Europe's online source of news, data & analysis for professionals involved in packaged media and new delivery technologies

News in Brief

TECHNICOLOR has posted its results for the full year 2016. Group revenues increased by 34.8% at constant currency, reflecting the change in scale of Connected Home and Entertainment Services. The two segments combined recorded revenue growth of 48.2% year-on-year at constant rate resulting from the contribution of the acquisitions completed in 2015 and double digit organic growth in Production Services activities.

VODAFONE SPAIN is launching a new 4K TV service with 5 TV channels (10 by year end ) and VoD content for subscribers with convergent packages, like Vodafone One. The five new channels are Odisea 4K, Festival 4K, FunBox UHD, Insight TV and Slow Channel – and one 4K transmission of the best football match of La Liga every week. The company will be the first in the country to offer 4K VoD content with 850 titles including films, TV series and documentaries.

APPLE will make its first forays into original content in the “next few months”, according to Eddy Cue, the company’s SVP of internet software and services. Speaking at the Code Media conference in California, Cue revealed that Carpool Karaoke and Planet Of The Apps will become available “in most countries in the world” on Apple TV. Mac and iOS devices as part of Apple Music, the company’s subscription music offering.

MPEG LA ANNOUNCED that several patent owners in MPEG LA’s AVC Patent Portfolio License have filed patent enforcement actions in the Landgericht Düsseldorf, Germany, against both Huawei Technologies Deutschland GmbH and ZTE Deutschland GmbH for infringing patents essential to the AVC/H.264 (MPEG-4 Part 10) digital video coding standard used in mobile devices and other products. According to the complaints, Huawei and ZTE offer mobile phone products in Germany, which use patent-protected AVC methods without licenses with the individual patent holders or a portfolio license that includes these patents offered by MPEG LA. The suits seek monetary damages and injunctions.

DELUXE is to close its UK restoration operation at the end of March with the potential loss of 12 jobs.Recent projects worked on include the nine surviving silent Alfred Hitchcock films for the BFI. In 2015, the department won the Best Archive Restoration award at the 2015 Focal International Awards for its work on Camera Obscura: The Walerian Borowczyk Collection for Arrow Films. The division was formed in 2011 through the merger of Deluxe Digital London (DDL) and Deluxe 142’s restoration operations following Deluxe’s acquisition of Ascent Media. Deluxe said it would maintain its restoration facilities in Madrid, Spain and Los Angeles, US.

MOBILE and desktop video consumption are running virtually neck-and-neck, with 86% of consumers saying they watch video on smartphones and other mobile devices, compared to 70% on desktops, AOL found in a fresh study that tracked usage trends across seven global regions. Additionally, 57% of consumers watch videos on a mobile phone every day, compared to 58% on desktops and laptops.

SOUTH KOREA’S electronics giant LG Display has retained its position as the world’s top seller of Ultra-HD panels during the fourth quarter of last year. Sales numbers from IHS industry tracking show that LG shipped 6.27 million units during the pre-Christmas period, accounting for 31.1% of the global market for these new high-end panels. The other domestic manufacturer Samsung took the second position, shipping 4.69 million units (23.2% share). Together, the two firms took nearly 55 % of the global demand for UHD panels.

A 28-YEAR-OLD driver was distracted by a wrestling DVD (WWE SmackDown) playing in his vehicle when he smashed into the back of a car driven by a 86-year-old man killing him instantly on a South Australian highway. The offending driver was also charged with driving with a TV receiver operating, and dangerous driving causing harm to his passenger, whose jaw was broken in the crash.

US COMPUTER users who owned a PC with a DVD drive more than 10 years ago – between 1 April 2003 and 31 December 2008 – could be owed $10 as part of a new class-action lawsuit. The lawsuit is now accepting claims after Sony, Panasonic, NEC, and Hitachi-LG were accused of increasing the price of optical drives sold to PC manufacturers, including Dell and HP. Apparently such PC owners do not even need to supply proof of purchase to be part of the class-action lawsuit.

FINDINGS from an online consumer survey from digital platform security specialist Irdeto suggest that 87% of Russian consumers polled believe that producing or sharing pirated video content is not against the law and 66% think that streaming or downloading pirate content is also legal. The survey of 1,005 Russian adults aged 18+ conducted by YouGov also found that 57% of respondents said they actively watch pirated content. In addition, nearly a quarter (22%) are watching pirated content at least once a week or more.

2016 WAS A GOOD YEAR for TV sets sales in France, with 6.5 million units sold. Boosted by the Euro 2016 football tournament, sales jumped by 1.4 million compared to 2015, according to figures released by GfK. Sales will decrease in 2017 with 5.3 million sold units, predicts GfK – with two thirds of sales being 4K and Smart TV sets. The market achieved revenues of €2.4bn, up 16% over the previous year. TV sets and decoders excluded, the French consumer electronic market saw a 2% decline last year to €15.5bn, still ahead of other Western European countries.

ACCORDING TO the latest UK Television Exports Report, sales to international markets in 2015/16 rose to £1.326bn ($1.7bn), a 10% increase from £1.205bn in 2014/15. Sales to the Chinese market was up 40% on 2014/15. The USA remains the UK’s largest export market, and sales increased by 16% in 2015/16 to £497m. Australia is the second largest market, with sales of £106m. Exports of finished television programming remained the largest source of revenue at £668m. However, sales of Digital Rights increased 79% to £248m making it the second largest source of TV revenue.

SONY CORP will write down the value of its movie business by nearly ¥112.1 billion ($976 million) in the quarter ended December, as online streaming services sapped demand for higher revenue-producing-per-unit movie DVDs. The Los Angeles Times notes that, although studios occasionally announce write-downs for individual films that bomb, as Viacom did for Monster Trucks last year ($115 million) and Disney did for The Lone Ranger in 2013 ($190 million), it’s rare for a media conglomerate to declare an impairment charge for an entire studio.