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EE to launch UK’s first 5G service

By Julian Clover

The first 5G service to operate in the UK will launch on May 30th in in London, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Belfast, Birmingham and Manchester.

Customers will be given access to a new BT Sport HDR app that will be exclusive to 5G plans and worth a nominal £15 per month. Users will be able to cast the HDR pictures to their TV. The standard BT app is also there at £10 per month plus a Video Data Pass thsat includes selected video services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, BT Sport, TV Player and MTV Play without using your data. The video services are dubbed ‘swappable benefits’, another is a Gamer’s Data Pass, also with zero-rated data.

From today, consumers and businesses can pre-order the new devices, including smartphones from Samsung, OnePlus, LG, and Oppo. However, Huawei product has been dropped from the offer. It follows Google’s decision to pull its branded apps from future Huawei phones.

Marc Allera, CEO of BT’s Consumer division, said: “This is the start of the UK’s 5G journey and great news for our customers that want and need the best connections. We’ve started with 5G in some of the busiest parts of the UK, the widest range of 5G devices in the UK, and plans that give customers the best mobile connection and great benefits.

“We’re adding 5G to the UK’s number one 4G network to increase reliability, increase speeds, and keep our customers connected where they need it most. 5G will create new experiences with augmented reality, make our customers’ lives easier, and help launch entirely new businesses that we haven’t even imagined. We’re upgrading more than 100 sites to 5G every month from today to connect more places to what 5G can enable.

EE is launching 5G in what its describes as the “busiest parts of the UK”. It expects customers to experience an increase in speeds of around 100-150Mbps even in the busiest areas. Some customers will break the one gigabit-per-second milestone on their 5G smartphones. The fastest speed possible when EE launched 4G in 2012 was just 50Mbps.

Plans start from 10GB (£54 per month) and extend up to 120GB (£74 per month).

Paolo Pescatore, PP Foresight, Tech, Media & Telco Analyst said asking customers to pay a premium will be challenging. “Articulating the merits and offering features like swappable benefits will be paramount. Bundling a range of services and content will allow the telco to differentiate over rivals. This is a sensible approach given the huge cost of acquiring spectrum and rolling out expensive new network technology. The initial premium will quickly erode as we’ve seen with previous generations.”

In addition to the six launch cities, in 2019 EE will also be introducing 5G across the busiest parts of Bristol, Coventry, Glasgow, Hull, Leeds, Leicester, Liverpool, Newcastle, Nottingham and Sheffield. And in 2020, even more towns and cities will get 5G sites including: Aberdeen, Cambridge, Derby, Gloucester, Peterborough, Plymouth, Portsmouth, Southampton, Worcester and Wolverhampton.

In China, a Podcast Inspired by β€˜This American Life’ Gives Voice to the Real

By AMY QIN

Hundreds of thousands of listeners are drawn to the stories of ordinary people on “Gushi FM,” told with an authenticity that’s rare in China’s media landscape.

Jerry Falwell Jr. denies report of Michael Cohen's help sought in alleged 'racy photo' matter

By Joseph Wulfsohn

Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr. has denied asking former Trump attorney Michael Cohen to intervene in a case where someone reportedly claimed to possess racy "personal" photos that were potentially embarrassing to Falwell and his wife, as a news outlet reported Tuesday night. 

Jerry Falwell Jr. denies report of Michael Cohen's help sought in alleged 'racy photo' matter

By Joseph Wulfsohn

Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr. has denied asking former Trump attorney Michael Cohen to intervene in a case where someone reportedly claimed to possess racy "personal" photos that were potentially embarrassing to Falwell and his wife, as a news outlet reported Tuesday night. 

Antenne Brandenburg launches visual radio via HbbTV

By JΓΆrn Krieger

German public broadcaster Rundfunk Berlin-Brandenburg (RBB) will provide its radio station Antenne Brandenburg with a visual radio service from May 6, 2019.

On smart TV sets compliant with the HbbTV standard and connected to the internet, cable and satellite listeners will be able to use the red button on the remote control to access programme-accompanying information, such as the currently running show, music title and host, as well as news from the Berlin and Brandenburg region.

The visual radio service will also be available via Apple TV and Amazon Fire TV.

With 159,000 listeners per average hour, Antenne Brandenburg is the most listened to radio station in the Berlin-Brandenburg region.

Antenne Brandenburg launches visual radio via HbbTV

By JΓΆrn Krieger

German public broadcaster Rundfunk Berlin-Brandenburg (RBB) will provide its radio station Antenne Brandenburg with a visual radio service from May 6, 2019.

On smart TV sets compliant with the HbbTV standard and connected to the internet, cable and satellite listeners will be able to use the red button on the remote control to access programme-accompanying information, such as the currently running show, music title and host, as well as news from the Berlin and Brandenburg region.

The visual radio service will also be available via Apple TV and Amazon Fire TV.

With 159,000 listeners per average hour, Antenne Brandenburg is the most listened to radio station in the Berlin-Brandenburg region.

After 40 Years, NPR’s β€˜Morning Edition’ Changes Its Tune

By NIRAJ CHOKSHI

The program’s new theme song, the result of months of work and debate, will debut on Monday.

A Mystery Frequency Disrupted Car Fobs in an Ohio City, and Now Residents Know Why

By HEATHER MURPHY

For weeks, some garage doors would not open and some car doors would not unlock in a Cleveland suburb. After some sleuthing, officials say they discovered the reason.

A Mystery Frequency Disrupted Car Fobs in an Ohio City, and Now Residents Know Why

By HEATHER MURPHY

For weeks, some garage doors would not open and some car doors would not unlock in a Cleveland suburb. After some sleuthing, officials say they discovered the reason.

Tony Award Nominations 2019: β€˜Hadestown’ Leads the Pack

By MICHAEL PAULSON

The new musical received 14 nods, while two high-profile hit plays, “To Kill a Mockingbird” and “Network,” were ignored in the best new play category.

Dutch 192TV launches OTT service on Samsung smart TVs

By Robert Briel

Dutch music channel 192TV has launched a direct-to-consumer OTT service with the introduction of a Samsung smart TV app.

A subscription to 192TV’s service costs €6.99 per month. A cheaper annual subscription is available for €74.99. In time, the OTT service will be expanded to include online thematic channels that offer music from a specific period.

192TV has also simultaneously released a so-called WebApp to reach more viewers online. The new WebApp and the Samsung Smart TV app ensure that 192TV can be viewed nationwide in HD.

“It is a next step in the development of 192TV”, said 192TV director Bert van Breda.

“The possibilities for fans of the 60s, 70s and 80s in other ways to reach, are getting bigger and bigger with an increasingly beautiful service and offer. And soon we will also be available in the rest of Europe on more platforms and devices to experience. We are proud of the result.”

Traditional distribution on most distributors, including Ziggo and KPN, remains in SD for the time being.

192TV is the brainchild of Bert van Breda. His love for the music from the 60’s and 70’s has been a driving force for his record label BR Music since 1982. While assembling DVD’s for various record labels he came upon hundreds of old music clips in the archives of both Dutch as foreign tv stations. When DVD and CD sales started to decline, Bert decided to start a TV channel with these clips.

As a big fan of the former offshore radio station Radio Veronica, he wanted to recreate the look and feel from the pirate radio era and a chance meeting with Veronica radio producer Ad Bouman brought it al together. With Juul Geleick from Stichting Norderney, an institution who owns and manages any of the television rights for everything Radio Veronica, 192TV was born.

(The picture above shows Bert van Breda at the launch event of the 192TV app)

Dutch 192TV launches OTT service on Samsung smart TVs

By Robert Briel

Dutch music channel 192TV has launched a direct-to-consumer OTT service with the introduction of a Samsung smart TV app.

A subscription to 192TV’s service costs €6.99 per month. A cheaper annual subscription is available for €74.99. In time, the OTT service will be expanded to include online thematic channels that offer music from a specific period.

192TV has also simultaneously released a so-called WebApp to reach more viewers online. The new WebApp and the Samsung Smart TV app ensure that 192TV can be viewed nationwide in HD.

“It is a next step in the development of 192TV”, said 192TV director Bert van Breda.

“The possibilities for fans of the 60s, 70s and 80s in other ways to reach, are getting bigger and bigger with an increasingly beautiful service and offer. And soon we will also be available in the rest of Europe on more platforms and devices to experience. We are proud of the result.”

Traditional distribution on most distributors, including Ziggo and KPN, remains in SD for the time being.

192TV is the brainchild of Bert van Breda. His love for the music from the 60’s and 70’s has been a driving force for his record label BR Music since 1982. While assembling DVD’s for various record labels he came upon hundreds of old music clips in the archives of both Dutch as foreign tv stations. When DVD and CD sales started to decline, Bert decided to start a TV channel with these clips.

As a big fan of the former offshore radio station Radio Veronica, he wanted to recreate the look and feel from the pirate radio era and a chance meeting with Veronica radio producer Ad Bouman brought it al together. With Juul Geleick from Stichting Norderney, an institution who owns and manages any of the television rights for everything Radio Veronica, 192TV was born.

(The picture above shows Bert van Breda at the launch event of the 192TV app)

Czech DVB-T2 transition set to start

By Chris Dziadul

The transition to the DVB-T2 standard in the Czech Republic will begin at the end of November.

In a statement, the national transmission company Ceske Radiokomunikace (CRa) says that it will start in the Prague region and Central Bohemia and continue in individual regions until mid-2020.

It adds that almost half (43%) of households in the country already own a DVB-T2 receiver and are ready for the transition. Furthermore, almost half (46%) of viewers expect to watch HD broadcasts following the transition to DVB-T2.

Ceske Televize (CT) already broadcasts in native HD on the transition network and broadcast in full HD on the final DVB-T2 network.

Barrandov, Prima Group and Seznam will also broadcast in 1440 x 1080p.

Viewers in the Czech Republic can already receive over 30 channels terrestrially free of charge. With DVB-T2 they will also be offered a range of interactive services.

Although awareness of DVB-T2 is high (83%), more than half of households (63%) have no information on transition dates.

Czech DVB-T2 transition set to start

By Chris Dziadul

The transition to the DVB-T2 standard in the Czech Republic will begin at the end of November.

In a statement, the national transmission company Ceske Radiokomunikace (CRa) says that it will start in the Prague region and Central Bohemia and continue in individual regions until mid-2020.

It adds that almost half (43%) of households in the country already own a DVB-T2 receiver and are ready for the transition. Furthermore, almost half (46%) of viewers expect to watch HD broadcasts following the transition to DVB-T2.

Ceske Televize (CT) already broadcasts in native HD on the transition network and broadcast in full HD on the final DVB-T2 network.

Barrandov, Prima Group and Seznam will also broadcast in 1440 x 1080p.

Viewers in the Czech Republic can already receive over 30 channels terrestrially free of charge. With DVB-T2 they will also be offered a range of interactive services.

Although awareness of DVB-T2 is high (83%), more than half of households (63%) have no information on transition dates.

Macquarie eyes Czech sale

By Chris Dziadul

The Australian investment group Macquarie is planning to sell the Czech national transmission company Ceske Radiokomunikace (CRa).

Quoting a report in HN, Digizone reports that the biding document has already been signed and sent to potential buyers.

These are believed to include Petr Kellner’s PPF Group.

Macquarie has owned CRa since 2011.

Macquarie eyes Czech sale

By Chris Dziadul

The Australian investment group Macquarie is planning to sell the Czech national transmission company Ceske Radiokomunikace (CRa).

Quoting a report in HN, Digizone reports that the biding document has already been signed and sent to potential buyers.

These are believed to include Petr Kellner’s PPF Group.

Macquarie has owned CRa since 2011.

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