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5 questions for Costa Rican musician Manuel Obregón

first_imgOur “Weekend Arts Spotlight” presents Sunday interviews with artists who are from, working in, or inspired by Costa Rica, ranging from writers and actors to dancers and musicians. Do you know of an artist we should consider, whether a long-time favorite or an up-and-comer? Email us at Facebook Comments Getting lost in music, finding life’s beauty in it and simply enjoying the moment is something that Costa Rican musicianManuel Obregón has loved throughout his life.When he was only three years old, his grandmother taught him to play the piano, the instrument that has always accompanied him in his adventures. In addition, Obregón’s father was always very involved in politics and had many friends who were artists, poets, writers, and musicians, which awakened Obregón’s interests in the arts.“I studied classical music a lot, and the popular music that interested me. That combination is reflected a bit in the pieces I composed later on: the fusion between a more European school, and the search for something more linked to our landscape and climate,” Obregón told The Tico Times. “It was then that I began working with everything related to nature.”Obregón studied at the University of Costa Rica (UCR) and in various schools in Spain and Switzerland, then immersed himself in the Costa Rican music scene. He composed for and played in various groups such as Afro Cosmos, Cahuita, el Cuarteto Esporádico de Jazz (the Sporadic Jazz Quartet), Gospel Caribe, Orquesta de la Papaya (Papaya Orchestra), Malpaís and many more.During his solo career, he has created albums such Piano Solo (1992), Concierto del Farolito (1993), Sortilegio (1994), Piano y Ángel Ausente (1995), Sin Ton Ni Son (1996), Simbiosis: Piano and Rainforest (1998), Génesis (2000), OM (2001), Piano Malango (2008), Simbiosis: Piano y Bosque Tropical Seco (2011), and Paz (2015). For his last albums, Obregón merged nature and music to create unique melodies mixed with nature’s rhythms.Obregón served as Costa Rica’s Culture Minister during the administration of President Laura Chinchilla (2010 – 2014) and Costa Rica’s Culture Ambassador in South Korea from 2013 to 2015. He has received various awards from the Costa Rican Composer and Musical Authors’ Associaton (ACAM) as well as an Honorary Doctorate in Law from York University in Canada for his work integrating nature and culture.On a sunny, warm afternoon at Cala Luna in Langosta Beach, Guanacaste, during his visit to the Tamarindo Art Wave Festival, The Tico Times sat down and spoke with Obregón, 53, about his life and work. Excerpts follow.Why did you decide to dedicate yourself to music?The truth is that it was a decision based on observing what I was enjoying the most and with what I was more at ease. When I was in high school I was very shy and didn’t even know how to speak to the girl I liked. I didn’t know what to do. When I sat down on the piano, the girl came and I didn’t even have to talk to her. [laughs].So, that was something that helped me decide that that path was good. Undoubtedly, the arts and music are a means of communication. It’s not necessary to speak or say many words; many times with only one note or one phrase, the feeling is communicated. Manuel Obregón enjoying the moment while playing the accordion. Via Manuel Obregón’s FacebookWhen did you begin composing? That was actually in Spain. I was in the conservatory and there was a part that was being lost because it was not classical music or any other that I had learned, the [music] that I wanted to play… I had to invent some music that I felt closer to my heart.The composition process is like digging and suddenly saying: well, I like this idea… Sometimes it happens in dreams. I try to wake up and record it when I remember the melodies that I was dreaming.In Simbiosis, it was about listening to a bird singing. With what we’re listening to here [a bird is singing in the background as we talk], I get inspired. With that I began a dialogue with the sound and the rhythm or the ocean, the waves, the wind and all of this. Manuel Obregón playing the accordion at the Adamello Glaciers, Italy. Via Manuel Obregón’s FacebookCan you tell me more about how that dialogue works?I played at the Monteverde Music Festival and the concerts were at sunset, where there are many bird sounds. I was playing there and suddenly the monos congos (howler monkeys) appeared with all sorts of birds… [someone asked] why didn’t I take my piano to other places and make an album about that, and that was the process for Simbiosis.It was not that easy because with all the technicians and the piano there, it was not very natural. It took me about three days of really listening to nature because we sometimes vibrate on another frequency. Even if we’re in nature, we’re not listening to it. We have to learn to lower those frequencies and suddenly you begin listening. That’s what happened to me on the third day and then I recorded all of it.Since that experience, I felt more sensitive in listening to nature’s breathing. Being able to feel it through the breeze, as the planet expresses it: always breathing. We’re sometimes contaminated by many sounds that hinder us from listening to nature, but we should always listen to it, especially our heart that is always beating. Manuel Obregón playing the accordion at the Amazonas during one of his visits last year. Via Manuel Obregón’s FacebookWhy did you decide to work with the Costa Rican government, and what did you learn during your four years of work?In some way I had to give back to the country what I had received. I’ve received a lot from Costa Rica, and I believed in that moment and I still believe that we had a contribution to give. I called a group of artists and people that were on the same frequency to work with me. We were there for four years that were not easy, but I do believe we contributed a change in things when we accepted to get into that enredo (mess).I also got to know a different Costa Rica. Sometimes we believe that Costa Rica is only the place where we are in our comfort zone. I went to get to know that other part that has to do with how to generate alliances to achieve changes, because one person from the Culture Ministry cannot do much if you’re not able to coordinate with the communities, the municipalities and other ministries. It’s about learning to do exchanges, deals and proposals that are beneficial for all. Manuel Obregón playing the accordion for a big audience at the Teatro Nacional. Via Manuel Obregón’s FacebookWhat are Costa Rica’s needs right now regarding culture?Culture is a tool. It can transform a society, and it happens to all of us. If you watch a movie or a good theater play, it can sometimes mark us for a lifetime.Now, imagine that all of that multiplied by the people. I believe that the fact we’re having a window toward culture makes us wake up, be alert, and concentrate much omre on the capacity to create.As for Costa Rica, we have many good things. It’s one of the most active culture ministries. One of the things that I learned at the ministry is that culture is not official. It’s not from a government or a state. Culture is always happening. In each place that you’ll go to, even if there’s no program from the ministry, there’s culture. It exists. That’s what we have to defend and preserve.Watch Manuel Obregón playing the Punto Guanacasteco while paragliding over the Chirripó mountains: Related posts:5 questions for Costa Rican artist Rossella Matamoros 5 questions for Costa Rican artist Karen Clachar 5 questions for a Costa Rican musicologist, composer and writer 5 questions for a Costa Rican musician, dancer and modellast_img read more

Australia Massive hail storm rips through NSW avo

first_img Australia: Massive hail storm rips through NSW avo … July 23 , 2018 Aussie produce industry sets ambitious goals for s … You might also be interested in Chile has this year overtaken New Zealand as the leading Southern Hemisphere kiwifruit supplier to the Indian market for the first time ever, according to leading produce company IG International.Tarun Arora, director of the India-based importer-distributor, said that by the end of June Chile had supplied 3,800 metric tons (MT) of kiwifruit while its rival had supplied 2,800MT.During an interview with Fresh Fruit Portal, Arora also spoke about the huge effect U.S. tariffs could have on apple supply dynamics, and the progress IG had been making with blueberry plantings – its first foray into fruit production.Kiwifruit competition intensifiesStrong competition between Chile and New Zealand has led to far greater supplies than normal in India this year, and Arora said he wouldn’t be surprised if total imported volumes during 2018 end up more than 40% higher year-on-year.”The kiwifruit market is definitely under tremendous stress because none of the nations including Chile and New Zealand want to give away the market share they have managed to attain in India,” he said.”So there is an oversupply situation which is putting pressure on prices.”This is the first time in Chile’s four-year history in the Indian market that it has surpassed New Zealand, which has been shipping to the market for around 15 years.Arora said that in general the Indian kiwifruit market has been growing at an impressive annual rate of 20%, with volumes last year reaching 24,000MT. A little under half of that was supplied by Iran, which has the logistical advantage of being just four days away.Behind Iran was New Zealand and then Chile, but Arora said the South American country would likely take the number-two spot this year.”This year we are forecasting around 30,000MT of total kiwifruit imports, but considering how heavily both origins are shipping I wouldn’t be surprised if it surpassed 35,000MT,” he said.Arora also believed that eventually either Chile or New Zealand would have to give way.”It’s very difficult to forecast at this moment, considering that what happened this year was not expected. Both Chile and New Zealand have been more aggressive, so it will be very interesting to see how the market behaves in the coming years,” he said.”Obviously both will remain in the market, but one has to settle for a smaller market share.”Green varieties remain the most popular in India, he added.Tariffs would cause sharp decline in U.S. applesWhile not under the same pressure as the kiwifruit market, the Indian apple market has also seen heavy supplies this year. “We’ve already seen two back-to-back months of 65,000MT each in May and June, which is very large. Generally, you won’t see this kind of volume coming into India around the month of July because it’s very close to the Indian apple season,” he said.center_img “Everybody has definitely taken a higher risk – anticipating a later Indian crop and anticipating U.S. tariffs to increase on August 4 – so it will be interesting to see what happens to the apple market in August. There will be more product in storage than what an importer would normally carry in any other year.”The Indian Government has said it plans to increase tariffs on U.S. apples by 25% next month in retaliation for the U.S. raising duties on steel and aluminum imports. This would mean U.S. apples face a 75% tariff coming into India while everyone else remains on 50%.The development comes during a year that saw India become the U.S. state of Washington’s number-two market by mid-May, putting it ahead of Canada and second only to Mexico.Arora predicted the tariff rise would lead to a dramatic drop in U.S. apple volumes and a possible destabilization of the Indian market, which receives significant supplies of U.S. Red Delicious – the favorite among Indian consumers.If the tariff were to persist for a long time there would likely be “big changes” for the market, he said.”This year India has imported a total of 8 million cartons from the U.S., and you could possibly see that going down to 2 or 3 million cartons,” he said, explaining India was a price-sensitive market.”25% is a big increase and there are a lot of alternative markets that are willing to supply India, but they are not able to compete with the U.S, very well at the moment,” he said.While there will also be advantages for Southern Hemisphere apple producers, Arora said European countries like Poland, Italy and Belgium would be the biggest winners.”They [the U.S. and Europe] are both Northern Hemisphere, and they compete with each other. There would therefore be a much bigger playing field for Europe – they could start from October and go until maybe June, which is a big window,” he said.Blueberry plantings in IndiaEarly this year IG planted the first six hectares of blueberry production through a joint venture announced last year with Australian company Mountain Blue.The two companies are creating a new company called BerryLife, and plan to plant 50 acres of blueberries in Western India over the next couple of years. “We are planting a little bit at a time. We have started with six hectares, and then we will plant 22 hectares next year and another 22 the year after that,” he said.”Mountain Blue have been doing really a fabulous job. They know a lot about blueberries, so we’ve been very happy,” he said, noting the first small harvest of fruit could take place next year.He expects the fruit to be harvested between around February through June – a time when imports into India are normally “negligible”.He said Chilean volumes are limited due to the fumigation protocol, while India does not yet have agreements with Mexico or Peru, and the U.S. normally receives attractive prices when its domestic season starts.”So it [Indian blueberries] will come at a good time,” he said.Photo: Shutterstock Australia scores improved citrus, carrot access to … Australia expects bumper avocado crop, plans expor … last_img read more

He did not expect additional shipments to be made

first_imgHe did not expect additional shipments to be made this season as it is now in its final stages.”The big challenge here is the journey because it’s 45 days with cold treatment, so we want to see how it arrives. We think it is a very resistant variety, so it should arrive well,” he said.MarketingBovino said the company is working with an importer-distributor in China.”We want to know if the fruit will arrive in good condition before focusing more on the commercial development,” he said.”It is an experimental shipment to assess the technical and travel conditions, so it is a priority to know how the product is going to arrive. Based on that we will make projections for the future.”If this arrives well there’s the possibility of looking into shipments from Chile, if the times are shorter. But in the end we are confident that it will go well, as this variety is sent to Southeast Asia. Here the difference is that it is shipped at a slightly lower temperature than normal.”Photo: Trébol Pampa. Argentina: Table grape exports from key region ‘lo … Limoneira completes Argentine citrus JV and land a … You might also be interested in This story is exclusive to Fresh Fruit Portal. If you would like to reproduce any elements of it on other sites or publications, please make a request to our editorial team at Argentine apple campaign off to a positive start … Argentina has carried out its first shipment of sweet citrus to the Chinese market in eight years.A 22-metric-ton (MT) load of W. Murcott mandarins was sent by the Trébol Pampa and is due to arrive in Shanghai in late September.CEO Daniel Bovino told Fresh Fruit Portal that Argentina had shipped oranges to China until 2010, but a shipment sent by another company had arrived in poor conditions and exporters had decided to discontinue trade.Local media also reported that other factors involves in the decision included high internal and shipping costs and exchange rate issues.Bovino said this mandarin shipment is being carried out as a trial and will serve as a guideline for planning new exports in the future. August 30 , 2018 Brazil blocks market access for Argentine pome fru …last_img read more

Rep Chatfield announces September office hours

first_img State Rep. Lee Chatfield invites residents of the 107th House District to join him during local office hours for the month of September.“For me, the best part about serving is talking with people throughout the district and staying accessible,” said Rep. Chatfield, R-Levering. Since taking office, Rep. Chatfield has held monthly office hours in every county that he represents.His September office hours schedule is:Monday, Sept. 21Emmet CountyRoast & Toast560 W. Mitchell St. in Petoskey9-10:30 a.m.Cheboygan CountyPancake Chef Restaurant327 E. Central Ave. in Mackinaw City2-3:30 p.m.Monday, Sept. 28Mackinac CountyDriftwood Restaurant590 N. State St. in St. Ignace9-10:30 a.m.Chippewa CountyCup of the Day406 Ashmun St. in Sault Ste. Marie1-2:30 p.m.No appointment is necessary and there is no cost to attend. Anyone unable to attend may contact Rep. Chatfield’s office by calling (517) 373-2629, via email at or through his website at Categories: Chatfield News 16Sep Rep. Chatfield announces September office hourslast_img read more

Rep Yonkers bill to eliminate liability discrepancy in snowplow contracts

first_img Categories: Featured news,News The Michigan House of Representatives today approved state Rep. Ken Yonker’s legislation to prohibit certain indemnity agreements in commercial snowplow and de-icing service contracts.“The need for this legislation arose from a constituent concern,” said Rep. Yonker, R-Caledonia. “Property owners hire snowplow and de-icing companies to service their clients and customers and while this is generally a routine assignment to clear snow and ice from parking lots and sidewalks, occasionally a property owner will pass off liability lawsuits to the contractor.”House Bill 5230 eliminates indemnity agreements from snow and ice management contacts and places liability with the appropriate party. The indemnity clause is an obligation by one party to provide compensation for a particular loss suffered by another party. Currently, property owners are taking advantage of this inclusion clause and using it as a tool to shield to them from liability.“If the property owner or management team is at fault they should not be able to pass their liability onto others,” said Rep. Yonker. “The bill will have a positive impact on insurance premiums while also making commercial and retail properties in Michigan safer for citizens and less susceptible to slip-and-fall incidents.”HB 5230 now moves to the Senate for consideration.###### 25May Rep. Yonker’s bill to eliminate liability discrepancy in snowplow contractscenter_img Tags: #SB, contracts, de-icing, HB 5230, liability, snowplows, torts, Yonker last_img read more

RepLower Prisons state interests must be protected from drone interference

first_img26Mar Rep.Lower: Prisons, state interests must be protected from drone interference Categories: Lower News,News The Michigan House recently approved a bill sponsored by state Rep. Jim Lower of Cedar Lake as part of a larger legislative package crafting needed state guidelines for drones.Lower’s bill, House Bill 5498, offers a sentencing guideline making intentional drone interference with a key facility up to a four-year felony. The legislation is in correspondence with a proposal highlighting facilities where use of unmanned aircraft systems will be prohibited under state law. The language refers to “key facilities” as defined in the Michigan Penal Code, including manufacturing plants, electric or natural gas utilities as well as telecommunication and correctional facilities.“I understand there is a large, growing hobbyist and commercial element within the unmanned aircraft industry, but our state laws have been slow to catch up to this industry’s rising popularity and federal guidelines,” said Lower. “I want to carefully maintain balance while putting forth some common-sense measures on how you can use drones and where it’s acceptable to use them. We’re seeing some bad actors using this technology in an unsavory fashion and that is what these bills are seeking to address. We are not out to tack on a bunch of needless regulation on this industry.”Individuals have used unmanned aircraft to drop contraband, cell phones, weapons and other items onto correctional facility property for inmates. Companion legislation within the five-bill package declares drone use as an “extension of the person”. Illegal activity carried out with the use of a drone would be treated the same as an individual breaking the law without unmanned aircraft as an aid. The language would be applicable to Lower’s sentencing bill for key facility interference.A 2016 Federal Aviation Administration report estimated 2.5 million drones were being operated nationwide for a variety of purposes, including hobbyist and commercial. That number could grow to a projected 7 million by 2020.The bills within the package, HBs 5494-98, advance to the Senate for further consideration.last_img read more

Rep LaFave applauds agreement to shut down replace Line 5 in Straits

first_img Categories: LaFave News 03Oct Rep. LaFave applauds agreement to shut down, replace Line 5 in Straits Representative votes to strengthen pipeline safety standardsState Rep. Beau LaFave today said an agreement reached between the state of Michigan and Enbridge will lead to major safety enhancements along Line 5 and ensure local communities continue to have access to reliable energy resources.Under the agreement, Enbridge will permanently shut down the current segment that crosses the Straits of Mackinac and construct a multi-use utility tunnel beneath the Straits. The company will also install safeguards at 13 other places where Line 5 crosses bodies of water, including locations in Delta and Iron counties.“Protecting the Great Lakes is something everybody cares about,” LaFave said. “This historic agreement offers the greatest possible safeguards to Michigan’s waters while maintaining critical connections to ensure families in the Upper Peninsula have access to the energy resources we need.”Until the tunnel is complete, LaFave said safeguards included in an action plan he is backing will help protect the Great Lakes from the threat of a spill by strengthening pipeline safety standards in the Straits of Mackinac. The plan was approved today by the Michigan House with overwhelming bipartisan support.The comprehensive plan holds vessels and utility companies operating in the Straits accountable to the people of Michigan.“Right now, pipeline operators are not required to report spills or submit their spill response plans to the state,” LaFave said. “By moving forward with this plan, utility companies will be made more accountable through additional reporting requirements and increased penalties for those responsible for negligence or criminal damage to public utilities.”The “Straits of Mackinac Safety, Protection and Accountability” action plan:Improves reporting from pipeline operators to the state of Michigan.Increases the safety and security of utility lines that provide communities in northern Michigan and the Upper Peninsula with access to phone, cable, natural gas, oil and electricity.Clearly establishes the Straits as a no-anchor zone.Requires additional signs and buoys alerting boats not to use anchors in the Straits.Establishes clear penalties for vessels that break maritime laws and jeopardize the safety of Michigan’s waterways.Provides added accountability and increased penalties for those responsible for negligence or criminal damage to public utilities.Protects people who report violations of maritime safety laws that threaten the Great Lakes.House Bills 6187, 6199, 6200, 6201 and 6398 now move to the Senate for consideration.###last_img read more

Plan from UP legislators cuts red tape allows for residents to enjoy

first_img Legislation sponsored by U.P. state Reps. Beau LaFave and Greg Markkanen protecting Michiganders’ private property rights from government overreach was advanced on Tuesday in bipartisan fashion by the House Military, Veterans and Homeland Security Committee.The measure, House Bill 4331, allows individuals to transport uncased, loaded long-barreled firearms on private land using any kind of vehicle. The same freedoms are already permitted for pistols, crossbows and slingshots.Any person transporting a loaded long-barreled firearm under current Michigan law could be imprisoned up to 90 days and fined up to $500. The new plan removes this violation and protects law-abiding citizens from unreasonable prosecution.“This legislation makes clear that private property rights should not be trampled on,” said LaFave, of Iron Mountain, who chairs the committee. “It gets government out of the way and brings uniformity to pistol- and long-barreled firearm regulations.”“This is good criminal justice reform,” said Markkanen, of Hancock, who also serves on the committee. “As this bill continues along the legislative process, we continue to come closer to making sure those transporting their own firearms on their own private property are not subject to excessive punishments such as jail time. The law is not practical the way it is currently written. It’s a loophole that can harshly impact citizens.”LaFave explained when testifying in support of the legislation that the change would be beneficial to responsible, law-abiding citizens – notably farmers looking to better protect their livestock and hunters with disabilities.HB 4331 advances to the House Judiciary Committee, where LaFave serves as vice-chair.The committee also voted in unanimous fashion to advance HB 4334, sponsored by Rep. Matt Hall of Emmett Township, which reduces a CPL license expiration offense from a felony to a civil infraction.PHOTO INFORMATION: State Rep. Beau LaFave offers testimony on HB 4331 before the House Military, Veterans and Homeland Security Committee on April 30. 08May Plan from U.P. legislators cuts red tape, allows for residents to enjoy greater personal freedom Categories: LaFave News,Markkanen News,Newslast_img read more

Rep Johnson announces June office hours

first_img Categories: Steven Johnson News State Representative Steve Johnson invites residents of the 72nd House District to join him during local office hours:Friday, June 14Allegan CountyBig Boy1180 W. Superior St. in Wayland3:30 – 4:30 p.m.Kent CountyKentwood Branch Library4950 Breton Road SE in Kentwood5:00 – 6:00 p.m.“Open and honest communication with residents is instrumental in holding state government accountable,” said Johnson, R-Wayland. “I invite all residents to attend a local office hour gathering to share their concerns and ideas.”No appointment is necessary and there is no cost to attend. Those unable to attend are encouraged to call Rep. Johnson’s office at 517-373-0840, email or visit his website at 06Jun Rep. Johnson announces June office hourslast_img read more

CNN PreSuper Tuesday Poll Sanders or Clinton Could Take Trump But…

first_imgShare31TweetShareEmail31 SharesMarch 2, 2016; CNNLast night’s Super Tuesday returns arguably suggest a Trump vs. Clinton faceoff in our future. Still, as political commentators are fond of saying, this race to date has been less than predictable, so it may be worth keeping an eye on both sides of the whole field for one more minute.Yesterday morning, a CNN poll looking at hypothetical matchups in November found that either Bernie Sanders or Hillary Clinton could take the general election against Republican front-runner Donald Trump. In fact, either Florida Sen. Marco Rubio or Texas Sen. Ted Cruz would give Clinton, the Democratic frontrunner, a more challenging run for her money.According to the poll, Clinton tops Trump 52 percent to 44 percent among registered voters but trails Rubio 47 percent to 50 percent, as well as Cruz by 48 percent to his 49 percent.Sanders is seen as being able to top all three Republicans by wider margins: 57 percent to 40 percent against Cruz, 55 percent to 43 percent against Trump, and 53 percent to 45 percent against Rubio.And the poll also finds a strange blip in the favorability ratings of the candidates.Sanders holds the most positive favorability rating of any of the top candidates for president: 60 percent of registered voters view him positively, 33 percent negatively. He is the only candidate seen favorably by a majority of voters, and one of four who are seen more positively than negatively.The two front-runners, Clinton and Trump, are seen unfavorably by majorities of voters. Almost 6-in-10 have a negative view of Trump, 59 percent with 38 percent favorable, and 53 percent have a negative view of Clinton, 44 percent see her positively.Be that as it is, we are left with a few vivid impressions from last night that are hard to ignore—specifically, Chris Christie’s thousand-yard stare as he stood behind Trump at that very well staged press conference, and the semi-stunned behavior of some of the other Republican candidates.So, it’s hard to know where this will all go, but one thing we do know is that the scene is likely to get even more ugly as one charismatic candidate kicks the contest rulebook unceremoniously to the curb. For those of us concerned about the rights of women, immigrants and refugees, and disabled people, and about core issues like income inequality and the environment, it will be important to stay active in the days leading up to the election because the public is clearly conflicted.—Ruth McCambridgeShare31TweetShareEmail31 Shareslast_img read more

France 24 has launched a multilingual TV service f

first_imgFrance 24 has launched a multilingual TV service for the French Google TV platform.Google’s connected TV platform has now launched in France on a Sony set-top box and the French news broadcaster is offering its content in French, English and Arabic. Users can watch all three France 24 channels on the platform as well as accessing content from the website.The new France 24 interface can also be used to access streams of the Arabic-language radio station Monte Carlo Doualiya (MCD) and international radio station RFI, both of which are owned by France 24’s parent company Audiovisuel Extérieur de la France (AEF).Frederic Bonnard, head of new media France 24, RFI and MCD, said, “The AEF media have always been forerunners in new media and we are pleased and proud that our offer will be available on Google TV the day of its launch in France. This is an important step to increase our influence in the world and reach new audiences.”last_img read more

Russian satellite operator Gazprom Space Systems e

first_imgRussian satellite operator Gazprom Space Systems envisages launching its next two new satellites – Yamal-401 and Yamal-601, in 2013 and 2015 respectively, according to local reports.Gazprom Space Systems general designed Nikolai Sevastyanov told the Interfax-AVN news service that the current plan called for the launch of Yamal-401 this year, with the launch of Yamal-601 to follow in 2015. The two satellites will replace Yamal-201 and Yamal-202 respectively, with both satellites due to reach their expected end of life in 2015. The company launched two satellites – Yamal-300K and Yamal-402 – last year.last_img read more

Streaming technology specialist iStreamPlanet has

first_imgStreaming technology specialist iStreamPlanet has struck a partnership with video streaming platform provider Ooyala to provide multiscreen, live linear streaming services for content owners, aggregators, and distributors.The pair aim to provide a platform for streaming live linear channels and live events, with a full set of features including content acquisition and advanced media processing including multiple-bit-rate Apple HLS and multiple-bit-rate RTMP output, monetization including mid-roll advertising and integrated paywall services,  publishing to Ooyala’s modular publishing platform, ready-to-deploy cross device, cross platform players and rich analytics that track key metrics such as viewer location, engagement, and device type.“Ooyala has long been a leader in providing video-on-demand services, and we are very excited to partner with them to power live linear and live event video services,” said Chris Carper, vice president of business development at iStreamPlanet. “Our combined solutions enable broadcasters of all sizes, including current joint customers like Pac-12, to take advantage of the growing demand for live, streaming video on connected devices.”last_img read more

The TP Visionowned Philips Smart TV platform has

first_imgThe TP Vision-owned Philips Smart TV platform has been expanded, delivering hundreds of new TV channels to the platform streamed over the web via Philips Cloud TV. Smart TV users are also now able to view their own videos and photos stored in the cloud via Philips Cloud Explorer.The new cloud-enabled services are available via dedicated apps in many countries in Europe and in Russia as of now. Cloud TV and Cloud Explorer are compatible with all Philips Smart TVs introduced to the market in 2012 and later.New channels are displayed on the Smart TV home screen by genre and popularity. For home media, a dedicated Cloud Explorer app displays all playable files stored in the personal cloud space sorted by type; videos, photos, and audio files are arranged in dedicated folders. The Cloud Explorer app on Philips Smart TVs let users sign in to their existing Dropbox account, or get a new account.“We have seamlessly integrated cloud services into our Philips Smart TV platform. Users can now benefit from an even wider selection of TV services and overcome the selected choice of cable TV services,” said Albert Mombarg, head of Smart TV.TP Vision is a joint venture between Japan’s TPV Technology, which holds a 70% stake, and Philips, which holds the rights to manufacture and sell Philips-branded TVs in Europe, Russia, the Middle East, much of Latin America and some countries in the Asia Pacific region.last_img read more

Discovery is preparing to roll out its femaleskew

first_imgDiscovery is preparing to roll out its female-skewing TLC channel in Germany.The service is expected to run free-to-air, sitting alongside Discovery’s other ad supported free TV offering in the country, DMax.Discovery declined to comment, but sources told DTVE sister publication TBI that launch plans are underway.The US-listed channel operator has been aggressively rolling out TLC internationally, with a UK launch earlier this year. It has also been rolled out in Latin America, Scandinavia and Central and Eastern Europe.last_img read more

UK broadcaster ITV is set to launch its new pay ch

first_imgUK broadcaster ITV is set to launch its new pay channel, ITV Encore, on June 9, it announced today.The network will launch on Sky Channel 123 and will be home to “the best of contemporary British ITV drama.”ITV Encore’s branding has been produced in-house, while details of its schedule and broadcast hours will be confirmed closer to launch, the broadcaster said.ITV first announced plans to launch Encore – the first new ITV channel in eight years – in January, as part a wider four-year partnership with Sky.This partnership will also see ITV content become available on Sky’s range of connected platforms including Sky+HD, Sky Go, Now TV and Sky Store.The Encore channel will play host to some of ITV’s most successful drama series from recent years, and from 2015 will also screen original commissions.In February, ITV also announced plans to launch a new female-focused channel, ITVBe, that will feature lifestyle and reality programming and become the exclusive home of flagship reality show The Only Way is Essex.This is due to launch towards the end of the year, will be advertising and sponsorship funded and will be targeted at a younger female audience.last_img read more

Cable telecom and media group Altice has formally

first_imgCable, telecom and media group Altice has formally unveiled the structure of its new media and content organisation, led by Alain Weill as CEO.Altice confirmed the appointment of Damien Bernet as deputy CEO, Bernard Mourad as head of business development and Nicolas Rotkoff as head of channels distribution and sports rights acquisition, along with that of Frank Melloul as CEO of Israel-based news channel i24 and Nora Melhli as head of original creation and non-linear content.Altice said that media and country managers would report to this team, which overlaps with the leadership of SFR Media, the media unit of the Altice-owned French service provider.“This new organisation of Altice Content International constitutes an important step in the continued strengthening of Altice’s corporate and operational structure. Our Media and Content strategy, led by Alain, represents a critical part of our global ambition of convergence: deliver to our customers the best news channels, the best sport content, the best series and movies,” said Altice Group CEO Michel Combes.“To develop our media businesses, we are expecting, with this team of experts and great professionals, to launch i24 News in the United States, to create original series and movies as we are doing with an extraordinary success in Israel and to continue our sport rights acquisitions. Altice Media and Content strategy will continue to be focused in our main territories, especially in France, the US, Portugal and Israel,” said Weill.last_img read more

Microsoft this week announced that it is partnerin

first_imgMicrosoft this week announced that it is partnering with PC makers to build a range of “innovative VR headsets”.At a Microsoft Windows 10 event at New York, the company revealed that the headsets will be priced from just US$299 and will launch next year.HP, Dell, Lenovo, Asus, and Acer will ship the first VR headsets capable of mixed reality and “unlike every other virtual reality headset in the market today, there will be zero need for a separate room and complicated setup,” said Microsoft.With its ‘Creators Update’, Microsoft said that “powerful and affordable virtual reality is coming to everyone” with its VR headsets to be compatible with “affordable laptops and PCs”.“Coming as a free update early next year to the more than 400 million devices running Windows 10 and available to Windows Insiders this week, the Creators Update will bring 3D and mixed reality to everyone, empower every gamer to be a broadcaster, connect people faster to those they care about most, and much more,” said the companyAt the event, where Microsoft also announced new Surface tablets, laptops and computers, the company promised “3D for everyone” and said that Microsoft Edge will be the first browser to “fully embrace 3D across devices”.Earlier this month, Microsoft launched its HoloLens augmented reality headset in four European countries – France, Germany, Ireland and the UK – with deliveries expected in November.last_img read more

Mobile virtual network aggregator xMobility has s

first_imgMobile virtual network aggregator x-Mobility has signed a deal with UK TV streaming platform TVPlayer to add TV to its offering of voice, text and data services for brands that wish to become mobile providers.The agreement means that current or future MVNOs will be able to offer their customers live, catch-up or on demand TV from leading channels.TVPlayer’s 100 plus channels are now available for any brand to offer to its customers via x-Mobility’s aggregator services.TVPlayer enables viewers to watch leading free-to-air UK TV channels including BBC One, ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5 and Dave. It is available on desktop and a free downloadable app on iOS and Android smartphones and tablets, Amazon Fire, XBox, Roku, Windows 10 and Apple TV.“We are seeing increasing demand for the bundling of TV with mobile services. By partnering with x-Mobility, more consumers in the UK will be able to watch live TV across a variety of mobile devices,” said Frank Bowe, chief commercial officer of TVPlayer.First and foremost x-Mobility is a mobile enabler for brands. We don’t just stop at traditional voice, text and data services. TV streaming was always the obvious next step, and now it is in the mix, we can help brands make their bespoke communications services more compelling than ever,” said Shanks Kulam, co-founder and CMO of x-Mobility.last_img read more

Irdeto has acquired gaming security specialist Den

first_imgIrdeto has acquired gaming security specialist Denuvo to provide anti-piracy and anti-cheat solutions for games on desktop, mobile, console and VR devices.Content security specialist Irdeto said Denuvo will continue to operate as usual with all staff retained and the Denuvo headquarters and sales operations continuing to function.Irdeto said the deal brings together decades of security expertise to help prevent revenue loss for game publishers and disrupt cheating in the gaming environment. The union also enables Irdeto and Denuvo to grow the addressable market for their core technology and anti-piracy services.“The success of any game title is dependent upon the ability of the title to operate as the publisher intended. As a result, protection of both the game itself and the gaming experience for end users is critical,” said Doug Lowther, CEO, Irdeto“Our partnership brings together decades of security expertise under one roof to better address new and evolving security threats. We are looking forward to collaborating as a team on a number of initiatives to improve our core technology and services to better serve our customers.”Denuvo’s customers include include Electronic Arts, UbiSoft, Warner Bros and Lionsgate Entertainment. Its head office is in Salzburg and the company has a total of 45 employees in Austria, Poland, the Czech Republic and the US.last_img read more