Tag Archives: streaming

Eurovision: Europe Shine A Light – Live Stream

Eurovision: Europe Shine A Light – Live Stream

Following the cancellation of the Eurovision Song Contest 2020, the EBU and its Dutch Members NPO, NOS and AVRO, TROS have produced a new show, ‘Eurovision: Europe Shine A Light’, to air in place of the Grand Final on Saturday 16 May at 21:00 CEST.

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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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Netflix Lowers Streaming Quality in Europe in Response to EU Request

Date: 20 Mar 2020
Written by: Rasmus Larsen


In response to EU’s request to help reduce strain on internet bandwidth, Netflix will reduce its streaming quality in Europe by lowering the bitrate for 30 days.

REDUCED STREAMING QUALITY:

Earlier this week, European Commissioner Thierry Breton urged Netflix and other major streaming services to switch to standard definition when HD is not necessary and said that he had already discussed the initiative with Netflix CEO Reed Hasting.

To beat #COVID19, we stay at home. Teleworking and streaming help a lot but infrastructures might be in strain. To secure Internet access for all, let’s switch to standard definition when HD is not necessary,” Thierry Breton, European Commissioner for internal market, wrote on twitter on March 18.

Netflix has now responded to EU’s request – partially. It says that it will begin reducing bitrates across all streams in Europe for 30 days. Netflix estimates that it will reduce traffic in Europe by approximately 25%.

“Following the discussions between Commissioner Thierry Breton and Reed Hastings – and given the extraordinary challenges raised by the coronavirus – Netflix has decided to begin reducing bit rates across all our streams in Europe for 30 days,” a spokesperson from Netflix said. “We estimate that this will reduce Netflix traffic on European networks by around 25% while also ensuring a good quality service for our members.”

NOT SD RESOLUTION:

FlatpanelsHD has found that Netflix still offers streaming in HD resolution as well as 4K HDR10 and 4K Dolby Vision for now. The company has not capped its streaming quality to SD resolution.

It appears that Netflix’s approach is rather to cut off the higher bitrate levels. This is possible because Netflix uses adaptive bitrate meaning that all content is encoded and stored at multiple quality levels (bitrate, resolutions etc.). The viewer will automatically get the highest quality level available based on broadband speeds and hardware.

At the time of writing, FlatpanelsHD is seeing a 35-50% reduction in bitrate for some 4K streams while other 4K streams appear to be unaffected. We are seeing a more modest reduction in bitrate for HD streams but there are fluctuations here, too. As Netflix is still rolling out the changes, it is too early to draw conclusions. We refer to the comments section below for more information on how to check streaming quality on your Netflix streams at home.

This means that Netflix streaming in Europe will look more compressed than usual higher levels of artefacts, softer details etc. but still relatively good compared to many other streaming services. Apple, Amazon, Disney, Google and YouTube have not announced plans to reduce their streaming bitrate at his time.

Date: 20 Mar 2020
Written by: Rasmus Larsen
Source: https://www.flatpanelshd.com

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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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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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Did Amazon’s Premier League kick-off hit the back of the net or just row Z?

Date: 4 December 2019
Written by: Rik Henderson

When Amazon won one of the packages of live Premier League football rights during 2018’s auction, skepticism followed.

Not only does it result in 20 matches being locked behind an Amazon Prime subscription that football fans might not want for the rest of the year, there were questions on how an online retailer and streaming giant would handle the beautiful game.

Well, the service debuted its first live coverage last night – with the Burnley vs Manchester City and Crystal Palace vs Bournemouth games being first to be screened, in 4K HDR and Full HD respectively. And, it must be said, they both looked superb on the platform. So, that’s one worry allayed.

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Indeed, the 4K HDR broadcast of the Man City game in particular was stunning. We watched on an LG 65-inch OLED TV and the crisp, clean detail was amplified by excellent HDR performance. It’s a cliche that gets rolled out with every tech advancement in sports TV, but it really did seem like we were there in the flesh – better even.

Yes, there are caveats. We have 350Mbps broadband and wired our TV directly to the router via Ethernet Cat-6 cabling.

Amazon Prime Premier League games: How to watch tonight’s football matches on Prime Video for free

Those watching on slower speed broadband and using a wireless internet connection might not have had the same stable, super-high resolution experience.

But, in comparison with the BBC’s trials during last year’s World Cup, this 4K HDR experience was exemplary. Remember, it’s not HLG but true HDR10.

That’s not to say there weren’t further issues though.

As widely posted on Twitter, delay on Amazon’s stream was a real problem. Some even reported up to two minutes worth of delay, which meant that they had long since been notified of a goal by their smartphone app of choice, before seeing the ball hit the back of the net themselves.

It’s not something we managed to test ourselves during the launch (but will be keeping an eye on during the Liverpool vs Everton game later today). However, we have noticed latency to be a real problem when streaming live sports coverage through other platforms before.

During the aforementioned World Cup, our next door neighbours’ cheers pre-empted any relevant moment in 4K HDR matches streaming over iPlayer. It lead to us switching it off entirely and watching the Full HD broadcast on regular TV instead.

And, even Now TV has a delay. It’s not as severe as Amazon’s reported issues, but we’ve often forgotten that Now TV plays catch up to regular Sky Q presentations of the same matches – to the detriment of family and friends who we’ve called before they’ve seen the same action.

So, ultimately, it’s not really Amazon’s fault alone. Streaming seems to be the culprit, full stop. After all, a live broadcast that would normally be transmitted to homes almost directly, needs to be encoded for streaming first. That can add an extra stage of latency and, therefore, delay.

That said, we’re not entirely sure why it takes a reported two minutes for that process to be completed, but these are early days for Amazon and we’re sure it’ll continue to improve its tech in time for future games.

In the meantime, though, we’ll be switching off notifications on any sports app we have on our phones in preparation for the Merseyside derby. And gagging the neighbours, just in case
.

Written by: Rik Henderson
Source: https://www.pocket-lint.com

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