#NZdronie images on social mediaLast year’s winter season has seen record numbers of Australians hit the New Zealand slopes – with holiday arrivals into Queenstown up 14 per cent and participation in a snow sport up 15 per cent for the June – September 2015 period.Into its third year, the successful ‘More magic in every day’ campaign was once again a collaborative effort between Tourism New Zealand, the Ski Tourism Marketing Network (Ski TMN), Air New Zealand and Flight Centre.Tourism New Zealand General Manager Australia Tony Saunders says, “Not only did New Zealand welcomed record number of Aussie winter holiday makers but on average they spent more – which is great news for the industry.”Rolled out across three phases – early bird, last minute and spring ski with activity running from February through to September, it is one of Tourism New Zealand’s largest pieces of activity in the Australian market each year.The campaign works to showcase the wide range of winter holiday experiences on offer in New Zealand to attract beginner skiers, as well as the more experienced.Tourism New Zealand’s #NZdronie visited the slopes to once again drive holiday makers to share their winter experiences with friends and family on social media.“The innovative activity – providing skiers with their epic aerial selfie – created huge conversation on social media with #NZdronie posts achieving a combined reach of 34m across Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.“With summer well underway it might seem a bit odd to be thinking about winter again, but that’s exactly what Tourism New Zealand is doing,” says Tony.Planning for Tourism New Zealand’s early-bird ski activity for 2016, which will launch in April this year, is already well underway. Run with key conversion partners including Air New Zealand, the activity aims to get Australian’s thinking about booking their winter holidays.Key learnings for the 2016 season will be an increasing focus on the beginner ski segment which holds the greatest potential for arrival growth. The activity will continue to showcase the range of experiences on offer in New Zealand, both on and off the slopes.Another focus will be on driving visitation over the spring period when skiing in New Zealand has greatest capacity and provides ideal soft snow conditions for beginner skiers. Visit New ZealandSource = Tourism New Zealand
ROME – British actress Vanessa Redgrave will receive the prestigious Golden Lion career prize at this year’s Venice Film Festival.Each year, the Venice Biennale awards two prizes to celebrate careers in cinema, one to a movie director and one to an actor or actress. Together with Redgrave, Canadian filmmaker David Cronenberg will receive the Golden Lion at the festival, which runs Aug. 29-Sept. 8.Redgrave, a six-time Oscar-nominated actress, won the Academy Award in 1978 for her performance in “Julia.” She won a Tony Award for best actress in a play for “Long Day’s Journey into Night” in 2003.In a statement released Tuesday by organizers, Redgrave said she was “extraordinarily happy” to learn about the prize.Venice festival organizers are to release the line-up for the film festival on Wednesday. FILE – In this Sunday, Dec. 10, 2017 file photo, Actress Vanessa Redgrave poses for photographers upon arrival at the British Independent Film Awards in London. British actress Vanessa Redgrave will receive the prestigious Golden Lion career prize at this year’s Venice Film Festival. Each year, the Venice Biennale awards two prizes to celebrate careers in cinema, one to a movie director and one to an actor or actress; along with Redgrave, Canadian filmmaker David Cronenberg will receive the prize. (Photo by Joel C Ryan/Invision/AP, File) by The Associated Press Posted Jul 24, 2018 9:37 am PDT Last Updated Jul 24, 2018 at 11:00 am PDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Vanessa Redgrave to receive career prize at Venice Film Fest
The ministry of health has launched a public consultation on the regulations governing the production and use of medical cannabis.Members of the public may send their feedback to the email address: MedicinalCannabis@moh.gov.cy.The consultation period expires at 3pm on March 24, 2017.The ministry said it will take into consideration the views and suggestions submitted in amending and finalizing the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (Medical Cannabis) Regulations of 2017.The current regulations are available at this link (Greek only):http://www.moh.gov.cy/Moh/MOH.nsf/All/BB75CCC940F420E7C22580D50037EA60?OpenDocumentAccording to the regulations, medical cannabis will be grown at premises specially licensed for this purpose, and under guidelines ensuring the consistency of the content of Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and Cannabidiol (CBD) and that the cannabis is free of bacteria, fungi, heavy metals and pesticides.The regulations have safeguards in place to prevent abuse of medical cannabis. Only persons suffering from specific ailments will have access, and will need a prescription from a specialist physician.Prescriptions will be handled by pharmacies, and individuals will be allowed a maximum amount of medical cannabis per month.The regulations provide for checks of the amount of medical cannabis dispensed to each person per month.They also cover imports and exports of medical cannabis. You May LikeClassmates.comLook For Any High School Yearbook, It’s FreeClassmates.comUndoFigLeaf Beta AppHow to Become Fully Anonymous Online in Less Than 3 Minutes? Better safe than sorryFigLeaf Beta AppUndoTruthFinder People Search SubscriptionOne Thing All Liars Have in Common, Brace YourselfTruthFinder People Search SubscriptionUndo Turkish Cypriot actions in Varosha ‘a clear violation’ of UN resolutions, Nicosia saysUndoConcern over falling tourism numbersUndoIsraeli rape suspects freed, woman who alleged assault arrested (Updated)Undoby Taboolaby Taboola
Around ten babies in every 1,000 born in Cyprus are diagnosed with a form of congenital heart dis-ease, Health Minister Constantinos Ioannou said on Tuesday.Ioannou, speaking during a press conference to mark Congenital Heart Disease Awareness Week, said the majority of cases were not serious and were successfully treated by cardiologists. He said out of the total, only 10 per cent of the infants needed surgery.In recent years, the minister said, the state had signed agreements for the purchase of services by a team of experienced and specialised surgeons to reduce the cost of treatment abroad to pa-tients and their families.As a result, he added, the majority of heart surgeries are treated locally with an approximate cost of €12,000 to €15,000 per patient. Over the last six years about 150 cardiac catheterisations have taken place in Cyprus, Ioannou said.You May LikeYahoo SearchBack Pain Treatments That Might Surprise You. Search For Back Pain TreatmentsYahoo SearchUndoLivestlyChip And Joanna’s $18M Mansion Is Perfect, But It’s The Backyard Everyone Is Talking AboutLivestlyUndoPopularEverythingColorado Mom Adopted Two Children, Months Later She Learned Who They Really ArePopularEverythingUndo Pensioner dies after crash on Paphos-Polis roadUndoCruise passenger airlifted to Paphos hospitalUndoRemand for pair in alleged property fraud (Updated)Undoby Taboolaby Taboola
State Rep. Tim Kelly, at left, talks with Tim Royle, executive director of Advanced Diagnostic Imaging in Saginaw Township, on the House floor today prior to Gov. Rick Snyder’s State of the State address. Kelly invited Royle, of Freeland, as his special guest to be on the House floor for the address. Snyder delivered his key goals for the year during the speech. Categories: Kelly News,Kelly Photos 16Jan Rep. Kelly invites Royle to State of the State address
11Apr Allor says ‘absolutely not’ to proposed registration fees for kayaks, canoes Legislator opposes increased taxation for Michigan outdoor enthusiastsState Rep. Sue Allor today expressed her disappointment with a recent proposal by the Michigan State Waterways Commission to require all kayaks, canoes and paddle boards to be registered with the state.Allor, who chairs the House natural resources subcommittee, said people should not be penalized for supporting Michigan’s tourism industry and enjoying the state’s natural resources.Furthermore, many paddle enthusiasts believe the fee is especially unfair to those who own several kayaks, canoes or paddle boards.“Each year, participation in paddle sports increases 7 percent,” Allor said. “We should not be discouraging this trend with unnecessary costs.”Though the commission claims the cost would be about $10 annually per watercraft, Allor and others still have great concerns.“The burden could add up to hundreds of dollars annually for moms and dads who have kayaks or paddle boards for each member of their family,” she said.Thus far, the commission’s proposal hasn’t gained any momentum, as no legislators have pursued the matter with legislation. Allor said she will vote against the measure should it ever make it to the House floor.### Categories: Allor News
Categories: Chatfield News State Rep. Lee Chatfield today was selected to serve as the new Speaker of the House for the 2019-20 legislative term.Chatfield, of Levering, said he is eager to get to work as Speaker and build upon the many achievements the Legislature has made over the past four years.“I am honored to have the support of my colleagues to lead the House next session,” Chatfield said. “It has been a privilege to represent the people of Northern Michigan and the Upper Peninsula for the past four years, and I’m looking forward to giving them an even greater voice at the Capitol in my new role as Speaker.”At 30 years old, Chatfield will be one of the youngest speakers in Michigan’s history and the youngest Speaker actively serving in the country. He is also the first Speaker from Emmet County.“The Legislature has worked hard to strengthen Michigan’s economy, and we can’t turn back now,” Chatfield said. “It’s our duty to come together and find solutions that continue to improve the lives of Michigan families, seniors, workers and children. I look forward to meeting the challenge and delivering meaningful results.”First elected in 2014, Chatfield currently serves as speaker pro tempore – the second highest leadership position in the House. He also chairs the House Michigan Competitiveness and Government Operations committees.### 08Nov Chatfield selected to serve as Speaker of the Michigan House
ShareTweetShareEmail0 SharesFebruary 16, 2015; New York TimesAn op-ed piece in the New York Times by Christine Evans, an assistant professor at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, is the latest in a long series of articles attacking legislation that threatens to change the very basis of why the University of Wisconsin exists. Although the university is not technically a nonprofit organization, the swirling controversy could be a cautionary tale for nonprofits that do business with the government.The story involves a proposed biennial budget offered by Governor Scott Walker, a likely candidate for president. Buried within the budget was a rewrite of the mission statement of the University of Wisconsin system, which is commonly known as “The Wisconsin Idea.” Dating back to potentially as early as 1904, the Wisconsin Idea is described on the university system’s website as “the principle that the university should improve people’s lives beyond the classroom. It spans UW-Madison’s teaching, research, outreach and public service.”Gov. Walker’s budget draft, as presented to the legislature for consideration, included a redraft of the wording of the Wisconsin Idea. Such phrases as the goal to “extend knowledge and its application beyond the boundaries of its campuses” and “inherent in this broad mission are methods of instruction, research, extended training and public service designed to educate people and improve the human condition,” were cut. Another cut is the final sentence of the Wisconsin Idea, which reads, “Basic to every purpose of the system is the search for truth.”A sentence was added to the Wisconsin Idea in the governor’s budget, however. Following the opening phrase “The mission of the system is to develop human resources,” this new wording is added: “to meet the state’s workforce needs…” It may be a cynical analysis, but it does seem like the changes are intended to move the university system from being a beacon of knowledge and community service and transform it into a glorified technical college.Following severe backlash about this redrafting of a venerable, beloved, and respected mission statement that is written into the state statutes, on February 4th, Gov. Walker tweeted that the final version of the budget would restore the Wisconsin Idea. He called the change a “drafting error” made during the back-and-forth process of developing the new budget.An article in the Journal Sentinel demonstrates that there was no “drafting error” and that in fact there had been dialogue back and forth between the governor’s office and the university system in which the university was told that the changes were not open for debate.The initial implementation of the Wisconsin Idea came in the form of the university system engaging with the state government to develop and implement policies. An article posted by the Wisconsin Historical Society that describes the Wisconsin Idea on a statewide level included the belief that “efficient government required control of institutions by the voters rather than special interests,” and so bringing in academics from the public university with expertise in economics, law and social sciences would be beneficial.On an educational level, this led to the university’s establishing extension programs throughout Wisconsin that helped the state “move beyond its single-grain farming and establish itself as a national leader in dairy and other agricultural industries.” On a legislative level, the partnership with the government led to the creation of a model workers’ compensation law, establishing the state income tax, limiting work hours for women and children, and forest and waterpower conservation acts.Even one of the most conservative columnists for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Christian Schneider, has called the revision of the Wisconsin Idea a bad idea. We can only hope that Gov. Walker will live up to his promise to keep the wording of the university’s mission intact. The revision, put alongside the proposed $300 million cut to the university’s budget over the next two years and the continued push to defund public schools and promote charter schools, suggests a distaste for public education, to say the least. Viewing the Wisconsin Idea as a child of the Progressive movement (even though that, too, was originally a faction of the Republican Party), one could also see this revision of the mission as an attempt to sever any remaining connection between what could be perceived as a liberal-leaning university system and the government, instead making college education the servant of business.Therein lies the lesson for nonprofit organizations that are heavily reliant upon government support and contracts. Depending on the beliefs of the people leading the government, policies could be enacted with an impact on any nonprofit’s mission and reason for doing business. Since the budget was first introduced, the university system has done a good job lobbying legislators and informing the general public, which led to the governor’s retraction of the revision. The op-ed by Asst. Prof. Evans in the Times is an example, reaching out to inform readers beyond the borders of Wisconsin. That’s another lesson for nonprofits—about the importance of advocacy and being able to respond quickly and powerfully when a challenge arises.—Rob MeiksinsShareTweetShareEmail0 Shares
CFoot, the football channel created by France Professional Football League (LFP) last year, could be shut down soon, according to local reports.According to sports newspaper L’Équipe, the LFP’s administrative council is set to confirm the decision to close the channel at a meeting on February 10.The channel, which was set up last year by the League to compensate for the withdrawal of Orange from bidding for sports rights, leaving the field to Canal Plus, currently has about 330,000 subscribers and will reportedly make a loss of €15 million for the year. CFoot airs games from France’s Ligue 2 as its principal selling point.The move to close the channel has been given impetus by the entry into French football of Al Jazeera, which acquired a package for matches not picked up by Canal Plus for €170 million a year.
Zeebox, the interactive TV technology company founded by former YouView and iPlayer technology chief Anthony Rose, has launched what it describes as the UK’s first synchronised ad campaign across TV, social media and second screen devices to promote the new Twentieth Century Fox film Prometheus.The campaign kicked off on Sunday night on Channel 4, during the broadcast of the Homeland series. Viewers were invited to share their thoughts about the film on Twitter using the hashtag #areyouseeingthis. A selection of tweets were broadcast during a follow-on 40-second ad spot during the next ad break.The promotion kicks off a month-long campaign in Zeebox around Prometheus, where consumers using Zeebox’s app to enhance their viewing of key prime-time TV shows will gain access to exclusive content, including giveaways synchronised with Prometheus trailers appearing on TV.
Orange has formed a strategic alliance with CDN provider Akamai Technologies to develop solutions for improved content delivery.Orange will use technology from Akamai’s Aura Network Solutions to provide CDN services to business customers. The operator’s Orange Business Services division will initially market the solutions in France.The pair have also formed an innovation steering committee to identify areas of innovation in the field of CDN solutions. Akamai and Orange will jointly explore areas of innovation to bring new solutions to market.Akamai recently launched Aura Network Solutions as a line of managed and licensed CDN offerings to enable network operators to build their own CDNs. Aura is designed to enable delivery of content owned by the operator itself to multiscreen devices, to enable delivery of third-party content for customers as part of a traditional CDN service, and to deliver services including application and cloud acceleration to enterprise customers.Informa expects the overall commercial CDN service market to triple over the next five years to reach €3.63 billion in 2017.“This partnership with Akamai represents an important step forward in our smart networks strategy,” said Gilles Prunier, senior vice-president in charge of the smart networks programme at Orange. “Developing an Orange CDN service, powered by Akamai, will allow us to enrich our existing B-to-B services portfolio and to support our customers’ growth by providing them with new and differentiated web features that improve the end-user experience and ultimately increase customer loyalty.”The pair have signed a binding MoU and the agreement is subject to conditions around the setting of final terms.Orange’s deal comes at the same time as Vivendi-backed rival SFR announced that it was entering the operator CDN market in France.
International news channel Euronews has officially opened its new facility in Budapest.The Hungarian newsroom is now producting international news content for Euronews’ TV, web, app and social media platforms.The office was officially opened by Euronews CEO Michael Peters, editorial director Lucian Sârb and Euronews Hungarian service chief Attila Kert yesterday.Euronews is the first international group to set up a newsroom in Hungary, offering 24-hour world news in Hungarian.The Hungarian service is the Lyon-based broadcaster’s 13th language service.“This project has been made possible thanks to the European Commission and its commitment to supporting and strengthening Euronews’ multilingual mission and global reach,” said Peters. “As a result, today, I’m pleased to announce that six month after our launch major operators in Hungary offer Euronews Hungarian to nearly one million homes. Each month, 350,000 internet users connect to the Hungarian website to get all the latest important information on world affairs, which is already an incredible achievement for a newcomer to this market.”
BT is in exclusive talks to acquire the UK’s leading mobile operator EE in a £12.5 billion (€15.8 billion) move that is aimed squarely at the budding market for quad-play services. In a statement, BT said the proposed acquisition of EE, which is jointly owned by Deutsche Telekom and Orange, “would enable BT to accelerate its existing mobility strategy whereby customers will benefit from innovative, seamless services that combine the power of fibre broadband, Wi-Fi and 4G”.BT has been widely expected to make a bid for either Telefónica’s O2 or EE and re-enter the UK mobile market, building on its launch of fibre services and aggressive entry into the UK pay TV market. The choice of EE would give it ownership of the UK’s most advanced 4G network.The telco said it would continue with its own plans to develop fixed-mobile converged services and remained confident of delivering on these if it fails to strike a deal for EE.The agreement with Deutsche Telekom and Orange value EE at £12.5 billion on a debt and cash-free basis. BT will pay for the operator using a mix of cash and shares, with Deutsche Telekom taking a 12% in the combined operation, giving the partly state-owned company a seat on the BT board. Orange would hold a 4% stake in BT. BT has not revealed how it would finance the cash element of the deal. The operator said it expected to realise “significant” synergies from the acquisition, including through selling fixed-line services to EE customers that do no already take one of its services, and by accelerating the sale of converged fixed-mobile services to BT’s existing consumer and business base.EE has about 24.5 million direct mobile customers and reported EBITDA of £1.6 billion in the year to June.Analysts expect that regulatory approval of the acquisition will be given with conditions, such as the possible relinquishing of spectrum or the demerger of network group BT Openreach or BT’s wholesale arm.“From a commercial perspective, the firms are largely complementary as the UK market moves towards quad-play. This will help from a competition perspective too as Vodafone bought Ono in Spain and Kabel Deutschland in Germany without competition hurdles. The move would reduce a quad-play rival in the UK, but EE’s TV service has only been launched recently, so competition would not be damaged in practical terms,” said Matt Howett and James Robinson, analysts at Ovum, in a note.“Spectrum could be a concession as the merged firm’s 2.6GHz holding would be large, but O2 and 3 could be interested in this as they currently don’t have anything in that band. The deal also shows that BT is prepared to spend to get itself into a good position for the future. However, it may restrict its ability to bid for games in the football rights auction, which has just begun.”Howett and Robinson noted that the competition issues raised by BT’s acquisition attempt of EE will be handled by European competition authorities, rather than by Ofcom. Preservation of the four-operator UK market is likely to play in favour of regulatory approval, but this could be changed in O2 is acquired by Hutchison/3, they said.The quad-play market is still relatively underdeveloped in the UK compared with, for example, France. While Liberty Global-owned Virgin Media has been successful in marketing triple-play, only a minority of its fixed-line subscribers also take mobile services from the operator.
US telco Verizon has bought a quarter of AwesomenessTV in a deal valuing the multichannel network at US$650 million.The agreement, which is subject to approval, will leave DreamWorks Animation with 51% of the firm, and Verizon and Hearst Corp. both with 24.5%.Further to that, Verizon plans to create a premium, short-form mobile video service, which will be part of the firm’s Go90 platform offer and be funded through a multi-year initiative with AwesomenessTV.The VOD platform will showcase content from talent “in front of and behind the camera, and operate as a standalone brand. It will offer transactional VOD content, from “the entire Hollywood community”, with pricing not revealed.The service will initially be made available in the US, with AwesomesnessTV retaining international rights. AwesomenessTV has been expanding internationally following a deal with fellow digital firm Endemol Shine Beyond.AwesomenessTV was already producing content for Go90, which is Verizon’s mobile content platform.“In addition to delivering compelling scripted and non-scripted series with high production values, AwesomenessTV has demonstrated an ability to zero in on programming that Gen Z and millennials want to watch,” said Marni Walden, executive vice president and president of product and new business innovation, Verizon.“The content AwesomenessTV has produced for go90 has exceeded all our expectations with shows such as Guidance and Top Five Live. That’s why we want to be in the AwesomenessTV business.”AwesomenessTV CEO and founder Brian Robbins and president Brett Bouttier will both remain at the helm following the deal.“This deal gives us the resources to work with the biggest talent in front of and behind the camera to create this new branded service and produce the most premium short-form content ever, made specifically for the device racking up the fastest growing viewership – the mobile phone,” said AwesomenessTV’s Robbins.The acquisition comes after DreamWorks Animation spent US$117 million to buy AwesomenessTV, which has around 90,000 digital channels, in May 2013. Hearst paid US$81.25 million for its 24.5% stake in December 2014, which is just over half of the US$159 million Verizon forked out this week.“With Verizon joining DreamWorks Animation and Hearst as part of our equity ownership group, we benefit from the strategic insight and resources of the entertainment and communications industries’ most visionary companies and leaders. Our goal is to be the media company of the future, where content and distribution go hand in hand – we are now one giant step closer to that future.”DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg called the deal “transformational” for the “entire mobile video landscape”, and added: “This agreement is clearly impactful for AwesomenessTV – with annual revenues expected to more than double in the first 12 months of content delivery – and even more exciting is the expansion of our relationship with Verizon, one of the world’s most powerful marketers and content distributors, and their commitment to explore with us this incredible opportunity.”The deal is expected to close within 60 days.
Sky in Germany is due to launch a pop-up Star Wars channel in October to broadcast all seven Star Wars films around the clock.Sky Cinema Star Wars HD will run from October 10 – 23 and will broadcast the franchise – from 1977’s Star Wars: A New Hope, to last year’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens – alongside featurettes and documentaries about the films.
The Red Hot Chili PeppersAmazon-owned video processing specialist, Elemental, provided the encoding solution for Deutsche Telekom’s live-streamed 360˚ video of the Red Hot Chili Peppers in concert last week.The gig, which Deutsche Telekom staged in Berlin to coincide with German trade show IFA, was captured by four Nokia OZO 360˚ virtual reality cameras and was reportedly the first live concert in Germany to be delivered as a 360˚ VR streaming experience.An Elemental Live 4K encoder produced the live HD stream for delivery to YouTube, where viewers were able to experience the 360˚ stream on devices like the Samsung Gear VR, or iOS and Android phones using Google Cardboard and the YouTube app.“Providing acceptable encoding of VR content is demanding, because of the need to provide an absolutely consistent, perfectly synchronised image wherever you turn your head, but we have proven technology ready to go,” said Elemental’s chief marketing officer, Keith Wymbs.
Ekaterina ErofteevaRussian service provider Rostelecom has promoted Ekaterina Erofteeva to the position of vice-president in charge of transformation, tasked with monitoring key transformation projects and improving operational efficiencies and project management.Erofteeva previously held the role of director of transformation, having previously worked for investment group Svyazinvest.Rostelecom president Sergey Kalugin said that the appointment was in line with the company’s goal to transform itself into an integrated provider of digital services.
Michael ArmstrongViacom will launch Spike channels in the Netherlands and Hungary next month.The male-skewing cable net is already available in the Netherlands as a five-hour branded block on the Nickelodeon kids service, but will roll out as a full round the clock channel from December 12. It will be carried on the Liberty Global-owned Ziggo platform.In Hungary, Viacom International Media Networks has joined forces with terrestrial broadcaster RTL in a trade mark partnership and will launch RTL Spike on December 1 as part of its cable portfolio. RTL operates terrestrial and pay TV nets and Hungary, and the new channel will be in its stable of cable nets.Viacom International Media Networks – soon to be part of a unified US/international Viacom Global Entertainment Group – has been rolling out the Spike brand since early last year.It has launched in the UK and Australia, and as a branded block in the MENA region. Viacom said after the Hungary and Netherlands launches it will reach 39 million subs outside of its domestic US base.”Since we launched the Spike block in Benelux, we’ve seen ratings grow 128%. With a combination of global hits including Lip Sync Battle, Ink Master and Bellator MMA, as well as local favourites such as Gamekings, the channel appeals to both women and men in the hugely importantly 20-49 year old adult audience,” said Michael D. Armstrong, EVP and General Manager, international brand development, VIMN.Shows on the international Spike channels include Lip Sync Battle and fight series Bellator MMA (pictured). local series for the soon-to-launch Dutch channel will include a reality show about Dutch kickboxer Nieky Holzken.
The BBC has begun making its flagship natural history series Planet Earth II available in 4K HDR to a limited number of BBC iPlayer users.Viewers with a compatible connected UHD TV can open up their iPlayer app and view a four-minute HDR clip of the show in 4K resolution.The BBC iPlayer test footage follows a jaguar emerging from the shadows to stalk prey and the effects of rain dropping on tiny animals and their habitats, including a range of greens and a frog in a shade of red that the BBC says has never before been seen on a TV.The test uses the Hybrid Log Gamma (HLG) HDR technology developed by the BBC and Japanese public broadcaster NHK, making it viewable only on the latest Panasonic TVs.Most devices capable of playing back HDR content, including the PS4 and Xbox One game consoles and LG and Sony 4K TVs use the HDR10 technology or the Dolby Vision HDR technology developed by Dolby. Netflix and Amazon are backing both HDR10 and Dolby Vision.HLG is backward-compatible with some SDR displays and has been developed by the BBC and NHK as a royalty-free standard.Recent TV models from other manufacturers are capable of being updated to add HLG support, but it is as yet unclear how far the technology will be adopted.HLG was recently added to the ITU’s HDR-TV standard. The BBC and NHK developed the technology because of concerns that rival formats would not fit easily into a typical broadcast infrastructure with complex content workflows, in particular because approaches that rely on end-to-end metadata – including HDR10 – would cause significant problems. The BBC also wanted an approach that was compatible with its current 10-bit infrastructure and would only require changes to cameras and critical monitoring displays to be implemented.Phil Layton, head of broadcast and connected systems, BBC Research & Development, said: “Increasing the dynamic range of TV images makes a huge difference to how real the images appear to viewers – it’s closer to looking through a window than watching a standard TV set. Crucially, HLG works with existing TV technology and workflows making it ideal for broadcasters, and audiences, all over the world.”Dan Taylor-Watt, head of BBC iPlayer, said: “The extra quality HLG brings to Ultra HD needs to be seen to be believed. It’s still early days for the technology but this experiment puts us in the best possible position once audience demand is there. This year we’ve brought live events like the Euros and Olympics to iPlayer, introduced new personalised features and now we’re giving people a glimpse of what the future may hold.”
Facebook has introduced 4K resolution support for its Live 360 platform as part of a series of updates that will also see viewers able to view Live 360 videos streamed in 4K in virtual reality.Separately, Bloomberg has reported that Facebook will launch its delayed TV service next month.Facebook is supporting 4K resolution for Live 360 streams now, with VR support to follow. The VR support will be available via the free Facebook 360 app for Gear VR, available on the Oculus store. Viewers will be able to view Live 360 streams in VR live or after they happen.“We’re excited to see all the great moments you share in 4K with Live 360, and how your friends and followers experience these moments in fully immersive VR,” said product manager Chetan Gupta and product marketing manager Caitlin Ramrakha in a blog post.Facebook is also introducing ‘stabilisation’ features to adjust streams for shakiness, and a guide tool to direct viewers to the most important part of a broadcast.The addition of the new features can be seen within the context of Facebook’s relentless drive to position itself as a prime video destination. The company rolled out Facebook Live last year, with the 360 version following in December.Bloomberg has meanwhile reported that Facebook is planning to launch its delayed TV service imminently. According to the news agency, citing unnamed sources, the company has asked production partners to deliver the first episodes of short-form shows. Facebook has also started funding longer-form TV shows to be launched later on the site, according to Bloomberg.According to Bloomberg, Facebook is planning to fund a raft of original shows that will likely to shown in a dedicated part of the site outside users’ news feeds.Meanwhile, other new Live 360 features introduced by the social media giant include Scheduled Live, a tool that allows users to let their followers know the date and time of a broadcast, and charity donate buttons, both already available on Facebook Live.As part of its updates, Facebook is also launching a Live 360 Ready Programme, providing verting of an array of third-party cameras and software to enable Live 360 experiences. So far, the programme has approved 11 cameras and seven software suites covering use cases from user-generated video to professional publishing, according to the company. Live 360 ready cameras and software will feature the Facebook Live logo on their packaging or website.Cameras approved under the scheme include the Giroptic iO, Insta360 Nano, Insta360 Air, Insta360 Pro, ION360 U, Nokia Ozo, Z CAM S1, 360Fly HD, 360Fly 4K, and 360Fly 4K Pro. Software packages include Assimilate SCRATCH VR, Groovy Gecko, LiveScale, Teradek, Voysys, Wowza and Z CAM WonderLive.