The Radisson Hotel Group will expand its operations in Cyprus from three to six hotels by 2025 after signing a new master development agreement with SunnySeeker Hotels.The group currently operated one hotel in Larnaca, the Radisson Blu Hotel. Two more, the Radisson Blu Larnaca Beach resort and the Radisson Blu Conference & Airport Hotel, are scheduled to open shortly, also in Larnaca.The new deal means the approximately 500 rooms of the group operating and under construction in Larnaca will grow to 1,000 within six years.“It’s a pleasure to continue our longstanding and successful relationship with Radisson Hotel Group, and to be working with them to develop a range of exciting opportunities across Cyprus,” Antonis Hadjinicolas, general manager of SunnySeeker Hotels, said.“We’re highly committed to the success of our cooperation with Radisson Hotel Group – as demonstrated by the recently opened Radisson Blu Hotel, Larnaca in the city and the upcoming opening of the Radisson Larnaca Beach Resort. We look forward to offering Radisson Hotel Group guests a growing range of outstanding experiences as part of this partnership.”SunnySeeker Hotels has been a partner of the group since 2015.You May LikeLivestlyChip 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 ArePopularEverythingUndoYahoo SearchYou’ve Never Seen Luxury Like This On A Cruise Ship. Search Luxury Mediterranean CruisesYahoo SearchUndo Pensioner dies after crash on Paphos-Polis roadUndoCruise passenger airlifted to Paphos hospitalUndoRemand for pair in alleged property fraud (Updated)Undoby Taboolaby Taboola
Veterans affairs official will be special guestArea veterans and military families are invited to a Veterans Town Hall meeting on Monday, April 21 in Walker, hosted by state Reps. Peter MacGregor and Rob VerHeuelen.Jason Allen, senior policy advisor of the Michigan Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, will be the guest speaker.“Veterans, both young and old, deserve all the help and support we can provide,” said MacGregor, R-Cannon Township. “There are great benefits available to them, but many of our state’s veterans are unaware of these benefits or don’t know how to apply for them. A town hall meeting like this is a great opportunity to share information about veterans affairs programs and other ways we are working to help them make the transition back into civilian life.”Topics for discussion include current legislation impacting veterans, a discussion on local veteran issues and a general state government question and answer period.“A town hall is a great opportunity to meet with local veterans to answer questions they may have on veteran’s benefits and services,” said VerHeulen, R-Walker. “These men and women have served our country bravely. We look forward to lending a helping hand at home to ensure they are able to utilize available resources.”The meeting will be held at the American Legion’s Neal Fonger Post #179, located at 2327 Wilson Ave. in Walker, and is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m.The meeting is free and no reservation is required.Residents who are unable to attend may contact MacGregor toll-free at (855) 347-8073, by email at PeterMacGregor@house.mi.gov or through his website at www.RepPeterMacGregor.com.### 17Apr MacGregor, VerHeulen invite residents to April 21 veterans meeting Categories: VerHeulen News
Measure creates efficiency in federal weatherization programThe House Appropriations Committee approved legislation last week sponsored by state Rep. Dale Zorn, R-Ida, which requires the allocation of federal funding to the state’s low-income housing weatherization programs at the beginning of the fiscal year.“The agencies that rely on federal funding to protect the well-being of our most needy Michiganders must know how much money is in their budget to help when that need arises,” said Zorn. “With literally thousands of low-income residents on a waiting list for weatherization, there is no denying that the need is great.”Currently, funding for state weatherization programs from the federal Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) is inconsistent and unpredictable. The funds are often allocated late in the fiscal year after additional state dollars have been allocated out of necessity. Agencies then scramble to provide services due to the unpredictable fluctuations in need and funding.Often much, if not all, of the LIHEAP funds are spent on emergency heating funds to pay energy bills for low income housing residents. Zorn says this only treats the symptoms and does nothing to fix the problem.“We had to stop the bleeding of tax dollars when it came to assisting our most needy in heating their homes,” Zorn said. “Weatherization is the answer. My bill ensures that we are not just throwing more money at this problem, but that we are actually fixing it.”House Bill 4544 requires the allocation of LIHEAP funds to go toward weatherization programming at the start of the fiscal year. This upfront and more consistent funding will allow for a more effective and efficient use of tax-dollars to assist low-income residents in reducing their energy costs and make it easier for agencies to help Michigan families.The bill now goes to the House floor for consideration.### 08Dec Zorn bill makes weatherization a priority Categories: News
07Sep State officials pleased to see Jackson County supported in Court of Appeals decision State Sen. Mike Shirkey and state Rep. Julie Alexander both applauded the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals’ decision Wednesday affirming the Jackson County Board of Commissioners’ right to begin meetings with a Christian prayer.A Jackson County resident had filed a lawsuit, claiming the prayer violated the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment.“A brief prayer is an example of free speech, not a violation of it,” said Shirkey, R-Clarklake. “We have an extensive history in Jackson County of opening our local and county meetings with a prayer, while inviting everyone in attendance to participate. It aligns perfectly with our shared rights recognized by the first amendment. We’re pleased our Court of Appeals agreed that we can continue this tradition.”Alexander, who served three terms on the Jackson County Board of Commissioners prior to her election as a state representative in November 2016, was also supportive of the legal decision involving her home county.“This decision continues our traditions in Jackson County, Lansing and across Michigan,” said Alexander, R-Hanover. “That was proven by having over 40 fellow state representatives – Democratic and Republican – join me in signing an amicus brief in support of Jackson County in March when this case was assigned to the Court of Appeals.”Alexander emphasized participating in the prayer was voluntary.“While serving as a county commissioner, we had a different student come in to lead the Pledge of Allegiance to begin every Board of Commissioners’ meeting,” said Alexander. “Participating in the Pledge and the prayer was never mandatory, whether it was a commissioner or anyone in the audience. I am pleased those traditions, as part of our country’s free speech, has been upheld.”##### Categories: Alexander News,News
Categories: Griffin News 21Feb Rep. Griffin helps Michigan House approve more money for road repairs Roads in Van Buren and Kalamazoo counties would benefit from legislation approved today by state Rep. Beth Griffin and the Michigan House.The $175 million bill provides additional money for road maintenance and construction across Michigan as early as this summer.“People are sick and tired of dodging potholes every time they drive,” said Griffin, of Mattawan. “Investing more in our roads and bridges is consistently near the top of the priority list when I talk to people in the district. We have money available to give our road repairs a boost right now, and we can’t afford to miss this opportunity.”In addition to state projects, the bill includes money for county, city and village roads throughout Michigan. Estimated local allocations include Van Buren County ($669,434), Kalamazoo County ($1.45 million), Bangor ($16,859), Bloomingdale ($5,438), Breedsville ($3,181), Decatur ($15,706), Gobles ($7,365), Hartford ($20,464), Parchment ($13,490), South Haven ($41,315), Lawrence ($10,275), Lawton ($17,276), Mattawan ($20,619) and Paw Paw ($26,487), among others.The money is left over from a previous state government budget cycle and is already available, meaning no budget cuts or additional fees or taxes are required for the investment. The money included in the bill approved today comes in addition to previous changes providing more funding for road and bridge projects across the state.House Bill 4321 advances to the Senate for further consideration.###
Share76Tweet26ShareEmail102 Shares“Brooklyn Museum.” Credit: Kim.April 30, 2018; GothamistOn Sunday, about 65 protestors gathered at the Brooklyn Museum to assert their opposition to a recent curatorial hire and ask for a decolonization commission to address broader community concerns.Decolonize This Place activists initially opposed the hire of Kristen Windmuller-Luna, a white woman, as a consulting curator for the museum’s extensive African art collection. However, their protest centered not around the hiring decision but around the broader forces that they say separate the museum from the local community, which faces displacement and erasure. Amrit Trewn, the organizing co-chair of Black Youth Project 100 NYC, told Hyperallergic, “We’re asking for a shift in the culture of the institution. This is an opportunity not to shame one person but to levy decolonial demands on a museum and invite them to say what they stand for.”Imani Henry, who is a lead organizer with Equality for Flatbush, said, “In this decade, the programming has started to cater to people with more wealth and the exhibitions started catering to white and middle-class people. I remember when it was majority black at many children’s event[s], but now I don’t feel that.”Both groups are among those that collaborated with DTP to organize the protest, including W.A.G.E., the Bronx Social Center, and Occupy Museums.The protestors’ demands revolve around a couple of central ideas: One, that the museum stands on land stolen from Lenape Indians and includes a number of artifacts expropriated from American Indian communities but neither acknowledges those legacies nor includes Native people in its decision-making; and two, that the museum, once deeply connected to the surrounding communities of Crown Heights and Prospect Heights, is complicit in the gentrification of Brooklyn that forces out residents of color from those neighborhoods, in part because, again, they are not represented among the museum’s board or curatorial staff. (NPQ has written previously about the serious lack of diversity among museum boards.)An open letter from Decolonize This Place asked the museum to establish a Decolonization Commission, which would include local stakeholders, to explore:Territorial Acknowledgement of Indigenous land occupied by its buildings and giving material effect to such an acknowledgment in curatorial practices, programming, exhibitions, and day-to-day operations.The deep diversification of curatorial staff and executive leadership whereby the lived experience of oppressions, including patriarchy, white supremacy, and poverty are valued and factored in.A decolonial inventory of colonial-era objects of both African and Indigenous people with a view to settling the long-pursued claims of reparations and repatriation.An upgrade of working conditions and pay of ground staff—who are disproportionately employees of color—in security, food service, and janitorial divisions.The replacement of Board president David Berliner and other trustees who are real estate tycoons with a broad cross-section of artists and community organizers.The undertaking of a de-gentrification initiative to examine and mitigate the museum’s role in boosting land value and rents in the borough.An institutional commitment to address the issues raised by the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement in recognition of the debate among Brooklynites about the central role played by segments of the borough’s population in the settler movement in Palestine.After an initial round of speeches at the Brooklyn Museum, the protestors moved to the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens, where they denounced a plan to build a 42-story luxury high-rise that would overlook the gardens. Unlike the museum, Brooklyn Botanical Gardens agreed to a future meeting with the Movement to Protect the People.After DTP’s original opposition to the hire of Windmuller-Luna, Brooklyn Museum director Anne Pasternak released a statement to Hyperallergic, saying, “I am writing to state unequivocally that the Brooklyn Museum stands by our appointment…With her anticolonial approach to curating, she has devoted her professional life to celebrating the individual identities of historical African cultures.” Windmuller-Luna is a lecturer at Columbia University and a former fellow at the Metropolitan Museum. Pasternak agreed that “it is right to press museums and other institutions to diversify their leadership,” but did not offer any concrete steps her museum might take.But what DTP and their fellow activists are asking for is not simply inclusion, but a fundamental reimagining of the knowledge and power systems that govern museum decisions. The open letter asks the museum to “resist falling back on the default criterion of Ivy League-expertise that by its very nature is biased towards white scholars,” and instead acknowledge other systems of knowledge that have been sidelined by colonial practice, something echoed by many of the groups that, for example, press philanthropy to invest in the South. Shellyne Rodriguez, who helped lead the protest, emphasized, “Diverse programming is not enough! It is cosmetic solidarity. The museum wants our art, our culture, but not our people.”Crystal Migwans of NYC Stands with Standing Rock, asked for a deep consideration: “You are standing on indigenous land, you are standing on indigenous labor. Whenever you are in a space like this ask yourself: where are you standing?” —Erin RubinShare76Tweet26ShareEmail102 Shares
Share54TweetShareEmail54 SharesOctober 13, 2018; Visual Capitalist and WMURA new set of interactive graphics developed by the Visual Capitalist shows that drug overdoses are now the leading cause of death for Americans under the age of 50, above even car accidents and firearms. They dramatize that the United States is home to the highest percentage of drug-related deaths in world. Unless this trend is reversed, the opioid epidemic is projected to claim nearly 500,000 American lives over the next decade.However, deaths are just the tip of the iceberg. In 2017, there were more than 11 million “opioid misusers” in the United States—equal to the entire population of Ohio. The ripple effects are so widespread that, according to a Brookings report, the increase in opioid prescriptions from 1999 to 2015 could account for about 20 percent of the decline in men’s labor force participation during the same period. The cost of opioid abuse ranges from $10,000 to $20,000 in annual medical costs per person.No wonder the opioid addiction epidemic has been declared a national public health emergency. However, the majority of public attention and resources is focused on law enforcement and treatment, with energy around prevention and recovery. The likelihood of relapse is higher for opioids than for any other drug addiction, with one study reporting that as many as 91 percent of those in recovery will experience a relapse.On a more promising note, the US Surgeon General points to evidence suggesting that approximately 50 percent of adults who once met the diagnostic criteria for a substance use disorder—or about 25 million people—are currently in stable remission (one year or longer). The key is this: Achieving sustainable recovery from a substance use disorder often requires several years and multiple episodes of treatment.“Remission [must be] a component of a broader change in behavior, outlook and identity,” concludes the Surgeon General’s report. “That change process becomes an ongoing part of how they think about themselves and their experience with substances.”The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) describes these essential dynamics of recovery: health, home, purpose (meaningful activities, including those that can produce an income), and community (supportive relationships). “Hope, the belief that challenges can be overcome, is the foundation of recovery,” SAMSHA says.Hope can be nurtured in many small ways, as demonstrated by a nonprofit dental clinic in Concord, New Hampshire. The clinic, called “Saving People’s Smiles,” believes dental health helps the recovery process in more ways than one. It’s not widely known, but many types of drugs damage the teeth and gums. For example, a condition known as “meth mouth” is characteristic of users of heroin, to which many people progress after getting hooked on prescription opioids. It is a condition in which the teeth along the cheeks severely decay, often turning black or worn down to the gums. Opioids specifically can cause users to grind their teeth, which cracks them and damages the jaw. Those who inject these drugs also are at higher risk for many infections, which can trigger the development of oral fungus. And since opioids also reduce pain, the associated loss of sensitivity could lead a person to ignore discomfort from cavities or gum disease.However, the health problems caused by these dental diseases and conditions are not the only consequence. They also can compromise the critical ability to hope.For example, recovering addict and aspiring musician Scott Plante told WMUR-TV in Concord, New Hampshire, that every time he looked in the mirror, he saw the effects drugs had on his body. “I had teeth that were dying over on this side and falling apart,” he said. It was impossible for him to even attempt going on stage with such a poor self-image. Then, Saving People’s Smiles stepped in to help. He now feels comfortable performing songs on stage.“Having the confidence to smile and laugh and to be able to look in the mirror and carry a confidence with yourself, it projects this level of self-love,” he told the TV station.And that is the goal of the clinic—not just healthy teeth.“Our goal and hope is to give [people in recovery] the self-confidence they need to re-engage with family or society and perhaps the workforce,” said certified dental assistant Tammy Talbot.Sustainable recovery “takes a village”—and everyone in a community can form a web of support.—Pam BaileyShare54TweetShareEmail54 Shares
Discovery Group is to replace Discovery Travel & Living with female-focused lifestyle channel TLC in the Baltic States.Latvian cable operator Baltcom said that it was making TLC available in the original language version and in Russian on its digital tier, and in Russian only on its analogue tier.
Research from German industry association Bitkom shows that 46% of TVs sold in Germany are now connected TVs.One in six German homes now has a connected TV and that will soon rise to over 20%, according to Bitkom.Furthermore, almost a third of the installed base of connected TV owners use the Internet functionality.
Belgian cable operator Telenet has claimed that Liberty Global’s buy-out bid of €35 per share is too low.The announcement follows a report by independent valuation specialists Lizard that put a valuation range for the price per share of Telenet at €37 to €42. Cable giant Liberty Global, currently a majority shareholder of Telenet, made an offer of €35 per ordinary share for the remaining stake in the operator. Through its wholly-owned subsidiary, Binan Investment, Liberty Global owns 50.4% of Telenet’s outstanding issued share capital.Liberty Global said it has “serious reservations” regarding assumptions about Telenet’s long-term business plan that were used in Lazard’s valuation report. “Liberty Global,which has been advised by Morgan Stanley, believes that the Lazard report contains certain analyses and valuation methodologies that are not appropriate for the evaluation of the intended offer,” the company said in a statement.Liberty Global confirmed that it intends to proceed with an offer based on a price of €35 per ordinary share of Telenet, and said it had decided to remove the 95% minimumacceptance condition of the offer.
Music streaming service WiMP is now available as a commercial service in Poland following an earlier beta launch. WiMP has also signed up a second service provider platform in the form of mobile operator Play, following its beta launch with pay TV platform ‘n’.WiMP is available in three versions in Poland, a a free and ad-free limited test version available on computers, WiMP Basic with unlimited access for desktop computers for PLN9.99 (€2.43) and WiMP Premium with mobile access for PLN19.99.“We are very optimistic about today’s commercial launch of WiMP as well as the future development of our service in Poland. We are very pleased with the consumer survey’s results of WiMP’s beta phase, which were one of the highest in Europe. We managed to gain strong business partners, such as the digital platform n and network operator Play, Thus we have a strong reason to believe that, such as in other countries, we will achieve a great success in Poland,” said Adrian Ciepichał, General Manager, WiMP Poland.
French video site Dailymotion said that it has now exceeded 100 content partner-created TV apps since it teamed up with Opera Software two months ago.In July Dailymotion signed up as Opera’s first partner for its free app-creation tool Opera TV Snap. The French company said that more than 100 partners have now used this to transform their existing Dailymotion video channels into ready-to-run smart TV apps, which are available in the Opera TV Store.The 100 channels include one by French daily newspaper Le Figaro and an online music channel app called The Mahogany Sessions.“It is projected that over 100 million homes will have a Smart TV by 2016, proving that the TV screen is a fast growing new territory for online video. The impressive uptake of Opera TV Snap demonstrates the importance to our content partners of easily exploiting this emerging platform to reach a wider audience and allow users to access their favourite content directly on their TVs,” said Vincent Martin, VP distribution and business development at Dailymotion.
Stefan AmonTelecom Austria and Slovakian telco ANTIK Telecom are working with satellite operator Eutelsat to launch a new direct-to-home platform for the Slovak and Czech markets.ANTIK Sat is due to launch early next month and Telecom Austria is doubling its leased capacity on the Eutelsat 16A satellite from four to eight transponders to power the service.The offering will consist of 90 or more channels, of which a third will be in High Definition, the three companies announced at a press conference yesterday at IBC.ANTIK Sat is a joint development by Telekom Austria Group and ANTIK Telekom and will include local channels for the Slovak and Czech markets and a wide range of international channels. It will also include second-screen online solutions for mobile devices and an online archive.Initially the offering will be marketed online through more than 150 distributers in both countries. ANTIK, which already offers internet, IPTV and VoIP services via fibre and wireless infrastructure, also plans to iffer hybrid boxes combining satellite reception and IP services. This will be available as part of a “second stage” of the ANTIK Sat rollout.ANTIK said it will provide the new TV service at no additional cost to existing internet package customers, and announced plans to forge partnerships with other service providers in Slovak and Czech markets.Telekom Austria Group will provide platform services to ANTIK Telekom, ranging from licensing, encoding with MPEG-4 compression, Conax encryption and uplinking to EUTELSAT 16A from its teleport in Aflenz.“Two years ago, Telekom Austria Group kicked off a new satellite broadcasting venture with Eutelsat aimed at accelerating the transition from analogue to digital in Central and Eastern Europe. Following our remarkable success in Croatia and Bulgaria we have found an innovative leader with ANTIK Telekom who is willing to go the extra mile in providing a satellite TV platform and related services in the region,” said Stefan Amon, director wholesale, Telekom Austria Group.Igor Kolla, general manager of Antik Telecom, said: “The agreement with our Austrian partner ensures our further expansion in Slovakia and the Czech Republic and opens new business fields for us. In addition to our own customers, we intend to address other Slovak and Czech providers who are keen to offer TV services. Our joint turnkey solution will enable them to address their subscribers with TV services combined with internet and telephony at favourable rates without initial investment.”
Modern Times Group-owned youth music and lifestyle broadcaster Trace has unveiled plans to launch three new regionally-focused music channels in Africa.The channels are targeted at southern, eastern and western sub-Saharan Africa respectively.Trace Africa will be aimed at southern Africa, serving viewers with a mix of music videos, specials and documentaries covering genres including Kwaito, House, Coupé-Décalé, Afropop, Rumba and Ndombolo.Eastern African service Trace Mziki will be, according to Trace, the first channel made in Swahili and English. Trace Mziki will provide music including Ugandan and Tanzanian hits and genres such as Bongo Flavas.For western Africa, Trace is launching Trace Naija, spanning genres including Afrobeats, Afropop and Hip Life.The channels will be carried by MultiChoice’s DStv platform.TRACE’s CEO, Olivier Laouchez, said: “Trace is already the leading music brand in Africa. These three new localised music channels will help promote more artists from the three biggest music hubs of Africa and they will better serve the strong need of the local audiences for great local content.”
Discovery’s channels have been pulled from Russian pay TV platform Tricolor TV in argument over pricing.The US-listed channel operator distributes a portfolio of eleven channels in Russia through Media Alliance, a new business it formed with Russia’s National Media Group last year, and which ensured compliance with amended local media laws.Media Alliance has now suspended its carriage deal with Tricolor, Russia’s largest pay TV operator, amid the dispute over fees. The Hollywood Reporter was the first to cover the news.Discovery confirmed the channels has been taken down. The company runs channels including Discovery Channel and Animal Planet, lifestyle channel TLC, as well as sports network Eurosport in Russia.The Discovery HD, Eurosport HD and TLC HD are carried on Tricolor. Discovery maintains it wants a fair price for its content.“Tricolor TV has put forward an offer that does not reflect the investment we are constantly making in content,” Media Alliance said in a statement issued to DTVE sister title TBI.“Moreover, the proposal of the operator would put them in a privileged position relative to the entire market. Our goal is to assure fair and equal conditions for each participant in the market.”Discovery has been pushing for higher affiliate fees from platforms in recent times. Media Alliance said today that high quality content requires investment, and well-known programmes and channels drive the pay TV business.“When consumers use pay-tv services, they pay not for equipment set but for content first and foremost,” it said.“Consumers pick an operator or specific bundle based on the channels they want to watch. We know Russian viewers love Discovery Channel, TLC, Eurosport…and our goal is to make our content available to all, while being able to continuously invest in new, high quality programming.”Media Alliance was formed after Russia amended its law on mass media at the end of 2014, limiting foreign ownership of media companies in Russia to 20%, down from 50%. The new rules came into effect on January 1, 2016.Broadcast groups such as Modern Times Group chose to withdraw from the market, but Discovery remained firmly committed.
NBC News is to acquire a 25% stake in Euronews, according to various press reports. The European news channel is to be renamed Euronews NBC following the transaction.NBC News chief Andy Lack revealed the move in an internal memo to NBC staff in which he announced that Noah Oppenheim, the executive in charge of the flagship Today programme, would take over from Deborah Turness as the US news network’s president.Turness, a former ITV executive, was named president of NBC News International, a new division that will liaise between the US news division and Euronews, and could also serve as the springboard for further international expansion by NBC News.Lack told staff that NBC would invest in European journalism and strengthen the depth and pace of Euronews’ reporting.According to Bloomberg and The New York Times, NBC will spend US$30 million for its stake in the European news outfit.The move will make NBC the second largest shareholder in Euronews after Egyptian tycoon Naguib Sawiris, who holds a 53% stake, with the remainder shred between about 20 European broadcasters.The operation must be approved by Euronews’ current shareholders, who are scheduled to hold their general meeting at the end of this month.News of Euronews’ discussions with NBC first emerged in November, when AFP reported that the channel was in exclusive talks with the US company. The loss-making European outfit launched a restructuring plan some months ago that saw it eliminate about 35 posts and revamp its working methods.
Samsung has unveiled a 146-inch modular MicroLED TV, dubbed ‘The Wall’ at its annual first look event at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.Samsung said The Wall is a self-emitting TV with micrometer (µm) scale LEDs – which are much smaller than current LEDs and serve as their own source of light. This means the TV does not need colour filters or backlight.The module-based design also means consumers can customise their TV’s size and shape to suit different purposes.“At Samsung, we are dedicated to providing consumers with a wide range of cutting-edge screen experiences,” said Jonghee Han, president of visual display business at Samsung Electronics.“As the world’s first consumer modular MicroLED television, ‘The Wall’ represents another breakthrough. It can transform into any size, and delivers incredible brightness, colour gamut, colour volume and black levels.“We’re excited about this next step along our roadmap to the future of screen technology, and the remarkable viewing experience it offers to consumers.”At CES Samsung also showcased its first QLED TV featuring 8K AI technology, which is due to launch internationally in the second half of 2018, starting in Korea and the US.The AI technology is designed to upscale standard definition content to 8K and uses a proprietary algorithm to adjust screen resolution based on the picture quality characteristics of each scene.It also demoed its 2018 Samsung Smart TVs, which include enhanced functions and connections, including Samsung’s intelligent assistant platform Bixby and Samsung’s IoT platform hub SmartThingsThe 2018 smart TVs will also include the launch of Universal Guide – an advanced program guide that recommends TV programs and content based on a user’s preferences.
Amazon’s chief financial officer, Brian Olsavsky, said he expects Prime Video spend to “increase even further in 2019” but would not put a price on its programming budget.Brian OlsavskyOlsavsky made the comment on the company’s fourth quarter earnings call, responding to a question asking for an update on the company’s ambitions in the video space.The CFO said that video and music builds “stronger Prime connectivity,” with members more likely to renew and engage with Amazon’s subscription offering, which includes other perks like free one-day delivery of physical goods.He also pointed to Amazon’s 10 Golden Globe and three Oscar nominations as proof of the success of its Amazon Studios division.In the AVOD space, Amazon subsidiary the Internet Movie Database (IMDb), launched an ad-supported streaming service called Freedive in January.Amazon’s director of investor relations, Dave Fildes, said on the call that the company is excited about the service and “other opportunities we’ve been working with in ads,” citing Amazon’s Thursday Night Football streams in the US.Fildes said Amazon is “looking forward to pursuing more opportunities to engage and serve with customers with those types of video offers, but also take some opportunity to monetise with the advertising.”In terms of financials, Amazon’s fourth quarter revenue increased 20% year-on-year to US$72.4 billion. Operating income increased to US$3.8 billion in Q4 2018, compared to US$2.1 billion in Q4 2017.
The video industry has always worked to improve the TV viewing experience. More than a decade ago, the transition from SD to HD provided significant improvements to video quality. 3DTV was another attempt that failed to get traction and ended up with limited success. More recently, there has been much hype about 4K/Ultra-HD from the CE industry in effort to drive sales of high-end TV models with bigger screens.On the service providers side such technological transitions have historically taken longer time as multiple elements need to fall into place. These include wide availability of new content, sufficient installed base of TV sets and reasonable cost of new equipment both on the head-end and end-customer sides.While there is a clear push from the CE industry to adopt 4K/Ultra-HD, service providers are still struggling with the new value proposition of this new format. Various studies have shown that focusing on delivering more pixels will have limited impact on the viewing experience while incurring extra cost throughout the whole content delivery value chain. On the other hand, there is a general consensus within the industry that high dynamic range (HDR) video will substantially improve the user’s viewing experience and can unlock the potential of Ultra-HD. Efforts are underway to standardize HDR implementation within the end-to-end content delivery chain.This paper outlines the key principles of HDR and reviews the remaining challenges ahead to enable mass commercial deployment of HDR video.
BISHOP’S GATE HOTELMALDRON HOTELSAVOUR LEGENDERRY FOOD FEST THIS MARCH IF you are looking for something exciting to experience this week then look no further than the Legenderry Food Fest.It takes place from March 19-20 in the Guildhall Square and Festival Marquee, Derry and is a two day event of tasty entertainment and fantastic local food.The historic Guildhall will provide a beautiful backdrop for an impressive array of locally produced delicacies from hand crafted confectionary to perfect preserves. Demonstrations from these chefs will run on 19th and 20th March in the ‘Theater of Food’ and visitors can soak up the atmosphere at the artisan food market which will host a range of foods including Braemar Farm, Passion Preserved, Broighter Gold Rapeseed Oil, Abernethy Butter and many more.Places to StayWhy not make a weekend of it and explore all the many tourist attractions and destinations that Derry has to offer.The newly opened Bishops Gate Hotel is the perfect location for a short break this spring and Tourism NI is offering a 2 night bed and breakfast stay in a deluxe room with a four course gourmet dinner on one evening as well as a signature cocktail upon arrival, from just £139pp.Try the 4* Maldron Hotel Derry which is the only hotel located within the historic city walls and is the perfect base to explore the maiden city. Once you have sampled some delicious food at the Legenderry Food Festival, why not take in the city centre shops and many bars and tourist attractions.For a really authentic feel, book into the Brewster which is a well presented, self-catering townhouse within walking distance of all the city’s places of historical interest.Alternatively why not enjoy a short stay at the Everglades Hotel which is a stylish first choice which overlooks the River Foyle and offers breath taking views and is located only a five minute drive from the bustling, historic city centre.For further information check out www.discovernorthernireland.com or join the conversation online with #EnjoyNI16.SAVOUR LEGENDERRY FOOD FEST THIS MARCH was last modified: March 17th, 2016 by John2John2 Tags: ShareTweet This event is perfect for foodies or those who are looking for a fun day out and would like to learn more about local produce as there will be a wide selection of artisan food, markets and stalls.There will also be a host of activities for all the family ranging from live music performances, cookery talks and demonstrations, kids craft activities, badge making, face painting, cupcake decorating, balloon modelling and much more!Local hand crafted foods will be available to taste at the Food Fair where over 40 artisan producers will be showcasing their wares.Celebrity chefs in attendance will include Paul Rankin, Michael Deane, Brian McDermott, Paula McIntyre, Ian Orr and Emmett McCourt.