Tag Archives: streaming service

YouTube Reduce Streaming Quality to SD Resolution in Europe

Date: 20 Mar 2020
Written by: Rasmus Larsen


YouTube will also lower its streaming quality in response to EU’s request to help reduce strain on internet bandwidth, according to Reuters.

YouTube in SD Earlier this week, European Commissioner Thierry Breton urged Netflix and other major streaming services to switch to standard definition when HD is not necessary. Netflix has said that it will reduce bitrates across all streams in Europe.

Google’s YouTube says that it will also reduce its streaming quality in Europe by making SD resolution the default.

We are making a commitment to temporarily switch all traffic in the EU to standard definition by default,” the company said in a statement to Reuters.

However, it is not clear if users will be able to manually adjust streaming quality on YouTube. At this time, the YouTube player in our browser still automatically jumps to 1080p.

The report from Reuters said that the decision was made after European Commissioner Thierry Breton spoke to Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai and YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki.

Source: Reuters

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8K is Making Progress Bit by Bit

Date: November 12, 2019

Written by: Thierry Fautier

It happened first at IFA 2019, Europe’s largest consumer tech conference in Berlin. 8K was everywhere. At IBC2019, expectations for 8K technology demonstrations were high. Since almost every TV maker around the world has announced 8K TV production. Many have even replaced their 4K TV offer with 8K.

As 2019 comes to a close, 8K continues to show strong interest, but what are the potential hurdles to overcome before mainstream adoption? We still don’t have enough information on next-generation MPEG codec or on Versatile Video Coding (VVC) licensing. And are we certain that VVC is the right option?

Phase 1: the demonstrations for future tech in today’s world

There is real-world proof that encoding for 8K is possible today. Here’s a rundown on some demos that showcase the possibility of 8K video:

  • The live BT sports demo: This was a collaborative effort. From Amsterdam, multiple partners came together to deliver one hour of live broadcast in 8K showcasing the Gallagher Premiership Rugby 7s tournament. It proved that 8K can be produced and transmitted live from the stadium to the studios.
  • Harmonic’s IBC2019 8K TV demo: This showed the next step from stadium to screen. With VVC, we can reach 8K resolution with close to 50% bit rate reduction over the popular High-Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC), but that’s not all. Harmonic was also live streaming using content-aware encoding (CAE) technology to provide different bit rates and resolutions from a KPN data center to the IBC Future Zone over a private line. We used updated firmware on a Samsung TV to decode the stream based on the DASH.JS player. The content of an equestrian show jumping contest that leads to an average of 14 m/s using CAE. This represented a world first.  We can now measure the true potential of CAE and see how TV sets convert up to 8K. Today, NHK is transmitting live at 85 Mbps via satellite and using the compression techniques developed three years ago and it provides a less than optimal result. The Harmonic demo validates that CAE efficiency depends on content complexity. Even at 39 Mbps, we are still more than 50% lower than HEVC in production at NHK. This matches what VVC promises in 2022, proving that we can use today’s technology to deliver tomorrow’s content, and without burning the budget.

Phase 2: 8K adoption is starting, and it’s exciting

8K is now being delivered with technology that was developed almost three years ago, which explains the 85 Mbps figures. We are now entering the second phase. Operators want more affordable bit rates, with a goal to come close to what is currently used for 4K OTT streaming (a 25 Mbps connection is required for Netflix in HDR). We have demonstrated that it is now possible with a range of 14 Mbps to 39 Mbps, without any optimization done for 8K, using cloud-powered encoding and CAE technology.

2019 was the 8K pre-game. There are more 8K TVs being made, and sales are predicted to pick up in 2020. This is especially the case in countries where 8K will be available. Tomorrow’s 8K streaming experience on connected TVs is in the starting block and waiting for the go-ahead to launch at full speed. 2020 is just around the corner and the games are about to begin. And we mean the actual games. The 2020 Tokyo games are expected to be the first large-scale 8K content ever produced. Will you be watching?

Source: https://www.harmonicinc.com

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Disney+ announces additional European launch dates.

Date: 21 Jan 2020

Written by: Rasmus Larsen

Disney+ will now launch in the UK and other markets in Western Europe on March 24th, one week earlier than the March 31st release date that was originally announced. Pricing has also been officially confirmed as £5.99/€6.99 a month or £59.99/€69.99 a year. The service’s initial European roll out will cover the UK, Ireland, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Austria, and Switzerland.

The news means that March 24th will be the first time much of Europe will be able to legally watch the original content that has debuted on Disney’s streaming service following its official launch in the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and The Netherlands last year. These originals include the hit Star Wars TV show The Mandalorian, as well as High School Musical: The Musical: The Series, a live action version of Lady and the Tramp, and The World According to Jeff Goldblum. The service launched in de US and Canada last year.

The service’s UK pricing is the same as Netflix’s standard definition tier, however Disney+ is only offered at a single price with no additional features locked behind more expensive subscription plans. Variety notes that Disney’s service launched with almost 500 movies and 7,500 TV episodes across the company’s Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, and National Geographic brands.

After its initial March 24th launch, Disney says the streaming service will come to Belgium, the Nordics, and Portugal later in summer 2020.

Source: https://www.flatpanelshd.com

Sports fans rejoice! Premier Sports comes to netgem.tv

Written by: Pocket-lint Promotion

Date: 28 November 2019

Sports fans rejoice! Premier Sports comes to netgem.tv
Premier Sports Cmes to netgem.tv

UK TV service netgem.tv has partnered with Premier Sports to offer an unbeatable TV package.

As well as netgem.tv’s superb line up of Freeview digital channels, streaming services and industry leading recommendations, you can now get Premier Sports 1 HD, Premier Sports 2 HD and Freesports channels at no extra cost.

It usually costs £11.99 per month for such a selection of top sports action in high definition, but with netgem.tv you get it all as part of the best value TV offering in the country.

Premier Sports line-up

Premier Sports hosts an expanded line-up of live events, including matches from the La Liga, Serie A and Eredivisie from Spain, Italy and the Netherlands respectively.

You can watch the silky skills of Messi, Ronaldo’s extraordinary free kicks and the rising stars of Dutch football throughout the football season.

In addition, the dedicated sports station presents coverage of the hard-hitting Guinness Pro14 Rugby Union league, NHL matches from the US and Canada, and thrill-a-minute NASCAR races.

These combined with netgem.tv’s partnership with fibre optic broadband providers up and down the UK, means you can secure a superb, affordable bundle of internet, class-leading TV and streaming, plus one of the best sports services around, all for one low monthly price.

“We are thrilled to be partnering with Premier Sports,” said netgem.tv managing director, Sylvain Thevenot.

“By forging this relationship, we are offering consumers access to outstanding sports content from around the world, and existing and potential ISPs access to a premium content channel. Our aim as we move forward is to broker more of these deals to demonstrate our ambition of being a serious player in this sector.”

How to get netgem.tv with Premier Sports

Premier Sports is available on netgem.tv boxes and the netgem.tv mobile streaming service as part of Broadband & TV bundles available from internet service providers around the UK.

ISPs to offer netgem.tv as part of their all-in-one broadband and TV packages include Pure Broadband, Air Broadband and Pure Fibre. 

More are planned in the future, so could also be available in your region.

“Premier Sports and FreeSports are delighted to be partnering with netgem.tv to widen our distribution of the Premier Sports brands through its partner ISP network,” said the CEO of Premier Sports and Freesports, Richard Sweeney.

“We look forward to this being a long and successful relationship.”

As will all sports fans looking for a great combination of superfast internet, live events, TV channels, on demand and catch-up TV.


If you can’t get any of the currently supported internet service providers in your area, netgem.tv has a superb Black Friday deal on its NetBox HD set-top-box. It is currently available on Amazon for £39 instead of the usual price of £69.

Written by: Pocket-lint Promotion

Source: https://www.pocket-lint.com

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Plex now offers free movies and TV shows alongside your own

Written by: Maggie Tillman
Date: 4 December 2019

Plex now offers free movies and TV shows alongside your own
The Plex Media Sever it’s Free to use but has Ads

Plex has launched an ad supported streaming service that’s completely free to use.

With this service, you can access movies, TV shows, and documentaries. The catalogue at launch will include content from both major studios and smaller producers. It works across all devices that support Plex. To find it, just look in the sidebar for the “Free to Watch” section, which you can move or hide if you wish. At first glance, there are a few popular films, but also many unknown titles, too.

For instance, we can see classic films like Rain Man, Raging Bull, Apocalypse Now, and Terminator 2. Like many streaming services, the Plex catalogue on offer will change over time, with titles being added and removed regularly. However, Plex is making the bold claim that it will somehow offer “more content to more countries than any other free streaming service to date”.

Plex image 2
The Plex Media Server

It also plans to use your existing media library to serve up TV show and movie recommendations from its streaming service. Although that sounds a little invasive, Plex is promising it does not have any “visibility into the content or metadata” of your personal media collection.

As for video quality, you can expect 1080p. Plex also syncs across devices. so you can start on one device, stop, and pick up on another. Coming down the pike you can also expect subtitle support and a watchlist feature.

Keep in mind Plex is launching its service during the age of the streaming service wars. Both Disney and Apple have recently launched streaming services, and then, of course, there is Netflix, Prime Video, CBS All Access, Hulu, HBO Now, and so on. With so many on-demand offerings now available, you can essentially build up a package to your liking, much like you once could with cable channels.

Written by: Maggie Tillman
Source: https://www.pocket-lint.com

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