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News in Brief - march 2015


NORTH KOREA is believed to have recently changed the frequency band for its state television to broadcast in high definition quality. The North halted the frequency band that only allowed broadcasting in standard definition quality last month,... and now is transmitting broadcasts through a band that also allows HD quality. Though the frequency band has changed, transmission is still carried out in standard definition. The country is said to have started digital broadcasting in 2012.

PANASONIC wants to be first to market with a 4K Blu-ray player and is aiming for a spring 2016 release - though it hasn't ruled out a launch before the end of this year should 4K discs make it to market. Panasonic's prototype player was first showed at CES 2015. Now that the preliminary specification for 4K Blu-ray discs has reportedly been agreed by the Blu-ray Disc Association (BDA), it would appear a bona fide 4K Blu-ray player is a step closer to reality.

DESPITE the ubiquity of online fitness offerings from Pilates videos on YouTube to indoor-cycling smartphone apps, fitness DVDs generated $297.2 million in sales last year and are likely to remain popular with older audiences, according to market research company IBIS World. Fitness DVD production grew at an annual rate of 7.7% in the five years to 2014. The company predicts growth will slow to 3.8% in the next five years, as streaming competition increases and fitness DVD giants like Gaiam boost their investment in Web-based formats.