Ofcom awards two new community radio licences in Northern England
Ofcom has today announced the award of two new community radio licences in the north of England.
Licences have been awarded to Candofm, for a service in Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria, and to Koast Radio, for a service in Ashington, Northumberland.
Community radio services are provided on a not-for-profit basis focusing on the delivery of specific social benefits to a particular geographical community or a community of interest.
Ofcom has awarded community radio licences to:
- Candofm (Furness College): Candofm will provide a community radio service for Barrow-in-Furness and the surrounding area, aimed at 16-40 year olds.
- Koast Radio (Koast Radio Limited): Koast Radio will provide a community radio service for the town of Ashington and surrounding villages in south east Northumberland.
Licences are awarded for a five-year period.
In addition to the licence awards detailed above, Ofcom considered two further applications, but decided not to award a licence to the following groups:
- Radio Northumberland (Radio Northumberland Limited)
- Synergy (South Northumberland Radio Group CIC), Bedlington, Northumberland;
Ofcom publishes the Communications Market Report: International
UK consumers are benefiting from lower priced communications services than people in other major European countries and the US, according to new Ofcom research.
Compared to French, German, Italian, Spanish and US consumers, those in the UK can take advantage of consistently cheaper access to mobile phone, landline telephone and broadband deals.
These findings are included in Ofcom's ninth International Communications Market Report, which examines take-up, availability, price and use of communications services across the world's major countries.
Other key market developments include:
- The UK experienced a modest growth in television revenues in 2012, up by 1.4% or £0.2bn. Revenues among the 17 countries analysed by Ofcom increased by 3.7% in 2012 to £234bn.
- Almost half (48%) of UK TV homes now have a HD service, 15pp above the average for all European ICMR countries (33%). The UK also has the highest ownership of digital video recorders (41% of households) among all countries included in the research.
- UK consumers are the most likely to access TV content over the internet, with over a third (36%) of internet users claiming to do this every week.
- UK and French households have the lowest take-up of 3D ready TV (at 9% each)
- Four out of five (78%) UK smart TV owners have enabled their device to connect to the internet.
- DAB take-up among radio listeners is highest in the UK. Almost half (48%) of regular radio listeners claimed ownership of a DAB digital radio set. Among our European comparator countries, Spain and Italy had the next highest take-up, with almost a fifth of radio listeners in each country claiming ownership.
James Thickett, Ofcom's Director of Research, said: "The report confirms that consumers in the UK are benefiting from one of the world's most price competitive marketplaces for communications services."
The full Ofcom International Communications Market report, which compares broadband, landlines, mobiles, TV, radio and post, can be downloaded from the Ofcom website.
Elemental demonstrates full frame rate live 4K HEVC video processing
Elemental Technologies has announced the successful demonstration of full frame rate 4K Ultra HD high-efficiency video coding (HEVC). At a special event in London, the company showed an end-to-end workflow in which live 4K@p60 HEVC content was encoded for display in real-time.
Elemental first announced support for the H.265 codec in January of 2013. Subsequently, the company brought functional real-time HEVC video processing to NAB in April of this year and demonstrated 10-bit 4K HEVC video processing at IBC in September. While at IBC, Elemental garnered two industry awards for its implementation and advancement of the new HEVC standard. Elemental rapidly progressed its HEVC functionality to achieve the world's first real-time video processing of live 4K@p30 HEVC at the Osaka Marathon in October and now brings full frame rate 4K HEVC encoding to life in London.
In the demonstration, an Elemental Live video processing system received high bitrate 4Kp60 AVC video in an MPEG-2 transport stream featuring professional sports content. The system was used to encode and deliver a 4Kp60 HEVC output to a PC-based decoder with final rendering on an 84-inch Planar 4K television.
"Unlike cinema, live sports are best viewed at higher frame rates. In 2014, we expect live sports to drive 4K Ultra HD adoption by those programmers and pay TV operators seeking to deliver a more compelling sports entertainment experience," said Aslam Khader, chief product officer for Elemental.
With four times the resolution of full-resolution high-definition (1080p HD), 4K content presents a challenge to traditional compression approaches such as MPEG-2 and advanced video coding (AVC / H.264) in terms of the bandwidth required to deliver a smooth and immersive viewing experience. Elemental's HEVC implementation allows for delivery of 4K content at bitrates equivalent to HD content. Video processing solutions from Elemental offer support for the new codec via a seamless software upgrade.
Report: 133% surge in mobile and tablet video views
Ooyala has released its Q3 2013 Global Video Index, revealing distinct patterns in how viewers consume video across devices. While mobile viewing levelled off in Q3 due to seasonal factors, the overall share of mobile and tablet video views increased by 74 percent since January. Furthermore, mobile and tablet video plays have more than doubled year-over-year, increasing 133 percent from September 2012 to September 2013.
Ooyala's data shows that as more premium, long-form content becomes available online, consumers are increasingly turning to mobile phones and tablets as first screen devices. Mobile and tablet video viewers spent nearly 60 percent of their total viewing time watching premium, long-form content running more than 10 minutes.
â€¨Additionally, live video continues to dominate video-on-demand (VOD). In Q3, PC viewers were drawn in by live linear streaming, breaking news, sports and special events, watching live video for 30 minutes on average, which is 11 times longer than VOD. Audiences on Smart TVs, gaming consoles and set-top-boxes watched live video nine times longer than video-on-demand, for an average of 46 minutes per play. Last quarter, Ooyala data revealed specific patterns in how device consumption shifted throughout the day and week for video entertainment, sports and news.â€¨
More highlights include:
- Tablet TV viewers spent 25 percent of their viewing time watching videos more than 60 minutes long.
- Connected TV viewers spent nearly one third of their time watching videos longer than one hour.
- In Q3, both mobile and tablet viewing hit their peaks in September.
- Mobile accounted for 9.2 percent of streaming video views and tablet accounted for 6.4 percent of all online video plays.
"Data is key for companies transitioning to digital TV," said Jay Fulcher, chief executive officer of Ooyala. "Our video analytics help customers navigate the increasingly complex and fragmented TV landscape. Some of the most successful broadcasters, media companies and enterprises rely on these insights to build bigger audiences and monetize their video content across all screens."