LAS VEGAS: Sony Corp CEO Kazuo Hirai has weathered a crisis over a cyberattack on its Hollywood studio and its controversial comedy “The Interview”, but his toughest moment may be just arriving as he prepares a new business revival plan. After failing to turn around the storied creator of the Walkman since taking the helm in April 2012, Hirai and his deputies are now open to options including sales and joint ventures for its money-losing TV and mobile phone operations, company officials familiar with the leadership’s thinking say.
SEOUL, Jan 1 — Samsung Electronics Co Ltd said today that all its new smart television products launched in 2015 will be powered by the Tizen operating system, marking a fresh effort by the company to increase the usage of the software platform. Smart TVs offer additional software and connectivity functions, such as video streaming and web browsing capabilities. Samsung demonstrated TV sets powered by Tizen at developer conferences last year.
Wang Juan, chief editor of Tencent’s video business, announced that Tencent is preparing its over-the-top content plans for 2015 by cooperating with license owners and hardware manufacturers. Wang said Internet TV in China is a regulatory focus of the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television of China because smart TVs will become a mainstream platform for video distribution in China.
TAIPEI–Google Inc. launched its Chromecast device in Taiwan Thursday, enabling local consumers to beam media content such as movies, music and sports from mobile devices or laptops to a television screen. Google has now launched Chromecast in 24 markets, including Taiwan. The device is priced locally at NT$1,390 (US$44.6) through stores operated by Chunghwa Telecom Co. and Web portal PChome’s online shopping site.
Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. recently launched new internet TVs in China in partnership with Chinese consumer electronics company Haier Electronics Group.
The new internet TVs come in three different sizes: a 55 inch model, a 48 inch model and a 42 inch model. Reports claim two other models will also be available.
Lei Jun, chairman and chief executive officer of Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi, says the company will invest USD1 billion in the video content industry as it aims to improve content of its TV and TV box products. For content, Lei said they prefer to cooperate with partners in the video content sector and realize joint growth in the area. Lei said the most important thing for Xiaomi in the current stage is the integration and operation of video content. The company aims to establish a complete network which closely combines software, hardware and contents to enhance the competitiveness of the company.
Xiaomi founder Lei Jun took to his Weibo page today to reveal that the disruptive gadget maker is to invest US$1 billion in building up content for its smart TV users. Xiaomi unleashed its smart TV OS in early 2013, available initially only via a cheap set-top box. Xiaomi later released a smart TV, dubbed MiTV (pictured above). The trouble with Xiaomi’s smart TV OS is that it lacks the content that many of its rivals have, since Xiaomi has no online video site to pair with it.
BANGALORE, INDIA: Airtel digital TV, the Direct-To-Home (DTH) service from Bharti Airtel, today announced its partnership with Samsung to launch India’s very first Integrated Digital TV (iDTV). As part of this innovation – Samsung’s range of SmartDirect TVs will come designed with an in-built Airtel digital satellite tuner which will enable DTH signal reception without the need for customers to install an external set-top-box (STB).
Japan’s Softbank plans to acquire Korean TV show portal DramaFever, according to a press release published on Business Wire . The five-year-old startup has raised US$12 million up to this point, some of that coming from YouTube co-founder Steve Chen. The site has a wide range of international TV shows, but is mostly known for its Korean dramas.
Pay TV company Foxtel fears that internet providers will stymie any attempt to introduce a notice scheme to combat online piracy unless they’re made to bear part of its cost. Foxtel chief executive Richard Freudenstein told a copyright forum in Sydney that he expected “recalcitrant ISPs” would find a way to make such a scheme expensive, slow and difficult unless they were made to pay to send notices to consumers suspected of breaching copyright laws.
MUMBAI, INDIA: In yet anoter landmark technological move, Tata Sky announced its plans to launch 4k set top boxes in India by early next year. According to the the company, the 2014 FIFA World CupTM football match played between France & Germany last night was telecast on SD, HD and an (4k enabled) UltraHD television from Sony Electronics with live 4k feed of the football match on SONY SIX HD.
Extending its expertise in Ultra HD to Asia, Eutelsat Communications (Paris:ETL) (NYSE Euronext Paris: ETL), working in partnership with ST Teleport, one of Asia’s leading full-service satellite, fibre and IP communications solutions providers, will be introducing its 4k TV channel on the EUTELSAT 70B satellite that reaches across Southeast Asia and Australia. The content displayed by Eutelsat’s new 4k channel is encoded in HEVC by ATEME and Thomson Video Networks at 50 frames per second with 10-bit colour depth (one billion colours – HEVC Main 10 profile).
NHK (an acronym for Nippon Hoso Kyokai, or Japan Broadcasting Corporation in English) will open the doors of its Science and Technology Research Labs (STRL) to the general public tomorrow. The annual open house allows Japanese citizens, who fund the national broadcaster through subscription fees, to catch a glimpse of the future of domestic broadcast television.
Amid limited profits from the LCD TV business in 2013, Sony transferred LCD TV ODM orders back to in-house production, causing LCD TV makers to see major order declines, with Foxconn Electronics seeing drops from four million units to less than 50,000. However, going into fiscal-year 2014, Foxconn expects that number to increase to 100,000 units as Sony aims to tackle the market with new units.
TOKYO, May 22 — Sony Corp could take on an equity partner in its TV unit, which has racked up losses every year for a decade, but the Japanese consumer giant was not thinking about selling or exiting the business, its chief executive said today. Sony plans to turn its struggling TV business into a separate entity — Sony Visual Products Inc — within a few months to boost transparency.
China’s ongoing cleanup of objectionable content on the web has claimed a bunch of new – and perhaps surprising – casualties. China’s media regulator has ordered the country’s video streaming sites to remove four American TV series: The Big Bang Theory, The Good Wife, The Practice, and NCIS. The sites affected – including Youku (NYSE:YOKU) and Sohu’s (NASDAQ:SOHU) video portal, which pay to license the shows from US broadcasters – have not been given a reason for these bans, according to the Associated Press.
NEW DELHI, INDIA: Cisco has reached a key milestone of six million digital pay-TV homes on DEN Networks. DEN is using Cisco’s technologies to enhance the TV-watching experience of nearly 30 million viewers across India, with an estimated industry average of five people per household. This achievement re-inforces customers’ confidence in the innovative technology, digital TV services and solutions provided by Cisco.
WASHINGTON, April 6, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — CCTV America, the U.S. production arm of China Central Television, rolls out a new slate of programming this week. As ships rush to probe signals in the search for Malaysian Air 370, as ballots are counted in Afghanistan, and as the American Defense Secretary arrives for talks in Beijing, CCTV America expands its news programming beginning at 6 p.m. US Eastern time Monday, April 7th.
This report presents worldwide IPTV subscriber market forecast, as well as recent quarter review of regional markets and market share by vendor. This report finds that the global IPTV subscriber base totaled around 92.7 million in the end of 2013, up 23.7% year-on-year. Asia Pacific has become the largest IPTV subscriber market in the world, boasting 45.6 million subscribers, which translates into 49.2% of the global market.
US-based video streaming service Hulu launched in Japan back in 2011, bringing hot movies and TV shows from the US, Japan, and beyond to subscribers at Hulu.jp. But Hulu CEO Mike Hopkins says in a corporate blog post that the startup is now selling the Japanese business to Nippon TV (TYO:9404). Once the business transaction wraps up, the Hulu Japan brand and site will remain alive, licensed to Nippon TV. Hopkins doesn’t disclose any financial details in his post (as spotted by Gigaom).