was also up markedly.  According to CEA almost 39 million consumers shopped on Thanksgiving, an increase of more than 10 million from last year, as more stores opened. As a result, Thanksgiving thereby diminishing somewhat Black Friday shoppers. However, combined Thanksgiving and Black Friday sales rose 2.3 percent, to an estimated $12.3 billion. Online sales remained the focus the following Monday as retailers mounted a further round of sales for so-called "Cyber Monday." U. S. Cyber sales exceeded $2 billion this year, according to tracking studies as they continue to creep up on in-person holiday sales numbers.

First regional TV operations switch off in Spain, more likely to follow


The closure of the Regional public TV operator RTVV, in Valencia has been carried out with the switch-off of its signal, putting an end to its 24 years of history and paving the way for other regional TV stations, such as Tele-Madrid, to follow suit, due to the severe state of the economy in the country. This unusual move will bring the dismissal of all of their 1,660 workers.  Financial problems have led the regional government of Valencia to shut down its public TV and radio service. RTVV had tried to fire 1,000 of its almost 1,700 workers to keep the broadcaster running, but a court ruled that plan was not lawful, prompting the regional government to announce the station's complete closure.

Other regional Spanish TV channels such as RTVA in Asturias, RTRM in Murcia, RTVA in Asturias or RTVC in Castilla La Mancha are also on a difficult path with the two latter operations heading towards becoming private TV companies following the Government approval of a new legislation in 2012 to make that transition possible.

 Paul Crouch Senior, founder of TBN, 79  

Paul Crouch, the founder of the Trinity Broadcasting Paul Crouch Senior Network (TBN) and mega-church has died at age 79.  He started the network in 1973 and it grew into a global Christian broadcasting empire that beams programming worldwide.  


Based in Costa Mesa, California, the network boasted 84 satellite channels and more than 18,000 TV and cable affiliates, making it, arguably, the most widely distributed of the religious channels. TBN's main message was what they call a gospel of prosperity. 

Sky+ is not the limit to remote On-Demand downloads


Sky App

A revamp to the Sky+ app has now allowed the user the ability to remotely download On Demand content to the Sky+HD box at home or via mobile. The Sky+ box itself now allows that function as it is presently being rolled out. Also in this update, Sky customers can explore the week's latest TV and available movies in the Showcase section of On Demand even when the Sky+ app is not connected to the Sky+HD set top box. Over 3.4 million viewing homes now have a Sky+HD box connected to their broadband service.


Digital Video reaching 60% Of U.S. audiences   


Global forecasting has pegged digital video at a 20% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) in ad dollars through 2018, with much of that increase coming from print and static display ads, with an increasing amount from non-print avenues.  


It is not clear whether traditional television and cable will suffer at the hands of digital, as the definitions begin to blur. Regardless of where the money comes from, reach and measurement are traditionally understood to be critical to digital video's ongoing success, but the Macquarie Securities team suggests that on-line video is getting there, and now reaching some 60% of the U.S. population according to their report.


CBS' Richard Wilhelm, 90


 A four-time winner of the Emmy Award and a "60 Minutes" and "Sunday Morning" veteran audio engineer and crew member, Richard Wilhelm, 90, died November 25th.   His work figured in successful productions for CBS over 52 years. He was later a resident of upstate Bearsville, New York. In his retirement, Wilhelm owned and ran a hardware business in nearby Woodstock, N. Y. which still exists. He also had been a Vice President of the Empire State Railway of Phoenicia, N. Y. for over a quarter century. Wilhelm was a World War II veteran who served in China, Burma and India.  

Toshiba quits producing LCD TV sets in China


Toshiba LCD TV set Japanese electronics giant, Toshiba, is closing its Chinese LCD TV production factory at Dalian Toshiba. "Going forward, Toshiba would optimize a balance between in-house production and production by original design manufacturer (ODM) partners, as a means to cut fixed costs and enhance operational efficiency," said a company spokesperson in a formal announcement to the Tokyo stock exchange.  Production of LCD TVs manufactured at DLTV for the Japanese market will be shifted to ODM, and Toshiba will continue to supply TVs to the Chinese market through a partnership with a local manufacturer but not with Dalian.  

Needham Analyst fears TV Channels unbundling Would Destroy Value


Unbundling the content offered by cable companies and other pay television services would put $80 billion to $113 billion in consumer value at risk from the loss of channel choice. That's the assessment of Needham & Co. analyst Laura Martin, who says $45 billion of TV advertising, 1.4 million jobs, $20 billion of taxes, and $117 billion of market capitalization also could be placed in jeopardy.


As reported by Broadcasting & Cable, Martin says an unbundled world would mean consumers would have to pay more to retain the 180 channels now available to them because ad revenue would disappear. "In 2012, total payments to content companies to fund TV channels were $45 billion of subscriber fees plus $56 billion of ad revenue, or $101 billion in 2012," she explains.  


Furthermore, she maintains that unbundling would lead to a pay TV ecosystem where annual revenue would total $37.44 billion, based on $30 per month for 104 million homes, down from $131 billion in 2012, or 28% of what it was in 2102. In this scenario, Martin says only 50 channels would survive and 130 channels would disappear. What has driven the trend, however, is customer demand for the ability to pay according to their desires and not be forced to accept someone else's definition of bundling. 

NHK president will leave January 24th


Japanese public broadcaster NHK's president has confirmed he will quit in January. Masayuki Matsumoto heads up NHK's executive team, which reports to NHK's board of governors. Before coming to NHK, Matsumoto had been at the Central Japan Railway Co. where he was vice chairman, and had no previous broadcasting experience. 


ASC Manual - 10TH Edition

Edited by Michael Goi, ASC and widely known as the "Filmmaker's bible," for several generations, one of the world's most widely used cinema reference books has been published and is more comprehensive than ever - moving, as it does, dramatically into the digital side of image capture. The editing of the 10th AC Manual was overseen by Michael Goi, ASC, former ASC President. He is a key speaker on issues involving technology and the history of cinema. 

Grass Valley installs first Stratus in Hong Kong


Grass Valley has installed its first suite of GV Stratus nonlinear media production blocks to the Hong Kong region at OneTV, a new 24/7 television station that will deliver news, sports, and entertainment to millions of viewers across Hong Kong. The station is also leveraging Grass Valley's Edius Elite multi-format nonlinear editing software, K2 Summit 3G Production Client, and K2 SAN storage, bundled. Together, these technologies provide the station with the capabilities it needs to deliver news around the clock and to multiple platforms including increasingly reached smartphones and tablets.


With GV Stratus, OneTV is now equipped with an efficient and complete set of tools for ingest, editing, content aggregation, logging, transfer and playout. Compatible with the Media Object Server (MOS) protocol, which allows it to interface with and take programming instructions from most newsroom computer systems; GV Stratus gives OneTV the ability to integrate with its archive systems, removable file ingest via the user interface for file-based camera files and with full end-to-end HD support.


GV Stratus and the K2 media server and storage platform employ several open standards to offer OneTV an expandable foundation for new applications and workflows. GV Stratus also combines with Edius to offer powerful and seamless real-time editing functionality. Running a TV station 24/7 is a paramount task and when news breaks in Hong Kong, we needed a tool that enables us to quickly turnaround new content production, deliver it first, and across multiple platforms," said Lo Wing Fai, President of OneTV. 

Belgian broadcasters roll out a TV Everywhere service


The three main Dutch-language Belgian broadcasters rolled out Stievie, their shared TV everywhere service on December 6th. Public broadcaster VRT, and private VMMa and SBS Belgium launched the subscription service to the general public after a pilot with 10,000 users. The monthly fee is only €9.99.  Stevie allows viewers to see live streams of the broadcasters' channels as well as catch-up programs up to seven days after the original broadcast.


The channels available include Een, Canvas, Ketnet/Op12 from VRT, VTM, 2BE, Jim, Vitaya, and VTM Kzoom from VMMA and Vier and Vijf from SBS Belgium. Reception is possible on iOS and Android devices via WiFi or a 3G/4G network. 

EBU Creates Strategic Program on Digital Radio Platforms 


The European Broadcasting Union has formed the Strategic Program on Digital Radio Platforms. The group's chair, Javier Sánchez Perez announced a technical recommendation at the Digital Radio Summit in Geneva. That recommendation, called R 138, is the first EBU member first agreement about digital radio distribution, and it was recently approved by the EBU Technical Committee. 


The recommendation takes future expansion into consideration and is aligned with the EBU's Euro-Chip campaign, which advocates for devices to receive and switch between both analog and digital radio, as they wish.  This type of delivery is the only free-to-air and cost-effective method for truly mobile reception, particularly in cars. 

New York Magazine cuts back from edge


Since its founding in 1968, New York magazine has served as a prototype of literate, forward thinking publishing, on the very cutting edge of magazine journalism. And, NYM is strongly identified among weeklies as an archetype. New York Magazine


Leading so-called New Journalism, the magazine helped popularize the knowing, skeptical voices of writers including Tom Wolfe, Jimmy Breslin, Gloria Steinem and Nora Ephron. It was the birthplace of both Ms. Magazine (which sprung out from its pages) and the very concept of "radical chic."  


Now, this magazine that has been at the vanguard of Manhattan publishing for almost five decades is acknowledging that the cutting edge is not necessarily a sustainable position. Rather they are now on the edge of disaster, at least insofar as maintaining the same weekly schedule. 


Starting in March, New York Magazine will retreat from its long-standing status as a weekly and come out every other week instead. The change will upset magazine groupies, while some will just cheerfully 'click in.'  


New York Magazine, with a current subscriber base just above 400,000, according to the Alliance for Audited Media, got hit hard after the 2008 recession when classified ads dried up and stayed that way. So far this year, the magazine is down 9.2 percent in ad pages compared with the same period last year, which was pretty bad too. 

3D printing may stimulate wide-ranging illegal copying 


While printers are obtainable for as little as $1,300 it is the related 3D scanners that can often hold the key to getting the right quality and the precision. In addition, the right software is a critical element. In some ways, 3D printing is reminiscent of the use of MP3 files to capture and distribute music was a decade ago. Patent attorneys expect to have a field day with patent infringement lawsuits as 3D things get 'knocked off' by copy-makers. However, just as recording companies were generally unable to stop MP3 copies from being made from their original music, so too sculptural object makers may not be easily protected from 3D copying. 


Will the governments involved tend to take a tough stance towards infringing lawbreakers? It could be that the progression of technology may make stopping copy making from happening.  One advantage of 3D copying is that the original can be easily adjusted to suit the copiers wishes, such as regarding size and color. 

Películas TV plans to enter US Hispanic market  


The Spanish film channel MIS Películas TV announced plans to enter the US Hispanic market, after a positive two months broadcasting experience through LibertyPR in Puerto Rico.


The channel has begun a new marketing campaign in Florida, aimed at catching the Hispanic audience and TV platforms' interest. It sponsored the Spanish movie festival Recent Cinema from Spain, held last weekend in Miami, where the channel was also formally presented in front of the festival audience. MIS Películas TV is a project of Spanish distribution company Video-Mercury Films, which has one of the largest portfolios of Spanish films from all genres and periods. 

Sony launches well-connected camcorder 


Sony has shown its new handheld camcorder, the HNR-NRK, aimed at professional shooters who may not always be able to operate their image capture in person. It's the latest addition to their NXCAM line of camcorders. The uniqueness of the HNR-NRK is that it can connect with other devices such as smartphones or tablet computers with built-in WiFi technology allowing the camcorder to be controlled remotely and remain part of an Internet - wide production system.  The new camcorder features Sony's Exmor 3CMOS Sensor - based system with three 1/2.8-inch sensors providing 1920x1080 HD effective pixel count. Red, blue and green light are independently captured by separate image sensors, for high resolution, high sensitivity and wide dynamic range. A newly developed LSI includes advanced noise reduction and distortion correction technologies. What's more, the HXR-NX3 can connect with other devices to be controlled remotely or transfer footage. iOS (versions 4.3 through 7.0) and Android (versions 2.3 through 4.3) smartphones or tablet computers can be used to control the HXR-NX3 through a WiFi connection and video files can be transferred from camcorder to smartphone. 


Remote control features include monitoring of camera material on the smartphone display, record start/stop and zoom. It also features a NFC (Near-field communication) chipset which allows users to establish a WiFi connection by touching an NFC compatible smartphone or tablet computer on the camcorder.   


The company's G Lens features a wide zoom range that Sony Camera 2 offers a 28.8mm angle of view at the wide end, with a 20x optical zoom range. The LSI contains 40x Clear Image Zoom technology which offers 1152mm focal length. Shipments start this month in Europe.  

  Elemental 4K demo is full frame


Elemental Technologies has provided a demonstration of its full frame rate 4K Ultra HD high-efficiency video coding (HEVC) in a recent London event. They showed an end-to-end workflow in which live 4K@p60 HEVC content was encoded for display in real time. Elemental first announced support for the H.265 codec in last year.  It then brought functional real-time HEVC video processing to NAB in April and demonstrated 10-bit 4K HEVC video processing at IBC in September.


430 million bikes in use in China, and big growth seen in the EU too



bikes in china

Despite the rapid growth of car ownership, with over 20 million bought last year, China boasts a total of 430 million bicycles owned as of the most recent research.  Most of this it is reasoned is due to simple economics, but to some extent it also reflects convenience as parking can be difficult.


  Meanwhile, the European Union recently found that bikes slightly outnumbered cars owned among citizens. Even in sophisticated and relatively wealthy London, cars are outnumbered by bikes, where a new chic is being applied to the use of two wheels, especially in the light of congestion driving charges and confiscatory parking fees. Taken together, European states own over 220 million bikes. By contrast, Americans own slightly over 100 million bikes.

France paves the way for Netflix


The launch of Netflix in France may challenge the status quo and threaten such operations as Canal+. With meetings between key company executives and French officials Netflix Logo under way as of December, the government will look at copyright and use issues before approving the plan. Netflix, which Le Figaro believes is preparing to launch in France in the autumn of 2014 after making its debut in Belgium in April or May, is also looking at Germany and other EU nations as it expands.  Like many such ventures in the EU, Netflix will have to assure the French governing bodies, and those of other countries, that it intends to be a good neighbor and support the domestic TV and motion picture industry.

 Czech TV gets Orad's PowerWall™ solution 


Orad announced in December that leading Czech public service broadcaster, Czech TV, has chosen Orad's PowerWall video wall solution and on air graphics for its sport oriented Studio 7 video wall. 


Czech TV was looking for a state-of the art solution to trigger the video walls in its Studio 7, where it produces the daily main sports news, short hourly sports news, as well other sport shows. Orad's video wall solution, which provides up to 16k resolution from a single box was chosen, amongst those scrutinized, to trigger Czech TV's 3 independent video walls. With Orad´s PowerWall solution, Czech TV can use 'canvases' to generate more than one set of outputs for different display surfaces in the studio, and feed different walls with different aspect ratio graphics.  


The walls themselves are powered by Orad's HDVG4 video rendering platform, providing 8 HD outputs in 1080i. All graphics on the video wall are triggered by 3DPlay while all full screen sports graphics and lower thirds are produced with Orad's Maestro character generator based on Orad´s HDVG platform. 

ATSC establishes candidate standard for Interactive video  


 The Advanced Television Systems Committee (ATSC) has elevated the A/105 "Interactive Services" system to Candidate Standard. A key element of the emerging ATSC 2.0 standard, A/105 is designed to enable the marriage of Internet-delivered and broadcast content. "Candidate Standard" status is a major step toward becoming a "Proposed Standard," and then on to consideration as a full-fledged ATSC Standard.  "Viewers are consuming television content on a variety of devices -- whenever, wherever and however they want it," said ATSC President Mark Richer.  


"Consumer demand for video has resulted in an increasing number of paths to deliver content to viewers. The ATSC 2.0 Interactive Services system allows the broadcaster to connect broadcast programming with additional services related to that programming," he added.


UK multi-channel sector booms and reaches £5BN


With a doubling of staff employment in just a decade, driving international success and even surpassing the BBC and other public service broadcasters, the UK multichannel industry is now worth £5 billion pounds a year.

Multi-channel broadcasters in the UK include Bloomberg TV, BSkyB, the Chinese Channel, Discovery Networks, Fox International Channels, NBC-Universal, QVC, Sony Pictures Television, Turner Broadcasting System, Viacom International Media Networks and the Walt Disney Company.


In an attempt to show just how valuable the multichannel sector is in the overall TV sector, UK broadcast regulator Ofcom calculates that revenue generated by multichannel broadcasters grew by 8% to more than £5 billion in 2012, with nearly half of this figure coming outside of sports and films genres. 

ARD has launched new HD channels


German broadcastersARD launched several new HD channels on Astra in December. DTH satellite households will then be able to receive the regional channels MDR Fernsehen, RBB Fernsehen and HR Fernsehen, including their local windows, in high resolution.


ARD's digital channels EinsPlus, Einsfestival and tagesschau24 will launch their HD simulcasts at the same time. The HD versions of MDR, RBB and HR will use transponder 61 (10.891 GHz H, SR 22,000, FEC 2/3) while EinsPlus HD, Einsfestival HD and tagesschau24 HD will occupy transponder 39 (11.053 GHz H, SR 22,000, FEC 2/3).

Korean post and broadcast operation chooses Quantel again for 4K and UHD  

Korean post and broadcast house, CJ Powercast, has purchased a Quantel Pablo Rio high quality color and finishing system to support its move into 4K/UHD production for broadcast and multi-media applications. Equipped with the Neo color panel, the system is being supplied via Quantel's Korean partner, QAC Korea.  CJ Powercast, a division of the multi-national CJ Group, was founded in 2003 to provide production, post production and content delivery services to CJ Group's rapidly expanding broadcast stations portfolio. The Pablo Rio will operate alongside CJ Powercast's existing Quantel Pablo and PA systems, allowing the creative team to share projects across systems.


Quantel Sales Director, Martin Mulligan, said, "Naturally we're delighted that CJ Powercast has again invested in its future with Quantel. Pablo Rio is the perfect fit for their continued drive to be the best and to stay ahead of developments in our industry." 

Bharti Airtel shelves DTH sell-off plans 


Bharti Airtel has discarded plans to sell a quarter of its stake in its direct-to-home (DTH) satellite TV division Airtel Digital TV, according to the Times of India, reported in December.


Talks with prospective buyers, including USA-based investment company Saban Capital (headquartered in Los Angeles), private equity firm Carlyle, and Liberty Media, all failed to reach the desired valuation of around US$1.5 billion, the Indian newspaper reports. The DTH sale by India's largest telecommunications company was intended to help reduce $9.5 billion of debt that had been accumulated by Bharti's acquisition of African operations formerly run by Zain, and its spending during 3G mobile spectrum bidding battle in India.


Star India says $3.2BN investment in sports is cricket


Star India is investing US$3.2 billion which equals INR200 billion, over the next three to five years to develop sports coverage in the country and take equity stakes in new football initiative the Indian Super League, the Hockey India League and the India Badminton League. But cricket is Star India's main cup of tea.  


A new branding campaign will also be utilized across their six Star Sports television channels and its online portal starsports.com staring this winter. Star Sports will be renamed Star Sports 1, Star Sports 2 remains Star Spots 2, while Star Cricket will become Star Sports 3, ESPN will be rebranded Star Sports 4, Star Cricket HD will be called Star Sports HD1 and ESPN HD will be rebranded Star Sports HD2. Star Sports 1 comprises around 65% cricket broadcasts in English, concentrating on India's international cricket matches. Now, that's cricket!

BBC HD channels expanded

The BBC launched five additional HD channels on in BBC LOGO December in the UK. BBC Three HD, BBC Four HD, BBC News HD, CBeebies HD and CBBC HD will be available on Freeview HD, Freesat HD, YouView, Sky HD and Virgin Media. All five new HD channels will broadcast the same programs as their standard definition equivalents in HD.  The launch brings the total number of BBC HD channels to seven. All are broadcast over the air.  For the first time the BBC will use the HD switching on the Sky platform that means BBC Three and BBC Four will be on 115 and 116 respectively in SD or HD versions. The BBC will also benefit from improved channel numbers for BBC Alba, BBC Two and BBC Parliament.  

NAB's Smith asserts a million and a half jobs at local TV stations


According to the National Association of Broadcasters CEO, Gordon Smith, National Association of Broadcasters CEO, Gordon Smith the USA' local TV stations support over a million and half jobs. That comment was reported by ABC News' Rebecca Jarvis, who hosted NAB's 'TV on Wall Street' event recently. The NAB Show is scheduled for April 5th


through the 10th with the exhibit days set for the 7th through the 10th in Las Vegas.


NAB NEW LOGO Among the NAB's biggest current technology concerns is retention of ENG sprectrum that permits reportage of late-breaking news. Wireless companies have been pressing the FCC to allow them to grab the top two channels of the Boradcast Auxillary Service sprectrum bandwidth. But, NAB has expressed concerns that lack of that band could endanger the press' ability to make live breaking news reports. At the same time, sharing of that band is also of interest to the U. S. Department of Defence, further stressing the subject.  

Thales Angénieux promotes new Optimo DP 25-250mm Cine Lens


Film and broadcast professionals will be seeing a lot of the new Thales Angénieux's powerful lens at their dealers, worldwide soon. Optimized for today's large format digital cameras, the new Optimo DP Series 25-250mm 10x zoom lens offers the perfect combination of zoom ratio, aperture and price that is ideal for features, TV series, documentaries and commercials.


"The legendary ratio of 25-250mm is being reborn in this brand new, modern day zoom design - joining the Optimo DP line-up and carrying on the tradition of outstanding quality and performance all Optimo zooms are famed for," said Eva Paryzka, Director of Sales, Thales Angenieux.


The lens has been designed with a complex focus group for minimal breathing and opens at T:3.5 from 25mm to 250mm constant. It fully covers the Epic M-X sensor and covers the Epic Dragon sensor on all formats below 6k plus the 6k HD format. The lens weights only 16 pounds, offering close focus of 4 ft. In addition, the 25-250mm has an integrated filter holder in the back for a 41.5mm screw in filter (or ND filter) and i/technology metadata interface. The lens is compatible with 1.4x and 2x Optimo extenders and is available in PL mount (or PV mount). It allows for on the spot mount interchange to Canon EF or Nikon F. The Optimo DP Series line-up also includes the DP 16-42mm and 30-80mm lenses and the Optimo 3D package consisting of optically matched 16-42mm Optimo DP and/or 30-80mm Optimo DP lenses. With the addition of the new Optimo 25-250mm lens, the DP Series now covers a focal range of 16-250mm.
D.I.S. is the industry's longest running and most often used market research and consulting services providing vendor. The company has served more than 1,600 mainly manufacturer clients, since 1982.  D.I.S. is a strategic partner of The NAB Show and China Infomedia.

Douglas I. Sheer
D.I.S. Consulting Corporation