Rape case filed against Congress MLA

first_imgA case was registered on the court’s order against Congress MLA Johari Lal Meena, representing Rajgarh-Laxmangarh constituency of Rajasthan’s Alwar district, on charges of raping a 38-year-old widow several times during the last two years and threatening to release the video of the alleged act. The FIR was registered at Raini police station over the weekend.The woman, who filed a complaint in the Judicial Magistrate’s court for registration of FIR, alleged that Mr. Meena, 68, whom she had met two years ago, took her to a hotel in the temple town of Mehandipur Balaji on the pretext of taking her to a doctor when she was ill. At the hotel, the MLA allegedly gave her some medicines and raped her when she fell unconscious, according to the complaint.Mr. Meena denied the charge on Saturday and said the complaint against him was a “political conspiracy” hatched to prevent him from campaigning for his party in the Lok Sabha election. “The objective is to damage the prospects of Congress. This is also a ploy to reduce my popularity in the public,” said Mr. Meena, who had defeated his BJP rival with a margin of 30,298 votes in the 2018 Assembly election.The complainant alleged that Mr. Meena had made a video of the act and started blackmailing her with the threat to release it. She also alleged that the MLA had forced her to establish a physical relationship with him several times.The FIR was registered under Sections 376 (rape), 384 (extortion) and 328 (causing hurt by means of poison) of Indian Penal Code and investigation handed over to CB-CID in view of the accused being a legislator.last_img read more

More JPs to Serve St. Ann

first_imgStory Highlights Among those sworn in are Principal of Brown’s Town Primary, Soloman Smith; Pastor of the Faith Tabernacle Apostolic Church in Claremont, Wayne Barclay, and Councillor for the Lime Hall Division, Genevor Gordon Bailey. The cadre of Justices of the Peace (JPs) serving the parish of St. Ann has been increased, with the swearing in of 61 new members on Tuesday, August 14.In a ceremony, held at Jewel Dunn’s River Resort and Spa in Mammee Bay, St. Ann, the new JPs, 29 men and 32 women took the Oath of Office before Custos Rotulorum for St. Ann, Hon. Norma Walters. This brings the number of serving JPs in the parish of St. Ann to 417.Among those sworn in are Principal of Brown’s Town Primary, Soloman Smith; Pastor of the Faith Tabernacle Apostolic Church in Claremont, Wayne Barclay, and Councillor for the Lime Hall Division, Genevor Gordon Bailey.In his address, Minister of Justice, Hon. Delroy Chuck, charged the newly commissioned JPs to maintain an “impeccable character,” as they aid in solving the nation’s issues.“We want persons of unimpeachable integrity, persons who, regardless of the challenges, petition, and pleas for your assistance, if you know it isn’t right, you stand firm and say no. [It is] very important that you should be of unquestionable integrity, and at the same time as a Justice of the Peace, I expect that you should be persons of impeccable character,” he said.Mr. Chuck reminded the JPs that they should not see themselves as serving only the parish of St. Ann, but all of Jamaica as stipulated by the new Justices of the Peace Act 2018.He reiterated that the Ministry of Justice is on a drive to increase the number of JPs islandwide, with the aim of having over 1,000 per parish.The Minister said the increase will help to ease the burden on the justice system by diverting matters from the courts to be dealt with through mediation, spearheaded by JPs.In the meantime, retired Chief Justice, Hon. Zaila McCalla, commended the newly commissioned JPs for having taken the “bold step to volunteer and make yourselves available to serve.”She told the group that “your appointment will contribute greatly to the improvement of our justice system,” and encouraged them to avail themselves for further training. The cadre of Justices of the Peace (JPs) serving the parish of St. Ann has been increased, with the swearing in of 61 new members on Tuesday, August 14. In a ceremony, held at Jewel Dunn’s River Resort and Spa in Mammee Bay, St. Ann, the new JPs, 29 men and 32 women took the Oath of Office before Custos Rotulorum for St. Ann, Hon. Norma Walters. This brings the number of serving JPs in the parish of St. Ann to 417.last_img read more

Federal budget day in Canada

first_imgAPTN National NewsIt was federal budget day in Canada.A time when the federal government lays out its priorities and looks to the future.It’s also a time when Aboriginal People find out whether or not their issues and concerns will be addressed.last_img

Ohio States Braxton Miller one of the best in the game

Ohio State football’s sophomore quarterback Braxton Miller was named Big Ten offensive player of the week on Monday, and also received praise from OSU coach Urban Meyer about his play through the first three weeks of the season.While the Buckeyes’ first-year coach has been among the many praising Miller, he is not yet ready to advertise his quarterback as a contender to win the 2012 Heisman Trophy.“I will not say he’s not (a candidate to win the Heisman),” Meyer said. “I don’t believe he is now. He’s not playing well enough yet.”Meyer, though, was full of praise regarding Miller.“I have a lot of confidence in Braxton,” Meyer said. “He’s our best player right now on offense.”Miller led the Buckeyes to a 35-28 victory over California on Saturday, completing 16-of-30 passes for 249 yards and four touchdowns, while also rushing for 75 yards and another score. Miller’s plays in that game included a 55-yard touchdown run in the first quarter, and a game-winning, 72-yard touchdown pass to sophomore wide receiver Devin Smith with 3:26 left to play in the game.Miller’s recognition announced Monday marks the first time that the sophomore has earned an offensive player of the week award, but he was last year’s Big Ten Thompson-Randle El Freshman of the Year.Miller has led the Buckeyes to victories in each of the team’s first three games, and has accounted for 988 yards of total offense, which ranks ninth in the NCAA’s Football Bowl Subdivision. With 377 rushing yards, he ranks fifth nationally among all players in rushing yardage, and first among all quarterbacks.OSU offensive coordinator Tom Herman said opposing defenses have been making adjustments to account for Miller’s ability to run the ball.“I’ve seen defenses in the last three weeks that I’ve never even dreamt of in my mind to try to stop the QB from running the football,” Herman said. “Teams now are trying to get eight, nine guys in the box to be sound against him pulling the ball and running, so the variety of coverage that we see on first- and second-down is absolutely mind-boggling.”For the overall year, Miller has completed 61.5 percent of his passes for 611 yards, with seven touchdown throws and two interceptions.Herman said he has been pleased with his quarterback’s development this season.“In terms of progress, I think he’s seeing the field better, I think he communicates with me on the sideline better than maybe I had expected,” Herman said. “He’s come a long ways.”While Herman described Miller’s mental progress as a quarterback, he said there has “never been an issue with (Miller’s) upper-body mechanics.”“The ball comes out very smoothly, he’s got a quick release, he’s got a strong arm,” Herman said of Miller.Lower-body mechanics, however, remain a concern for Herman.Herman said that to improve in that area, it comes down to “tying that into his feet and making sure that his hips and his feet are aligned properly to the throw, on time, when that throw needs to be made.”OSU coaches and Big Ten voters are not the only ones praising Miller after his strong start through three games this season. Following their loss on Saturday, California’s coach and players also gave credit to Miller’s play.“Braxton is a hard guy to contain because he is so big and physical,” said California coach Jeff Tedford. “For most of the day he made great decisions and threw some great passes. When he threw that long ball down the left side of the field, it was a perfect pass. He is fast, accurate and a great athlete.”California senior cornerback Marc Anthony felt similarly.“Braxton is one of the best in the game and he came through for his team,” Anthony said. “All of our eyes were on Braxton. We wanted other players to make something happen for them.” read more

Luka Modric launches a scathing attack on Simeone

first_imgReal Madrid midfielder Luka Modric has responded to the criticisms of Atletico Madrid’s manager Diego Simeone on him and his teammates.In the midfielder’s first interview since winning the Ballon d’Or earlier this month, the 33-year-old spoke of the manager’s disparaging comments about the award and Madrid.“I understand why Simeone has defended his own players,” Modric told Croatian outlet Sportske Novosti, as cited by Football Espana.“I understand why he believes Griezmann was the best but in doing so he feels the need to disparage Real Madrid and the players here.Luka Modric, Real MadridReal Madrid suffer a Luka Modric injury blow Andrew Smyth – September 12, 2019 Real Madrid have announced that Luka Modric has suffered an adductor injury, which could rule him out of some key fixtures.“There are suggestions that there is something else behind why Madrid players win these trophies, and that is not the case.“I have a lot of respect for Atletico and Simeone, their players and their fans – they are a great club and whey they defeat us, I acknowledge it and congratulate them.“But we have been hugely successful too, we have beaten them in two finals and it is not fair to say these achievements are due to favoritism.”last_img read more

Zidane is the best man for Manchester United job – Saha

first_imgFormer Manchester United striker Louis Saha believes Zinedine Zidane is the right manager to lead Manchester United to glory after Jose Mourinho was sacked.The former French International says Zidane who led Real Madrid to three consecutive Champions League titles before leaving will bring a new dimension to the team.In an interview with Omnisport via FourFourTwo, Saha backed former France team-mate Zidane to succeed at Old Trafford. .“For me, I am a supporter of Zidane in relation to the man,” Saha said. “He was an exceptional player, the coach, there is no equivalent.“In communication he has made a lot of progress. When I hear him talking, it’s incredible.Dani Ceballos, the most underrated Spanish player today Tomás Pavel Ibarra Meda – September 13, 2019 We’ve been looking for the next great Spanish player and we had him under our noses all along, meet underrated Dani Ceballos.Even though you’ve…“He breathes football, he is a passionate person, who has all the qualities to be respected. He knows how to balance attack and defence.“At Real Madrid, he had three offensive monsters, and he has to make the link with the defence. It’s huge.“For me it’s the best choice for United. I think he will have the support of the supporters, the staff, the president because he deserves it. And we’re going to give him time.”Zidane is no manager of any club at the moment and could take the job if both parties agree.last_img read more

71 of Websites May Be Under Reporting Traffic

first_imgThis story first appears on FOLIO: sister site, minonline.Are you sure your Web page tags are in order? BPA Worldwide says that in a recent survey involving 900 site audits, 71 percent of them had not tagged every page for accurate traffic counting. When a site had missing tags, on average, 11 percent of the pages were not being counted. Often sites are so large that the owners simply miss pages or add templates with tags that don’t apply to older pages.For the rest of the story, click here.last_img read more

DavisMonthan AFB to Partner with Local Universities

first_imgLeaders from Davis-Monthan Air Force Base and Tucson-area organizations held a signing ceremony Monday for new initiatives covering partnerships with local universities and municipalities.The collaborations will benefit the installation by stretching its dollars and allowing it to leverage the know-how of its host community, said Col. James Meger, commander of the 355th Fighter Wing.“This is really important, because it’s the integration of the partnership of the community and the military installation,” Meger said.Two of the initiatives are with the University of Arizona, reported Air Force Times. Under one, linguists at Davis-Monthan will mentor the university’s foreign language students during special events. The other, which also involves Pima Community College, will provide students with on-base internships.A third effort will establish an emergency response communication partnership. Officials also created a steering committee to consider new initiatives under the Air Force Community Partnership program.“It’s really about growing our relationships and protecting the base,” said Pima County Supervisor Sharon Bronson. “If D-M goes away, a good piece of our economy goes away,” she said.Installation and community officials initially proposed about 40 partnerships, but many were shelved due to security or financial factors, according to the story. Dan Cohen AUTHORlast_img read more

East meets West pairing tea and chocolate

first_imgEast meets West pairing tea and chocolate625 views00:00 / 00:00- 00:00:0000:00East meets West pairing tea and chocolate625 viewsBusinessPairing Chinese tea with luxurious chocolates at this Hong Kong workshop. The latest take on having a tea party, as East meets West in a region fast becoming choko-obsessed. Chinese consumption ofVentuno Web Player 4.50Pairing Chinese tea with luxurious chocolates at this Hong Kong workshop. The latest take on having a tea party, as East meets West in a region fast becoming choko-obsessed. Chinese consumption oflast_img read more

Couple on empowerment mission

first_imgSulochana Chaudhary, a mother of three successful daughters, was watching TV with keen interest as Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the audience while launching the “Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao” campaign in Jhunjhunu on March 8. But long before the girl child became a campaign slogan for the current Prime Minister, Sulochana went against all odds to educate her children and inculcate a strong sense of values in them – in a Marwari society which looked down upon a woman giving birth to multiple daughters. Also Read – Add new books to your shelf”The entire Churu society to which we belonged had something bad to say to me when I delivered my third daughter. Their frequent taunts, soon after the delivery, left me and my husband tormented and pained. But I took my daughter in my lap, kissed her and told her, ‘You are going to be my third son. I will give you the best so that you too can serve the nation following in the footsteps of Indira Gandhi and Mother Teresa’,” said Sulochana.As the girls grew up, she took them frequently to visit the village. “I wanted them to know that this was the real India and they had to help the poor here. So they grew up with a vision and mission of improving the socio-economic standards in rural India,” she said, adding that “we also gave them wings to fly abroad and spread their horizons… to do their best”. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveThey were never made to feel that they were weaker or inferior in any way to the boys.Sulochana’s husband N.K. Chaudhary said, “I knew I had three daughters, but I decided they will build my future and realise my dreams. Although society left no stone unturned to make me feel unlucky for having three daughters, my best English friend, Ilay Cooper, who has written many books on the Shekhawati region, inspired me with his positive thoughts.”He made the Chaudharys realise why it was important to treat their girls at par with boys – and that often women were more efficient and capable than men. “I decided to give the best education to my daughters. As they grew up, I decided to send them to the US so that they could bring best practices to my business,” Chaudhary said.The girls joined the family business, Jaipur Rugs, after finishing their education, with Archana Chaudhary heading the operations in the United States and Asha Chaudhary becoming the CEO. Kavita Chaudhury became head of the design department. “They took the business to heights which I might not have been able to do alone,” says the trio’s father.Kavita is extending the business by engaging rural artisans and allowing them to transfer their thoughts and ideas into rug designs which are making waves across the globe. Recently, one of their weavers, Vimladevi from Aaspura village, was taken to Germany to receive the prestigious German Design Award she had won. “We want to create more such Vimlas in India,” says N.K. Chaudhary.He says they are always trying to boost the confidence of their grassroots weavers. “We want more daughters to become empowered, to stand on their own. We are employing more women and setting up doorstep opportunities for them so that they can recreate the magic of success at different levels,” he added.Kavita says there was a lot of pressure from their Marwari relatives on her parents to treat their girls in accordance with traditional societal norms – where girls were hidden within the confines of four walls at home and limited to kitchen-related work.”However, my parents trusted Cooper and, since early childhood, provided us with the best education and nurtured our personal interests, including sending us abroad.” All this despite their limited resources.Asked if her parents motivated the sisters to pursue their dreams, Kavita said it was not really that. “As children, we did not know what it meant to have dreams that could be fulfilled. They simply created a nurturing space for us to grow and experience life. They motivated us to learn the things we loved to do. And they greatly trusted us,” she said.The Chaudhary family business is now working with the most modern versions of enterprise resource planning, the design studio has been computerised and the products are being counted among the best, inviting global awards.N.K. Chaudhary believes strongly in the concept of women empowerment. Nature, he says, gave sufficient time to man to prove himself and contribute to the society. “But now it is women who are scripting success stories in each field with their untiring efforts.”last_img read more

RSCCs AM8 Russian satellite operator RSCCs Expr

first_imgRSCC’s AM-8Russian satellite operator RSCC’s Express-AM8 satellite has been successfully launched and placed in geostationary orbit by a Proton-M rocket from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.The satellite will be placed in orbit at 14° West to provide communications and broadcasting services to users in European Russia, Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and Latin America. The spacecraft was ordered and funded by RSCC, and manufactured by Russia’s АО ISS-Reshetnev.Express-AM8 is equipped with C-band, Ku-band and L-band transponders.Yuri Prokhorov, RSCC CEO, said, the Express-АМ8 satellite “paves the way for RSCC to the regional market of Latin America, and provides additional opportunities to develop business in Africa, Europe, and the Middle East”.last_img read more

Vincent Bolloré Vivendi chairman Vincent Bolloré a

first_imgVincent BolloréVivendi chairman Vincent Bolloré and other top executives of the media group met French football leaders on Friday to reassure them that they would not be disadvantaged by a deal between Vivendi and beIN Sports France, according to sports newspaper L’Équipe.Bolloré indicated that talks between the pair were at an advanced stage, without giving details, following speculation that Vivendi was preparing to acquire its pay TV rival, according to L’Équipe.Citing unnamed sources, L’Équipe said that Bolloré met Frédéric Thiriez, the president of the French profressional football league (LFP) and Jean-Michel Aulas, president of leading team Olympique Marseille, at Vivendi’s HQ and revealed to them that a deal with beIN Sport is in the offing, without giving specific details, in a move intended to convince the football chiefs that this development would not disadvantage them.It is likely that any deal would be studied by the country’s competition regulator, the Autorité de la Concurrence, amid concern that it could lead to a fall in the price of rights.Vivendi is set to unveil its annual results on February 18, raising speculation that a deal might be announced at this date.Last month a number of French analysts including those of BNP Paribas and Natixis suggested that the Qatar-owned beIN Sport might be interested in a deal, despite public pronouncements to the contrary, because it is under considerable financial pressure.Canal+ is similarly under pressure amid declining subscribers numbers in mainland France and a diminution in the top-tier sports rights it can deploy to build up its customer base.last_img read more

BT launched its BT Sport Ultra HD channel in the U

first_imgBT launched its BT Sport Ultra HD channel in the UK in August.With the first 4K channels starting to go live in Europe, Ultra High Definition has become a reality. But, with standards still evolving, what challenges to its adoption still remain? Andy McDonald reports.With the first 4K TV broadcast channels starting to appear across Europe, and high profile online players including Netflix and Amazon backing the technology, higher resolutions are no longer confined to trade shows and technology trials. 4K TV sales are tipped to rise in the coming years and prices are already coming down, putting us at the beginning of the Ultra High-Definition (UHD) revolution.However, while DVB’s UHD-1 Phase 1 standard, which is widely being followed by the industry, offers a step-change from HD in terms of resolution, it does not currently incorporate other Ultra HD technologies like wide colour gamut and High Dynamic Range.This leaves operators and broadcasters with the difficult question of whether to launch and iterate or wait to launch a more comprehensive UHD offering that promises to truly dazzle the consumer. With various industry bodies all trying to define what the future of UHD should entail, there are also further risks of fragmentation, consumer confusion and device upgrades for the market to navigate.Market movesIn August, UK operator BT launched Europe’s first live sports Ultra HD channel, marking a significant milestone in the deployment of 4K technology. BT Sport Ultra HD is broadcast over IP to a new UHD-compatible YouView set-top box and was, according to Jamie Hindhaugh, chief operations officer, BT Sport, the product of around 19 months of trials.“This was never driven by a competitive edge, but by our wish to be able to bring live sports to the customer in a more immersive way,” says Hindhaugh. “The Champions League was obviously a great springboard, because all eyes are on us because of that fantastic set of rights that we’ve got. But it was always about how you could showcase sport in this fantastic, immersive format from a range of the portfolio that we have.”Hindhaugh describes BT’s Infinity fibre broadband infrastructure, its TV platform and its sports rights as a “perfect storm” for launching a UHD channel. Starting from the 2015/16 season, BT has exclusive live UK TV rights to all Champions League football matches as part of a £897 million (€1.07 billion) three-year deal, and will air matches in the higher resolution format, along with domestic football and sports like rugby, squash and MotoGP.Hinting at BT’s wider aspirations in the UHD space, Hindhaugh says that the operator has already experimented producing sports-themed content in 4K – such as the documentary One Day in May: The Story of The Bradford City Fire. He says that by using the “halo effect” of a large-audience UHD Premier League game, BT will start scheduling docs and other content captured in 4K off the back of that.While Hindhaugh says that UHD is part of “the wider strategy for BT Sport to be seen as a credible and innovative broadcaster,” he adds that across BT’s wider portfolio “obviously movies will be of interest as more people capture in native 4K.” He says BT is also “in discussions with Netflix about enabling their 4K content to our box”.With BT now in the market, the signs are already there that a host of new UHD channels will start to come on air in the coming months. In July, German shopping channel Pearl.tv announced it will start broadcasting in Ultra High Definition via satellite and the web this September, in what it claims will be a first for a European free-to-air channel. SES Platform Services is due to provide HEVC encoding of the UHD live signal, uplink to the Astra satellites at the orbital position 19.2° East, and internet streaming.Pearl.tv is not the only UHD channel due to launch soon via SES. In its July earnings announcement, the satellite operator said it had has signed client agreements for three new UHD channels in Europe.Thomas Wrede, SES’s vice-president, reception systems, says “the first wave” of UHD channel launches via SES is due to start this autumn. “In terms of what’s happening and the uptake, it’s similar to what happened with HD ten or 11 years ago,” he says, predicting that private broadcasters or specialist channels with an enthusiasm for the technology will help lead the way, followed next year by the pay operators. Wrede draws a parallel between broadcasters like Pearl.tv, and early adaptors of HD in 2003 and 2004 like Belgian network Euro1080.SES itself has helped to spur interest in UHD with three Ultra HD demo channels currently broadcasting over its 19.2° East orbital position with content designed to highlight viewing experience of Ultra HD in terms of detail, colour and movement – featuring city scene footage from Chicago, Paris and Luxembourg. The satellite operator has also partnered on a number of live UHD broadcast trials in recent years.These include a collaboration with Samsung Germany to transmit coverage of the US rock band Linkin Park’s concert from the O2 World arena in Berlin in November 2014, encoded in 10-bit HEVC/H.265 in 4K resolution at 50 frames per-second (fps). SES also partnered with Sky Deutschland last December to do a live UHD broadcast of a concert by German hip-hop group Die Fantastischen Vier – in what Wrede claims was “Sky Deutschland’s first Ultra HD live production [test] beyond the soccer field.”Technological evolutionIn July, Sky in Germany signed a new deal with satellite operator SES, leasing more capacity on Astra at 19.2° East for Ultra High Definition broadcasts. Though the firm has not announced an Ultra HD service launch, it has been trialling UHD internally since early 2012 – primarily around live football.Stefan Kunz, vice-president of business and distribution services at Sky Deutschland, says that while sharper picture quality and more pixels are attractive propositions for consumers, they are not the only interesting factors related to UHD.“More important for us are the new functionalities that are coming along with UHD, which are of course High Dynamic Range (HDR) to increase the full colour space of the picture itself, [and] also wide colour gamut,” says Kunz. He pinpoints HDR, which Sky Germany is currently testing, as “the most interesting one for us at the moment” but says: “I think for us to launch all factors are important.”“The goal is to convince the customers right from the beginning. That’s why we need a composition of many new features which are visible to customers, including also audio enhancements,” he says. “We are still in a testing phase and we are trying to find the right set-up and we also need to give the market some time to develop functionalities.”As Ericsson points out in its ‘Understanding Ultra High Definition Television’ white paper,  published earlier this year, HDR is currently the “front-runner as the next enhancement” for UHD, with HDR displays having the ability to look sharper than a standard dynamic range display at the same resolution.“In theory, some HD TV content with HDR appears to be subjectively ‘sharper’ than 4K TV without HDR,” says Ericsson, adding that modern digital cameras are able to capture a much wider dynamic range than is currently used in TV transmissions.The problem relating to HDR is that this technology is not included as part of the DVB’s UHD-1 Phase 1 specification. The DVB (Digital Video Broadcasting organisation) – a global industry-led consortium of over 200 broadcasters, manufacturers, network operators, software developers and regulators– is due to tackle higher dynamic range, a wider colour gamut, frames rates of 100/120 per second and deeper bit sampling depths – in its second phase specification. However, there is, at the time of going to press, no exact rollout date for Phase 2, with current estimates suggesting 2017 or later.DVB’s UHD-1 Phase 1, which is where the industry stands right now,. stipulates 3840×2160 resolution, which is four times the spatial resolution of 1080i HD and sets down maximum frame rates of 50/60fps, compared to 25/30fps for HDTV.Technicolor’s vice president of partnership relations and business development, Mark Turner, claims that HDR and a wider colour gamut are the two factors that are “truly impactful for almost all content.”“High frame rates are very appealing in one category of content, and that’s sports…. 120 fps sports content would be incredibly life-like, a great experience. But on the movie side, there has been a general apathy about high frame-rate content, because it just doesn’t look like a movie any more,” he says.Turner agrees that resolution needs to be combined with the likes of HDR and colour gamut to “move into this new world” of UHD, and claims that the price premium for 4K resolution alone has not yet been proven and may not justify the “three-or-four times increase in bandwidth” needed to deliver 4K content.“I think in Europe at least, next summer is going to be a crucial one with the Euro 2016 [football] championships. There will be a lot of people that will want to pile in and get a 4K service launched [by] then, just to appeal to that one event, so we expect a big uptick there in very premium sports and movie channels. But I think there is a law of diminishing returns, if you’re just talking resolution – not talking HDR and all the other things,” says Turner.Fragmentation risksThe ‘problem’ relating to the lack of agreed standards for technologies like HDR and colour gamut helped to spur the launch of the UHD Alliance at the Consumer Electronics Show in January.With an aim of creating a “seamless, integrated and high-quality Ultra-HD ecosystem”, this powerful coalition of Hollywood studios, consumer electronics makers, content distributors and technology companies including Technicolor, LG Electronics, Panasonic, Sharp, The Walt Disney Studios, and Warner Bros. Entertainment.The alliance aims to create its own broader standard for Ultra High Definition by the end of the year. “The branding is yet to be finished, but it will be called something else to delineate the difference between [UHD and] just resolution,” says Turner. “The CEA has defined the logo that means resolution – it’s 4K Ultra HD – so it has to be different to that because it will delineate something more than that.”Technicolor is a founding member of the UHD Alliance, which launched at CES this year.Turner claims that the UHD Alliance’s new logo will make it “very clear to consumers” that a device is capable of delivering a next-generation viewing experience without having to go into the detail behind colour standards or brightness levels. “Your Average Joe consumer who doesn’t need to know what a wider colour gamut really means can comfortably go ‘this is the one that has been badged by someone as being a premium product’.”Though the logic seems sound, in reality the UHD Alliance is just one of a number of bodies working on UHD standards – leading, ironically, to the possibility of further fragmentation and market confusion.The Ultra HD Forum is a separate US-based body designed to bring together “market leaders from every part of the industry”, while the Forum for Advanced Media in Europe (FAME) – a an initiative led by the EBU and Digital Interoperability Forum (DIF), a group representing pay TV operators on technology matters – also aims to plot a course for the UHDTV rollout in Europe.Simon Gauntlett is chief technology officer for the UK-based Digital TV Group (DTG), an industry association for digital television that was responsible for launching the UK UHD Forum back in 2013 – a group that works hand-in-hand with the FAME and other European standardisation bodies.“It’s difficult to have a single body. What we did with HD was each European territory had their own HD forum and they all met under a European HD forum. We do a similar thing in Europe now where we run the UK’s UHD Forum. France and Germany and others have similar forums and we meet under an organisation called FAME where we try to co-ordinate a European view on where things are going,” he says.Gauntlett claims that while the industry generally agrees that “we need more than just resolution to make a step-change in the quality beyond HD”, consumers are already being sold 4K TVs, meaning there are now issues surrounding how you handle the devices that are already in the market.“Some people, like BT are starting with 4K resolution-only services that don’t have the colour or the dynamic range or the high frame rates,” says Gauntlett, pointing to BT’s 50fps deployment, which, though in line with the DVB UHD-1 Phase 1 specification, is “not what we would regard as high frame rate”.Gauntlett says that discussions are ongoing about what the right “recipe” should be for quality that is above HD. “There are a lot of commercial pressures to deliver this change soon, but equally you have to have a balanced decision as to what are the benefits,” he says. “Obviously the longer you wait, the better the technology becomes and the more you can potentially do. But you’ve got to strike a balance between affordable and available, and when the commercial time is right to launch a service with what is technically possible.”Future prospectsYouView’s chief technology officer Nick Thexton doesn’t believe it is an issue that components such as frame rate and colour gamut are still to be locked down to a common standard. “I don’t think this is unusual. I think it’s the normal shakeout that happens at the start of a new standard emerging in the market,” he says.“I think the one good thing about digital infrastructure is it genuinely does give you some opportunities to consider how much variation you’re going to see in the standard and to cater for that,” Thexton claims, citing over-the-top providers that deliver UHD content through a VoD model, which is different from the multicast broadcast model in that it only delivers video that is suitable for a given device.Thexton says that a few years ago consumers and industry-watchers may have been surprised that over-the-top providers like Netflix and Amazon Instant Video, would be leading the push towards 4K – with each now investing in original UHD productions. “It would have sounded contradictory because everybody expected the content quality and the quality of video to be rather poor. Now the situation has completely flipped in the other direction, but the reality is that it’s still costly for them to deliver,” he says.With industry hype historically being centred on cable and satellite as likely to have the best opportunities for UHD, Thexton says that BT’s deployment of a UHD, broadcast IP service may even now be surprising to some – even though the investment on BT’s side has been “absolutely colossal”.“I don’t know if a few years ago people would have predicted that the first UK real service for 4K for broadcast would have actually been happening over IPTV infrastructure. The point is that all of the elements coming together has made it quite a suitable infrastructure to do this,” says Thexton.While BT customers need to have BT Infinity fibre speeds of 44Mbps or higher to receive its new Ultra HD Sport service, the company estimates that it still has a substantial addressable market. A representative for the company claims that BT has roughly three million Infinity customers and that around 80% will be able to receive the service.Elsewhere, satellite operator Eutelsat, like SES, is gearing up for its first Ultra HD launches having launched two UHD demo channels of its own. The first of these, Hot Bird 4K1, was launched in 2013, broadcasting at 25 frames per second, before later switching to the “significantly better and more accepted quality” 50fps, explains Eutelsat’s director of commercial development and marketing, Markus Fritz. SPI International has been previewing its first native Ultra HD content on the Hot Bird 4K1 channel, and will launch its own 4K FunBox UHD commercial network via Eutelsat’s Hot Bird satellite this autumn – marking the first commercial UHD channel to do so.Fritz claims that having done focus group tests in Germany, France, Poland, Turkey, Ukraine and the UK, the feedback it got was that “there is a recognisable difference between HD and Ultra HD” in today’s DVB UHD-1 Phase 1 standard. He claims a phased approach to UHD deployment is simply “the philosophy of how you create markets” and should not stunt uptake. Similar to Apple’s frequent update cycle for the iPhone, Fritz says that “as long as the market accepts the tangible value increase, there is a justification not to wait [before upgrading]”.“We expect HD to become the de facto standard definition in a few years time. As such, Ultra HD will become the HD of tomorrow,” says Fritz.SES’s Wrede agrees. Though he claims something in the order of 10 UHD channels or above by the end of next year may be realistic, he says: “I think Ultra HD over time will replace HD, or will be the new HD. The real factors that could hamper the fast take-up is if channels would start in a not good enough quality.”YouView’s Thexton says he believes that the trend towards UHD is “irreversible,” even though it may take “a number of years” to build up the volume of UHD channels. “I think it’s an unstoppable, but relatively slow-moving force, in the market [as] the replacement cycles happen,” he says.Recent IHS research claims that shipments of 4K TV panels will reach a record 40 million units in 2015, up 108% compared to last year. The research firm predicts that 20% of all TV panels that will ship in 2016 will be 4K panels – thanks to a trend towards higher resolutions in the high-end TV segment and better production efficiency among panel makers. UHD uptake has already started and looks only set to climb. But what form the Ultra HD standard will take in years to come is still to be seen.last_img read more