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

News in Brief - january 2014


CURTIS International Ltd. has become a Licensee to MPEG LA's MPEG-2 Patent Portfolio License and ATSC Patent Portfolio License. As a result of these agreements, companies that license their essential MPEG-2 and ATSC patents through MPEG LA have agreed to dismiss their patent infringement actions against Curtis before the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida.

ENGINEERS at the Japanese public broadcaster NHK have successfully broadcasted 8K content over the air. NHK's Science & Technology Research Laboratories was able to transmit and receive video over a single UHF channel with a resolution of 7680 x 4320 pixels over a distance of 27 kilometres, using a technology called OFDM.The video was compressed using the H.256 codec which resulted in a stream of 85 MBit/s. The Japanese Ministry of International Affairs wants NHK to broadcast the first 8K video to Japanese viewers in 2020 by the time of the Olympic Games in Tokyo.

HISPASAT has started to distribute High TV 3D across Europe from its orbital position at 30 degrees West and in collaboration with Telef?nica Servicios Audiovisuales. The 24/7 3D HD channel is available unencrypted in Europe, America and North Africa. The satellite operator and High TV 3D are also exploring ways to distribute 4K content, a technology in which Hispasat has a proven track record as it currently distributes its own channel, 'Hispasat 4K', which was unveiled at the IBC in Amsterdam in September last year.

ALTHOUGH the Philips brand will continue to appear on TV sets, the Dutch company has agreed to transfer its remaining 30% stake in TP Vision, the television joint venture with TPV Technology, to a fully-owned subsidiary of TPV. The definitive agreements is expected to be signed in the first quarter of 2014, with completion expected in the second half of 2014, subject to certain regulatory and TPV shareholder approvals.

WORLDWIDE CE manufacturing revenue will fall to $250 billion in 2014, down 2% from $255.7 billion in 2013. This will mark the fourth consecutive year of decline for the CE market, according to IHS. The research firm now predicts 38.5 million UHD LCD TV sets will ship in 2018, up from 1.5 million in 2013. Shipments will fly up more than 500& to reach 10 million in 2014. However, UHD sets still have a long way to go before they command a major share of the overall market. In 2018, UHD will account for only about 16 percent of all LCD TV shipments.

IN LIGHT of swift reductions in pricing, analytics firm IHS has boosted its forecast for Ultra-HD liquid-crystal display (LCD) television sets. IHS now predicts 38.5 million Ultra-HD LCD TV sets will ship in 2018, up from 1.5 million in 2013, according to the TV Systems Intelligence Service at IHS. Shipments will fly up more than 500% to reach 10 million in 2014.

BD3D is the second largest 3D movie segments in the US accounting for 13.9% of total 3D spending that reached $302.4 million in 2013 - an increase of 38.1% from $218.9 million in 2012., according to IHS Screen Digest data. Despite this growth 3D home video still only represents 3.4% of the overall disc-based video market. However, 3D can only be delivered via the still-growing BD format which has been valued at $4.1 billion last year. Taking both video retail and rental, BD3D will generate 7.2% of the Blu-ray niche by value. The rate of penetration of households with both 3DTVs and 3D glasses is currently at 19.6% (or 23.4 million) out of the total number of US HDTV households of 119.3 million.

MEDIA device specialist Stream TV Networks teamed up with Sky and London's Natural History Museum to broadcast David Attenborough's Natural History Museum Alive 3D on New Year's Day on Sky 3D and in 2D on Sky 1 HD. Sky chose Stream TV's Ultra-D 2160p displays for the first public showcase of the trailer in glasses-free 3D at the museum. John Cassy, Director of Sky3D said it was early days for glasses-free 3D screens but exciting that consumers are getting to experience clips of the show through a new technology. Ultra-D will be on display at the Consumer Electronics Show January 7-10, 2014 in Las Vegas.

SONY and Panasonic are scrapping their OLED display TV panel joint-venture, blaming technical challenges and production costs. The pair will independently focus on building 4K/Ultra-HD LCD panels. Both companies have faced heavy losses within their TV divisions, and local reports quote spokesmen for both businesses saying that LCD-based 4K displays show greater promise. The OLED j-v was announced in June 2012 and expressed targets of developing mass-production OLED technology by the end of 2013. While hard numbers have not been made available it would seem that the elusive lower-cost development have not materialised.