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  ACT TV commits Rs 450 crore to launch Interactive TV service
Posted by: Sathish - 03-09-2009, 03:24 PM - Forum: Digital Streaming (IPTV) - No Replies

ACT Television commits Rs 450 crore to launch Interactive TV service for the first time in Bengaluru

[Image: MrRaju%28M.preview.jpg]

ACT Television, a premier Multi System Operator (MSO) headquartered in Bengaluru has recently announced the launch of ACT Interactive TV service in the city of Bengaluru, with an investment of Rs 450 crore. With this launch, ACT becomes the first player to have introduced the Interactive TV service in Bengaluru. ACT has utilised the most advanced R&D expertise and technology with aesthetics and performance to transform the face of television in India with this new IPTV service.

Set to revolutionise the Indian television market, Interactive TV is a system that delivers better than digital content services to subscribers using Internet protocol over a broadband connection in a closed network infrastructure. Interactive TV is also known as triple play service which allows television broadcasting, high-speed internet connection and telephony.

Speaking at the launch, Mr Sunder Raju, MD, ACT Television said, “India is one of the largest cable markets in the world and has tremendous potential. After going through intense R&D with the help of our technology group, we are very excited to be the first company to launch this revolutionary IPTV service in Bengaluru. Our aim is to provide our customers with the finest, most reliable and cutting-edge interactive TV service which is the future of the Indian television market.”

He added further, “ACT Interactive TV will turn a television set into a convergence device. A viewer can watch his favourite TV channels, get movies of their choice at the click of a button from a huge library, with over 4000 films across three languages have been licensed, watch millions of videos available on the internet, record one program while watching another, pause & play live TV and connect various devices in the house to view images stored on them. Soon they will be able to play multi-user games, send emails and voicemails from their TV sets, conduct online shopping, education and banking using a compact remote.

ACT will provide numerous features that will be available from the launch itself like Internet Videos, True Movies on Demand, pause & play live TV, record a program while watching another and Media Centre. Internet video is a service wherein, mere typing in the desired video name in the Search bar of the soft screen Key Pad, within Internet, will enable the user to watch all the related videos immediately without having to wait for hours to download them. True Movie on Demand is an exclusive feature which not only lets users watch all kinds of DVD quality movies and other favourite videos, but will also allow the users to watch these videos whenever they want, just at a click of the button. Over 4000 film titles in 3 languages have been licensed and the number is expected to grow. Media Centre feature allows users to transfer videos, photos and music directly from another gadget like a PC, camera, pen drive, etc onto the television set.

This is not all; ACT plans to add features like Catch-up TV, which automatically records programs of the last 90 days from all the channels, E Shopping, a feature will help the user to virtually navigate through the entire store while sitting on the sofa at home, Online Education, Video on Phone, Travelogues, astrology, city info, news, stock and weather updates, cooking programs etc to its array of offerings soon. Online Education will bring interactive educational content in collaboration with leading educationists.

With a mission to be the most admired in-home entertainment, education and interactive services company, ACT has identified and tied-up with the requisite technology partners including Oracle, Siemens, Cisco, etc.

The price structure is perhaps the most attractive feature of this next generation ACT IPTV as it gives choice and flexibility to customers. The cost will completely depend upon the services a customer subscribes for. A customer can avail of IPTV services an economical rate of Rs 300 a month.

ACT is as of now in its initial phase of launching Interactive TV service. Currently, ACT has test launched the IPTV service in Bengaluru, with the roll out happening in various phases. Subsequently, the IPTV service will be rolled out in other cities which have ACT’s presence like Indore and Nellore and then to other cities in India.

ACT has been funded by IVFA (India Value Fund Advisors), which is a premier private equity investment fund focused on mid-sized firms in India.

ACT began its operations initially by launching its digital cable service in Bengaluru, Indore and Nellore. Besides these cities, they are planning on expanding their cable digital services further in South and Central India. Besides IPTV, ACT has various service offerings under its domain like Digital Cable and Broadband Internet.

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  Brand Rahman goes sky-high
Posted by: Sathish - 03-09-2009, 02:11 PM - Forum: Entertainment - No Replies

Mumbai: Winning two Academy Awards has reportedly pitchforked AR Rahman's brand value to a skyrocketing Rs10 crore. Sources in the industry are saying that the Indian composer and musician has recently bagged an offer from Apple for this sum, which insiders indicate is around Rs 8 crore more than what he was getting previously.

A source says, "It is being hugely gossiped in the circuit that Rahman is being offered by international companies a sum of something around Rs 10 crore. He certainly has become the most sought-after celeb in the ad world if he is getting such a high figure.
The Oscars are the reason behind this."

However, a close aide of Rahman states, "This news is highly speculative. It is true that Rahman is associated with Apple, but that's because T Selvakumar (who is the managing director of Rahman's KM Music Conservatory) is associated with Apple. "
After Hrs checked in with some head-honchos on the impact 'Brand Rahman' will now have...

Says Sagar Mahabaleshwar, national creative director, Rediffusion DYR, "I can't say how much impact this win will have on Indian brand endorsements, but certainly his recall value in the international market will go up."

Anirban Das Blah, CEO, Globosport, feels, "Frankly, I think that Rahman is not that much into the endorsements business. Many marketers have approached him with huge sums of endorsement fees in crores of rupees, but he simply refused to accept it because he didn't feel for the brand. The fact is that his Oscar win will hardly make a difference to a housewife who lives in a village few hours from Mumbai. Oscars don't represent the real Indian sentiment. Moreover, Rahman is not Shah Rukh Khan. So it will be useless for the brand if it has to reach the masses."

However, Yudhajit Dutta, director, Mindscape talent management, adds, "Indians have always aspired to win an Oscar. When you have someone who has already got it, then certainly marketers will be looking to cash in on this. The recall of his existing endorsements will certainly see a boost."

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  Trai explores tariff regulation options in DTH sector
Posted by: Sathish - 03-09-2009, 02:09 PM - Forum: General Indian DTH News - No Replies

New Delhi: Following the Punjab and Haryana high court’s order and the requests of DTH operators, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) has started talks on the need and dynamics of tariff regulation in the DTH sector. It has also sought views on issues related to providing value-added services (movie-on-demand, pay-per-view), interactive services like active learning and active stories and providing radio channels on DTH platform.

The regulator has invited comments from the stakeholders on whether there is a need for fixing a tariff and whether tariff should be regulated only between broadcasters and DTH players or should also consider how DTH players charge the consumers. Trai has not issued any formal tariff order for DTH services till now. However, it had earlier held that the broadcasters will carry their channels to the DTH operators at 50% of the rates at which they offer the same to the non-CAS cable TV platform. In a recent consultation paper floated by Trai, it has once again sought comments on the relationship between price points that broadcasters offer their channels to analogue and digital mode distributors of content. Trai also wants to explore whether the prices that DTH operators charge their consumers can be fixed only in terms of maximum retail price and whether the prices at which broadcasters charge their channels or bouquet to DTH operators should have any connection with what DTH operators charge their consumers.

Trai already determines the ceiling prices of pay channels for cable operators in CAS areas. The regulator is now exploring whether this rate chart can also serve as a rate chart for the DTH operators. Additionally, it is also analysing whether DTH operators should be mandated to provide a basic package of free to air channels, offer pay channels on a-la-carte (individual, not bouquet) basis to the subscribers and provide option of renting out set-top boxes to subscribers, like cable operators are obliged to. The DTH players have no such obligations so far.

Trai has also sought views on whether carriage fees should come under regulation and a ceiling on the same should be prescribed. Carriage fees are charges that DTH operators and other distributors of content, charge from the broadcasters to carry their channels vis-à-vis other channels, in the face of limited bandwidth at their disposal. The previous such calls by Trai to regulate carriage fees had met stiff resistance from distributors.

On value added and interactive services like active learning, Trai has sought to know whether they should be treated as independent broadcast channels. However, according to existing rules, no DTH service provider can beam channels or include television broadcast which has not been registered by the government for being viewed within the territory of India. Calling them broadcast channels will make their status illegal unless a special provision is carved out for them. The regulator is also looking at whether DTH operators should be allowed to advertise exclusively on their platform and whether they should be allowed to carry radio, including paid services like satellite radio.

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  Rang de Basanti to be screened at SAARC Film Festival
Posted by: Sathish - 03-09-2009, 02:06 PM - Forum: Entertainment - No Replies

Dubai (PTI): Bollywood director Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra's Rang De Basanti and Pakistani movie Khuda Ke Liye directed by Shoaib Mansoor will be the star attractions at the ongoing SAARC Film Festival in Abu Dhabi.

The festival will also feature a film from Bangladesh - AHA, Caravan from Nepal and Sri Lankan movie Nisalgira and Samanala Thatu.

All the movies to be screened during the fest will be subtitled in English and Arabic.

The five-day-event, which started on Saturday has been organised by the embassies of the SAARC nations - India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Afghanistan and Sri Lanka - in UAE.

Being organised in collaboration with the Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture & Heritage (ADACH), this is going to be the first South Asian regional film festival to be hosted in the country. It will culminate on March 11.

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  ‘Black’ on ETV Out of the box
Posted by: Sathish - 03-09-2009, 02:05 PM - Forum: Television News - No Replies

It is one of those concepts that rarely come visiting Telugu television. There are comedies, tragedies and socials, but very rarely are shows that come up with a touching fare that is sensitively conceived and efficiently handled. One such show happens to be ‘Black’ on ETV.

It is a musical show with a difference. It just does not generate sonorous notes and lyrical content like other shows, but comes with a difference as it strikes a chord with the colour of darkness. Anchored by Jhansi, the show has 18 visually-challenged contestants from across the State singing their heart out to reach the finals.

And as they render their songs, the show comes alive with a richness that is just heart warming. The show is judged by actress Laya and B.V. Mohankrishna, himself a visually-challenged and a renowned artist.

“We shot profiles of the contestants including interviews of their family members and no expense has been spared by the channel for the show,” says Muralidhar Kesari, programme director, who has been behind shows such as ‘J for Jhansi’, ‘Yahoo’ and ‘Smile Raja Smile’ apart from handling documentaries on missile technology for DRDO. On her part, the anchor Jhansi has been using costumes that have some shade of black colour.

Good camera work

Apart from presentation and participation, the show is not to be missed for the richly created set and camera work. The 20-episode show has already completed 11 episodes and Muralidhar is looking at coming out with similar a concept with all child participants.

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  Spain into Davis Cup quarters
Posted by: Sathish - 03-09-2009, 12:51 PM - Forum: Sports Zone - No Replies

Defending champions Spain ensured their place in the quarter-finals of the Davis Cup at the expense of Serbia.

Holding a 2-1 advantage from the first day's play in Benidorm, in a tie that was held up for 24 hours due to stormy weather, Rafael Nadal overcame Novak Djokovic in the fourth rubber to give the Spanish an unassailable lead.

The world number one was in ruthless mood as he stormed to a 6-4 6-4 6-1 victory over Djokovic in just under two-and-a-half hours, during which he forced six breaks of serve.

In contrast, world number three Djokovic managed just a single break - in the opening set - as he once again struggled to match Nadal on clay.

David Ferrer then completed a 4-1 success for Spain in the afternoon, routing Viktor Troicki 6-0 6-3 in just 54 minutes in the final singles match.

Russia joined Spain in the last eight when they claimed a 3-1 lead over Romania in Sibiu.

Although the hosts had given themselves a lifeline with victory in yesterday's doubles, Dmitry Tursunov battled back from two sets down to beat Victor Hanescu 4-6 5-7 6-3 6-4 6-2 in the fourth rubber and send the Russians through.

Germany also opened up a 3-1 advantage over neighbours Austria to ensure a safe passage into the last eight for the third year in succession.

Nicolas Kiefer was the hero for the Germans in the fourth rubber, with three breaks helping the world number 33 record a 7-6 (7/3) 6-4 6-4 success over Jurgen Melzer.

Radek Stepanek enjoyed a straight-sets victory over Gilles Simon to steer the Czech Republic through to the quarter-finals at the expense of France.

Stepanek dominated two tie-breaks to see off the world number eight 7-6 (7/2) 6-3 7-6 (7/0) in the first singles match of the day.

Croatia completed a 5-0 whitewash over Chile today as Roko Karanusic claimed a 7-5 6-3 win over Guillermo Hormazabal before Ivo Karlovic beat Hans Podlipnik-Castillo 6-3 7-6 (7/4).

Victory for Mario Ancic and Marin Cilic in yesterday's doubles had already seen the 2005 champions through in Poric.

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  Sutil believes in the Force
Posted by: Sathish - 03-09-2009, 12:49 PM - Forum: Sports Zone - No Replies

Force India driver Adrian Sutil is confident of the progress made by the team despite the late launch of their new car.

Force India unveiled their VJM02 last week, as delays meant that the team will start the season opener in Australia with only a couple of tests under their belts. The main teams launched their new new cars in January.

The late launch however, will not affect him and team-mate Giancarlo Fischella, Sutil insisted.

"I'm quite happy because we could do some good testing in Jerez," he told Planet F1. "At first we had a few problems with the car, but then we sorted it out and could do some good running.

"It was the first proper time on circuit, so we still need time to understand everything but the overall feeling was very good, definitely."

Force India are using McLaren-Mercedes engines, gearbox and hydraulics in the F1 season this year, after they finished wooden-spoonists in the competition last year without a single point.

Sutil believes the team's technical co-operation with the championship-winning team will help Force India improve on their showing this season.
"I think we did the best possible thing during the winter with this new co-operation," he said. "It was a great deal and I think very positive for the future.

"It's a World Champion team, we can learn from them. We can really focus and concentrate on areas that really enhance performance, like aerodynamic development."

The German is also eyeing a good result in the season opener in Melbourne.

"Everything is possible," he said. "I just know the field is very close together, even closer than last year.

"If in Melbourne all the cars are close together then the chances are higher to get off the back row. Last year it was not easy because the gap was half a second to a second, and it didn't matter if some cars had problems in qualifying, we were always on the last row.

"But that's not how we are thinking right now, we are thinking more about being in the midfield and hopefully running there because we are strong. That's our aim. Let's see in Melbourne - as usual with the testing in the winter it's hard to predict something."

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  Wenger: Football could be next
Posted by: Sathish - 03-09-2009, 12:40 PM - Forum: Sports Zone - No Replies

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is extremely concerned that football could be the next target of a terror attack.

Having witnessed the Sri Lanka cricket team being fired at in Pakistan, Wenger believes football as a global support could attract terrorist organisations looking to generate publicity for their cause.

The Frenchman himself has come close to threats from fundamentalists. During his stint in the J.League coaching Nagoya Grampus Eight in 1995, the Tokyo subway bombings took place. And Arsenal were also placed on high alert two years ago when traaces of Polonium-210 were found at the Emirates.

Wenger is worried that after the attack on the sub-continent, football could be the next sport to be targeted.

Wenger told News of the World: "Football has not been attacked but you wonder why not. Sport has become a major world famous thing and it's good for attracting attention. It makes me wonder because in England it's more and more difficult to get a police escort before games.

"The police just refuse, especially in London where it's more difficult. We've had alerts before games we have played at home. We kept it quiet as much as we could - at the time it's nothing, you find a bag in a stadium that somebody forgot.

"You rely on the internal security of the country where you are. I remember when I was in Japan I had that problem as well. We had a group who put sarin gas into the subway.

"They had already bought helicopters from the Russian army and they wanted to spread this gas over the whole city. Many people died."

While the threat of terror remains a predominant problem for sport, Wenger is defiant that he and his squad do not live in fear of an attack. Clubs like Manchester United employ bodyguards to protect their players on away trips at home and abroad. The guards will also patrol the team hotel the Red Devils are staying in.

He added: "Am I surprised that football has not been targeted?

"Yes, but we are a business with as few people involved as possible and that's how I want to keep it. I do not want security."

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  David Beckham Launches Football Shoes
Posted by: Sathish - 03-09-2009, 12:17 PM - Forum: Sports Zone - No Replies

David Beckham received a huge welcome in Italy when he arrived for the launch of new football shoes at a store. Beckham was in Milan to unveil the Adidas' new Predator PowerSwerve DB boot. Thousands of fans gathered around to catch a glimpse of their favourite star.

Beckham, 33 was wearing the AC Milan training top and generously signed autographs on football shirts, boots for his fans. The crowd has plastered 'I Love You Beckham' posters with kisses and hearts on the wall. The crowd stunned the soccer star, who is in town on-loan from LA Galaxy.

"It's fantastic. I did not expect so many people. Since I've arrived, it's been wonderful," the Daily Star quoted him as saying.

"When I arrived, they told me that I was coming to Milan for publicity. Instead I came and I love playing in this team. Being in a club like this and the experience is so positive, not only inside but also outside," he added.

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  Mumbai FC beats Vasco
Posted by: Sathish - 03-09-2009, 12:16 PM - Forum: Sports Zone - No Replies

Margao: Vasco Sports Club was pushed deeper into the relegation zone after the Goan side went down 1-2 to Mumbai Football Club in the ONGC I-League football match at the Nehru Stadium in Fatorda on Sunday.

Vasco took the lead in the sixth minute through Sherzad Nazarov’s penalty, but Mumbai FC fought back with Abhishek Yadav getting the equaliser in 10th minute and Kalia Kulothungan striking the match-winner just two minutes before the final whistle.

The win helped Mumbai FC collect 27 points, while Vasco continues to languish at the bottom of the pool with just 10 points.

The visitor played the last 15 minutes with just 10 players after goalkeeper Lihaz Koya was shown the red card for a foul on Sherzad. Defender James Dissiramah had to don the role of the custodian as Mumbai FC had used all its substitutions by that time.

New coach Agostinho Dias made three changes from the previous match, but failed to produce the desired result for Vasco.

Perfect start

Vasco got the perfect start in the sixth minute when Sherzad converted a spot kick. Sherzad was himself brought down inside the danger zone by goalkeeper Lihaz Koya after defender Anas Edathodika made an uncharacteristic blunder when clearing the ball.

Mumbai FC scored the equaliser three minutes later when captain Yadav nodded home a well measured cross from Alex Ambrose.

The match hardly rose to great heights as the action was mostly confined in the centre of midfield. — PTI

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