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Crystal Meth Is North Korea’s Trendiest Lunar New Year’s Gift

By MIKE IVES

Many North Koreans see the highly addictive drug as a useful stimulant. The government denies that it even exists in the country.

Crystal Meth Is North Korea’s Trendiest Lunar New Year’s Gift

By MIKE IVES

Many North Koreans see the highly addictive drug as a useful stimulant. The government denies that it even exists in the country.

Fighting Brexit, One Caller and 100,000 YouTube Clicks at a Time

By DAVID SEGAL

The talk radio host James O’Brien argues with Brexiteers every day on his show. It’s unclear if he has changed any minds, but it sure has made him famous.

Q&A: Pills to Protect Against an Apocalypse

By C. CLAIBORNE RAY

Potassium iodide offers limited protection to those exposed to a Chernobyl-type disaster.

Q&A: Pills to Protect Against an Apocalypse

By C. CLAIBORNE RAY

Potassium iodide offers limited protection to those exposed to a Chernobyl-type disaster.

Media usage in Germany rises in 2018

By JΓΆrn Krieger

Germans are consuming an increasing amount of audio and audio-visual media content.

In 2018, audio-visual media usage by Germans aged 14 and over rose to over 9 hours per day for the first time. Radio and television continued to be by far the most frequently consumed types of media, while a further increase was registered in the use of audio and audio-visual media content via the internet. This emerges from the media usage analysis published by German commercial broadcaster association VAUNET (formerly VPRT), based on third-party sources.

The figures for daily video and television use in 2018 amounted to a total of 5 hours and 12 minutes (2017: 5 hours and 6 minutes), the major part of this still arising from television consumption, which reached 3 hours and 54 minutes across the entire population (aged 14 and over) in the year 2018 (2017: 3 hours and 58 minutes). Audio usage remained at 3 hours and 52 minutes. Germans over the age of 14 spent 3 hours and 12 minutes listening to the radio on workdays (same as 2017).

On average, media offerings on the internet were used by 14 to 69-year-olds for 1 hour and 37 minutes in 2018 (2017: 1 hour and 29 minutes). Of this, around 71 minutes (2017: 58 minutes), corresponding with 73%, were attributable to the use of online videos and music streaming/MP3. The cumulative daily consumption of other forms of audio-visual media, such as cinema, video games, DVD/blu-ray and CDs, amounted to 47 minutes (2017: 50 minutes).

In the course of an average day, radio was the most frequently used medium from morning until early evening, with television being the most-consumed medium and recording the widest reach during the evening from around 18.00 CET onwards. Internet usage remains relatively stable throughout the day.

In 2018, 92.2% (2017: 91.8%) of Germans aged 3 years and over watched television on a regular basis, 93.8% of adults from the age of 14 listened regularly to the radio and 81.2% of people aged 16 or more made regular use of the internet. The relevant daily reach amounted to 67.6% in the case of television, 77.6% for radio and 52.3% for the internet.

Unitymedia to change cable line-up / New carriage fee dispute

By JΓΆrn Krieger

German cable operator Unitymedia will perform several changes to its TV and radio line-up including a controversial move on January 22, 2019.

Regional channel Radio Bremen TV HD and educational channel ARD-alpha HD will join Unitymedia’s cable network, the two last channels from public broadcaster ARD launching in HD quality.

In federal state Baden-Württemberg, financial news channel CNBC will be added to the line-up.

The Deutschlandfunk radio channels operated by national public German broadcaster Deutschlandradio will be removed from the cable network at the same time. According to a Unitymedia spokesman, Deutschlandradio cancelled its carriage contract with Unitymedia effective December 31, 2018 and declined the cable company’s offer to enter negotiations regarding a new distribution agreement. He stressed that Unitymedia would be prepared to conclude a new contract any time if the broadcaster was interested in gaining cable carriage again.

Broadband TV News understands that the contract cancellation is based on a dispute regarding carriage fees. The removal of Deutschlandradio’s channels could, however, be legally problematic as the broadcaster is financed by the public licence fee and has a public service obligation from which must-carry status could be derived.

As a result, Deutschlandradio could legally challenge the exclusion from Unitymedia’s cable network and demand the channels’ reintroduction.

Deutschlandradio did not comment on the subject when contacted by Broadband TV News.

Unitymedia to change cable line-up / New carriage fee dispute

By JΓΆrn Krieger

German cable operator Unitymedia will perform several changes to its TV and radio line-up including a controversial move on January 22, 2019.

Regional channel Radio Bremen TV HD and educational channel ARD-alpha HD will join Unitymedia’s cable network, the two last channels from public broadcaster ARD launching in HD quality.

In federal state Baden-Württemberg, financial news channel CNBC will be added to the line-up.

The Deutschlandfunk radio channels operated by national public German broadcaster Deutschlandradio will be removed from the cable network at the same time. According to a Unitymedia spokesman, Deutschlandradio cancelled its carriage contract with Unitymedia effective December 31, 2018 and declined the cable company’s offer to enter negotiations regarding a new distribution agreement. He stressed that Unitymedia would be prepared to conclude a new contract any time if the broadcaster was interested in gaining cable carriage again.

Broadband TV News understands that the contract cancellation is based on a dispute regarding carriage fees. The removal of Deutschlandradio’s channels could, however, be legally problematic as the broadcaster is financed by the public licence fee and has a public service obligation from which must-carry status could be derived.

As a result, Deutschlandradio could legally challenge the exclusion from Unitymedia’s cable network and demand the channels’ reintroduction.

“We take note of Unitymedia’s unilateral announcement on January 14, 2019 to remove Deutschlandradio’s channels from its cable network in Baden-Württemberg, Hesse and North-Rhine Westphalia on January 22, 2019,” a Deutschlandradio spokesman told Broadband TV News. “We regret this step and are currently evaluating how to proceed. The three Deutschlandradio channels remain available in digital via DAB+, internet and satellite while Deutschlandfunk and Deutschlandfunk Kultur additionally stay available via FM in many regions.”

Unitymedia to change cable line-up / New carriage fee dispute

By JΓΆrn Krieger

German cable operator Unitymedia will perform several changes to its TV and radio line-up including a controversial move on January 22, 2019.

Regional channel Radio Bremen TV HD and educational channel ARD-alpha HD will join Unitymedia’s cable network, the two last channels from public broadcaster ARD launching in HD quality.

In federal state Baden-Württemberg, financial news channel CNBC will be added to the line-up.

The Deutschlandfunk radio channels operated by national public German broadcaster Deutschlandradio will be removed from the cable network at the same time. According to a Unitymedia spokesman, Deutschlandradio cancelled its carriage contract with Unitymedia effective December 31, 2018 and declined the cable company’s offer to enter negotiations regarding a new distribution agreement. He stressed that Unitymedia would be prepared to conclude a new contract any time if the broadcaster was interested in gaining cable carriage again.

Broadband TV News understands that the contract cancellation is based on a dispute regarding carriage fees. The removal of Deutschlandradio’s channels could, however, be legally problematic as the broadcaster is financed by the public licence fee and has a public service obligation from which must-carry status could be derived.

As a result, Deutschlandradio could legally challenge the exclusion from Unitymedia’s cable network and demand the channels’ reintroduction.

“We take note of Unitymedia’s unilateral announcement on January 14, 2019 to remove Deutschlandradio’s channels from its cable network in Baden-Württemberg, Hesse and North-Rhine Westphalia on January 22, 2019,” a Deutschlandradio spokesman told Broadband TV News. “We regret this step and are currently evaluating how to proceed. The three Deutschlandradio channels remain available in digital via DAB+, internet and satellite while Deutschlandfunk and Deutschlandfunk Kultur additionally stay available via FM in many regions.”

HbbTV first for Czech Radio

By Chris Dziadul

Czech Radio (Cesky rozhlas) has become the first radio station in the country to use an interactive HbbTV application.

According to Cesky rozhlas, it is available in the Czech TV’s DVB-T Multiplex 1 in the programme position of Radio Wave and will in the near future also become available on other distribution channels such as the Astra 3B satellite and UPC Czech cable network.

Cesky rozhlas adds that Radio Wave was not selected at random as today marks its 13th anniversary.

HbbTV services can already be received in around 30% of Czech homes.

HbbTV first for Czech Radio

By Chris Dziadul

Czech Radio (Cesky rozhlas) has become the first radio station in the country to use an interactive HbbTV application.

According to Cesky rozhlas, it is available in the Czech TV’s DVB-T Multiplex 1 in the programme position of Radio Wave and will in the near future also become available on other distribution channels such as the Astra 3B satellite and UPC Czech cable network.

Cesky rozhlas adds that Radio Wave was not selected at random as today marks its 13th anniversary.

HbbTV services can already be received in around 30% of Czech homes.

Broadcasting from Deep Space, a Mysterious Series of Radio Signals

By DENNIS OVERBYE

Astronomers have identified a second set of odd radio bursts from the distant universe. Aliens probably aren’t causing it, but what is?

CIS HD first for Globecast

By Chris Dziadul

Globecast has been selected by the National State TV and Radio Company of the Republic of Belarus to launch an HD version of its international satellite channel Belarus 24.

In a release, Globecast says that the channel, distributed as a FTA service on Eutelsat’s Hotbird, made its debut at the beginning of last month, with the SD version continued until January 1, 2019. The significance is that the launch on Hotbird is the first of a HD channel from a CIS country.

As previously reported by Broadband TV News, plans by the Belarusian broadcaster to switch its channels to HD were first announced last year.

Commenting on the development, Aleksandr Martynenko, general director at Belarus 24, said: “We have a high trust relationship with Globecast, much like they do with Eutelsat. Given the success and reach of Belarus 24 in SD since 2005, we felt it was time for us to deliver this important content in HD so that we can bring a significantly enhanced viewing experience to our customers. We are very happy with our choice of Globecast and Eutelsat as the project has gone exceptionally smoothly”.

Biliana Pumpalovic, general director at Globecast Moscow, added: “Belarus 24 has been an important customer of ours for almost a decade, and we feel privileged that they came to us with this key upgrade in their distribution development. We’ve worked closely with them, both technically and commercially, to bring the HD version of Belarus 24 to millions of viewers across Europe”.

CIS HD first for Globecast

By Chris Dziadul

Globecast has been selected by the National State TV and Radio Company of the Republic of Belarus to launch an HD version of its international satellite channel Belarus 24.

In a release, Globecast says that the channel, distributed as a FTA service on Eutelsat’s Hotbird, made its debut at the beginning of last month, with the SD version continued until January 1, 2019. The significance is that the launch on Hotbird is the first of a HD channel from a CIS country.

As previously reported by Broadband TV News, plans by the Belarusian broadcaster to switch its channels to HD were first announced last year.

Commenting on the development, Aleksandr Martynenko, general director at Belarus 24, said: “We have a high trust relationship with Globecast, much like they do with Eutelsat. Given the success and reach of Belarus 24 in SD since 2005, we felt it was time for us to deliver this important content in HD so that we can bring a significantly enhanced viewing experience to our customers. We are very happy with our choice of Globecast and Eutelsat as the project has gone exceptionally smoothly”.

Biliana Pumpalovic, general director at Globecast Moscow, added: “Belarus 24 has been an important customer of ours for almost a decade, and we feel privileged that they came to us with this key upgrade in their distribution development. We’ve worked closely with them, both technically and commercially, to bring the HD version of Belarus 24 to millions of viewers across Europe”.

CIS HD first for Globecast

By Chris Dziadul

Globecast has been selected by the National State TV and Radio Company of the Republic of Belarus to launch an HD version of its international satellite channel Belarus 24.

In a release, Globecast says that the channel, distributed as a FTA service on Eutelsat’s Hotbird, made its debut at the beginning of last month, with the SD version continued until January 1, 2019. The significance is that the launch on Hotbird is the first of a HD channel from a CIS country.

As previously reported by Broadband TV News, plans by the Belarusian broadcaster to switch its channels to HD were first announced last year.

Commenting on the development, Aleksandr Martynenko, general director at Belarus 24, said: “We have a high trust relationship with Globecast, much like they do with Eutelsat. Given the success and reach of Belarus 24 in SD since 2005, we felt it was time for us to deliver this important content in HD so that we can bring a significantly enhanced viewing experience to our customers. We are very happy with our choice of Globecast and Eutelsat as the project has gone exceptionally smoothly”.

Biliana Pumpalovic, general director at Globecast Moscow, added: “Belarus 24 has been an important customer of ours for almost a decade, and we feel privileged that they came to us with this key upgrade in their distribution development. We’ve worked closely with them, both technically and commercially, to bring the HD version of Belarus 24 to millions of viewers across Europe”.

CIS HD first for Globecast

By Chris Dziadul

Globecast has been selected by the National State TV and Radio Company of the Republic of Belarus to launch an HD version of its international satellite channel Belarus 24.

In a release, Globecast says that the channel, distributed as a FTA service on Eutelsat’s Hotbird, made its debut at the beginning of last month, with the SD version continued until January 1, 2019. The significance is that the launch on Hotbird is the first of a HD channel from a CIS country.

As previously reported by Broadband TV News, plans by the Belarusian broadcaster to switch its channels to HD were first announced last year.

Commenting on the development, Aleksandr Martynenko, general director at Belarus 24, said: “We have a high trust relationship with Globecast, much like they do with Eutelsat. Given the success and reach of Belarus 24 in SD since 2005, we felt it was time for us to deliver this important content in HD so that we can bring a significantly enhanced viewing experience to our customers. We are very happy with our choice of Globecast and Eutelsat as the project has gone exceptionally smoothly”.

Biliana Pumpalovic, general director at Globecast Moscow, added: “Belarus 24 has been an important customer of ours for almost a decade, and we feel privileged that they came to us with this key upgrade in their distribution development. We’ve worked closely with them, both technically and commercially, to bring the HD version of Belarus 24 to millions of viewers across Europe”.

ARD to offer full TV package in HD on Astra

By JΓΆrn Krieger

German public broadcaster ARD will transmit its complete TV channel portfolio in HD quality for DTH satellite households via Astra (19.2° East) from January 7, 2019.

The last two missing channels ARD-alpha HD and Radio Bremen TV HD will be added to the line-up on 10.00 CET. The two channels were previously only offered on SD resolution.

Initially, the signals will be up-converted to HD resolution. From February 2019, regional channel Radio Bremen TV will be available in native HD quality; educational channel ARD-alpha is to follow during the course of the year.

The two new HD channels will be broadcast unencrypted on transponder 39 (11.053 GHz H, SR 22,000, FEC 2/3). For reception, viewers are recommended to perform a channel search on their TV set or set-top box.

ARD-alpha HD and Radio Bremen TV HD are also available to cable operators for carriage. The two largest cable companies Vodafone and Unitymedia will distribute both channels from the end of January 2019.

HDTV reception is widespread among German viewers: According to the Digitisation Report 2018, around 31 million households have an HD-capable TV set. Of the 17.4 million DTH satellite households, around 80% own an HD TV set.

ARD to offer full TV package in HD on Astra

By JΓΆrn Krieger

German public broadcaster ARD will transmit its complete TV channel portfolio in HD quality for DTH satellite households via Astra (19.2° East) from January 7, 2019.

The last two missing channels ARD-alpha HD and Radio Bremen TV HD will be added to the line-up on 10.00 CET. The two channels were previously only offered on SD resolution.

Initially, the signals will be up-converted to HD resolution. From February 2019, regional channel Radio Bremen TV will be available in native HD quality; educational channel ARD-alpha is to follow during the course of the year.

The two new HD channels will be broadcast unencrypted on transponder 39 (11.053 GHz H, SR 22,000, FEC 2/3). For reception, viewers are recommended to perform a channel search on their TV set or set-top box.

ARD-alpha HD and Radio Bremen TV HD are also available to cable operators for carriage. The two largest cable companies Vodafone and Unitymedia will distribute both channels from the end of January 2019.

HDTV reception is widespread among German viewers: According to the Digitisation Report 2018, around 31 million households have an HD-capable TV set. Of the 17.4 million DTH satellite households, around 80% own an HD TV set.

ARD to offer full TV package in HD on Astra

By JΓΆrn Krieger

German public broadcaster ARD will transmit its complete TV channel portfolio in HD quality for DTH satellite households via Astra (19.2° East) from January 7, 2019.

The last two missing channels ARD-alpha HD and Radio Bremen TV HD will be added to the line-up on 10.00 CET. The two channels were previously only offered on SD resolution.

Initially, the signals will be up-converted to HD resolution. From February 2019, regional channel Radio Bremen TV will be available in native HD quality; educational channel ARD-alpha is to follow during the course of the year.

The two new HD channels will be broadcast unencrypted on transponder 39 (11.053 GHz H, SR 22,000, FEC 2/3). For reception, viewers are recommended to perform a channel search on their TV set or set-top box.

ARD-alpha HD and Radio Bremen TV HD are also available to cable operators for carriage. The two largest cable companies Vodafone and Unitymedia will distribute both channels from the end of January 2019.

HDTV reception is widespread among German viewers: According to the Digitisation Report 2018, around 31 million households have an HD-capable TV set. Of the 17.4 million DTH satellite households, around 80% own an HD TV set.

Romania secures digital TV funding

By Chris Dziadul

The European Investment Bank (EIB) has announced it is lending the Romanian public company Radiocom €9.78 million to partially finance the digitisation of the country’s terrestrial broadcasting infrastructure.

It adds that the transaction is backed by the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), the financial pillar of the Investment Plan for Europe, or “Juncker Plan”.

The project supports the rollout of a digital TV broadcasting network based on the DVB-T2 standard. It will result in 228 broadcasting sites reaching 94% of the population and 81% of the country with FTA TV signals.

Commenting on the development, EIB VP Andrew McDowell said: “The EIB loan will finance the digitalisation of public terrestrial broadcasting in line with national and European policies, supporting the transition of TV to digital broadcasting. This will facilitate the development of the information society to benefit the people of Romania.”

EC Commissioner for regional policy Corina Cretu added: “With this new agreement, the Juncker Plan is making a very visible difference to the everyday lives of Romanians by bringing better quality TV into their homes. I am very proud of this new EFSI project and I can only encourage Romania to make more use of the great opportunities offered by the Juncker Plan for growth and jobs in the country but also to improve people’s quality of life.”
CEO of Radiocom Eugen Brad stated: “The EIB financing will enable the implementation of digital terrestrial television in Romania, a unique opportunity to expand the audiovisual industry, viewed from the perspective of the image quality of television programmes provided through electronic communications networks, and their interactivity in relation to the requirements of the beneficiaries (citizens) of these services. Radiocom’s transition project is one of the strategic objectives of our company that will ensure respect for the right to information of the Romanian population and will also strengthen our company’s position in the digital terrestrial television market.”

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