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Switch Off To Switch On The Economy: Global experts review digital migration

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ITU TeamThe Digital Dialogue Conference 2018 facilitated by MultiChoice concluded with a panel discussion offering first-hand insight into the successes and challenges associated with the transition to digital terrestrial television broadcasting in Africa, ranging from international coordination, standardisation, regulation, harmonisation and the broader economics of spectrum management and digital migration. The expert panel consisted of Gerhard Petrick, Deputy Chairperson of the Southern African Digital Broadcasting Association (SADIBA), Michèle Coat, Radio Communication Engineer at the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), Peter Barnet, Chair of CM-WiB at Digital Video Broadcast (DVB) and Greg Bensbert, MBE, General Manager of Digital 3&4 at ITV. The transition to DTT in South- and Southern Africa – has DTT delivered on what was promised? – Gerhard Petrick, SADIBA: “Good progress has been made by selecting and implementing the most advanced and spectrum efficient technology for terrestrial broadcasting. However, significant work remains in yielding the digital dividend, with only a few SADC countries having cleared the dividend bands”, Petrick offered in his opening remarks. Furthermore, Petrick illustrated how network costs can typically be derived and stated that Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) cost per service should be substantially lower than analogue network costs. From a consumer value proposition, Petrick confirmed that the digital networks offer better video quality and audio in the interest of the consumers, although most deployments are Standard Definition (SD) instead of High Definition (HD). “There is still potential for more services to be accommodated for the networks that are currently on-air” he remarked.  The ITU’s view on the transition to digital broadcasting – Michèle Coat: Coat stated that the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) facilitated the planning of the migration to digital and the co-ordinating spectrum requirements. This included a follow-up to the Geneva 2006 (GE-06) conference to plan the digitisation of broadcasting and associated frequency use for 119 countries in Europe, Africa, Middle East, Central Asia.   She confirmed that the remainder of the UHF band (470-694 MHz) is earmarked for broadcasting for the foreseeable future whilst the digital dividend (694-862 MHz) bands to be released in the switchover from analogue to digital TV will play a critical role in delivering broadband wireless access.  A perspective on the transition to digital – Peter Barnett (DVB): Barnett gave a review of new developments in DVB – the industry-led consortium of about 160 of the world’s leading digital TV and technology companies, drawn from broadcasters; ttelecommunications network operators; regulators and manufacturers who collectively draft the satellite system standards.   Peter also shared an update of the DVB including DVB-S2X which offers Extended SNR (C/N) range, Finer granularity from additional MODCODs, Additional roll-off values, Channel bonding. And will be available for DTH from early 2018. He also mentioned DVB-SIS – Single Illumination System- a cost efficient delivery of DVB broadcasts onto IP networks and will use 1 transponder to feed both terrestrial transmitters and DTH receivers. The new offering was originally developed for satellite, however, it can also handle terrestrial and cable formats. Also in the new development pipeline is DVB-I (terms of reference approved in Feb 2018) which is set to provide a user perception of a linear TV channel, discovered and consumed over the open internet. Further developments in this space include updates on RCS2 (Return Channel on Satellite); Satellite beam hopping; Low latency IP delivery, updates on Simulcrypt headend, Emergency Warning System, Targeted Advertising and more which are available on www.dvb.org/about/process for the full work plan.     The Broadcaster’s perspective – Gregory Bensberg, MBE (ITV):   Has the transition to digital been a success for broadcasters? And how did the transition to digital change the TV universe? Along with the questions, Bensberg also gave some insights from his digital migration work as a key technical and regulatory adviser to UK Government Ministers during the switchover and future demands of technology changes.   Using the UK’s 2005 Analogue Switchover (Digital Migration) as a case study, Peter shared that after migrating to digital, all public service channels in the UK became available to all viewers with more than 20 other new channels created, e.g. Sky News. The migrations also extend the channels’ reach with the government cost-benefit analysis (in 2005) revealing a net benefit of around £2bn to the UK.   Bensberg also shared his insights on how digital migration has allowed broadcast services to better compete with emerging platforms. “The adoption of digital technology has dramatically changed the TV industry in all markets were it has been adopted. The initial response of the content owners to the threat posed by the internet was to revert to legal challenge, either through direct litigation (as in Napster) or via government response creating new laws (as in the DCMA and Digital Economy Act). However, broadcasters have since moved to offer their own content on-line and increasing are aiming to build on their existing platforms to offer a hybrid service to viewers, such as Freeview Play,” says Bensberg. He also adds this has allowed them to offer an official route to accessing their content which they can monetise and gave them control over the branding and prominence of their services.   Gerhard Petrick concluded the panel discussions by stating that digital migration is a vital natural resource and any delays would have long-term consequences to the economy: “The opportunity cost of not yielding dividend bands has a significant negative impact on countries which haven’t implemented digital migration. These bands will play a critical role in providing broadband wireless access and allowing citizens to participate in the economy”.   ENDS       Gerhard Petrick – Deputy Chairperson of the Southern African Digital Broadcasting Association (SADIBA)   Gerhard is the Head of Department: R&D, Shared Services in the Broadcast Technology Department at MultiChoice in South Africa and serves as Deputy Chairperson of the Southern African Digital Broadcasting Association. Gerhard has worked in a variety of engineering and ICT-management fields, served as Councillor of the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa and contributed to South Africa’s successful bid to host the international square kilometre array radio telescope. He has more recently worked in engineering management of satellite- and terrestrial PayTV with a focus on team management, link budgets, network planning, frequency- and spectrum management, standardisation, end-to-end testing, service level agreements, interference mitigation and technical training. Gerhard holds a National Higher Diploma in Electrical Engineering from Technikon Witwatersrand, a B.Tech Degree in Business Administration from Technikon South AfricaPeter Barnett – Chair CM-WiB at Digital Video Broadcast (DVB)     Michèle Coat – Radio communication Engineer at the International Telecommunication Union (ITU)   Michèle is a Radiocommunication Engineer. She has been working in ITU since 1984, in the Terrestrial Services Department, based in the development of Terrestrial Software Applications relating to Spectrum Management. She was a member of the BR Technical Secretariat at RRC-04 and RRC-06 for the Planning of the digital terrestrial broadcasting service in parts of Regions 1 and 3, in the frequency bands 174-230 MHz and 470-862 MHz. She then joined the Broadcasting Division in the BR in 2012 and was a member of the BR team assisting Sub-Saharan Africa and the ASMG ITU Member States in the frequency coordination process to facilitate the release of the digital dividends.   Peter Barnet, Chair of CM-WiB at Digital Video Broadcast (DVB)   Peter graduated from Imperial College, London in 1976, and began his career in broadcast technology with the Independent Broadcasting Authority. After periods with NTL, NDS and Tandberg Television, in 2003 Peter started his own consultancy business with a focus on digital switchover. He has carried out studies for government departments, and provided training for regulators. He also developed a continuing education course on DTT at the University of Surrey, and for several years was a director of the UK’s Digital Television Group. Peter has been a regular supporter of the DVB Technical Module, and was a member of the Steering Board for approaching 20 years.  He is a vice chair of the Commercial Module, and chaired the group that developed the commercial requirements for DVB-S2.  He is currently chairing the Study Mission Group looking into commercial aspects of WiB.     Gregory Bensberg – General Manager of Digital 3&4 at ITV   Gregory is the General Manager of Digital 3&4 which manages the broadcasting of ITV and Channel 4’s digital terrestrial services in the UK. He has previously worked as a policy and technical expert at Ofcom and the Independent Television Commission for over 20 years. Gregory acted as a key technical and regulatory adviser to UK Government Ministers whilst they were developing the UK government’s switchover policy. He was also responsible for leading Ofcom’s spectrum clearance programme (800 MHz and 2.6 GHz); which the UK’s 4G spectrum auction in 2013. Gregory led the planning and licensing of the UK’s digital switchover programme including its UHF spectrum strategy) and its adoption of the DVB-T2 standard and the launch of terrestrial HD services in 2009 and also led Ofcom’s Digital Dividend Review project in 2005/06 which laid out the process and principles for the eventual European digital dividend programme. He is a chartered engineer and holds an MBA and BSc. He was honoured by Her Majesty the Queen for his work in communications and media by being made an MBE in 2014.    ]]>

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Apple Music’s Africa Now Radio this Friday with Ruger

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This Week’s Episode Features a Conversation With Ruger, the 5 Hottest Tracks of the Week, Africa Rising and Dadaboy Ehiz’s Favourite Track of the Week!

Tune in to Africa Now Radio with Dadaboy Ehiz this Friday, July 1st at 9a Lagos/London / 10a Johannesburg/Paris / 1a LA / 4a NYC on Apple Music 1 and broadcast on Cool FM in Nigeria every Sunday at 6pm.

Cover Star Interview
Nigerian Afropop star Ruger joins Dadaboy Ehiz via FaceTime on Apple Music 1 to talk about his latest track, “Girlfriend.” He also discusses his new album, ‘The Second Wave (Deluxe),’ recording music in unusual places, and reaffirming his talent.

The Big 5
Dadaboy Ehiz shares the 5 hottest new African tracks of the moment. This week’s selection includes new tracks from Ibraah feat. Maud Elka, Timaya, Mlindo The Vocalist feat. Madumane, Yemi Alade, and Sampa the Great feat. Chef 187, Tio Nason and Mwanje.

Africa Rising 
Ghanaian Afro-fusion singer-songwriter Gyakie is the latest Africa Rising cover star, a campaign which shines a light on the next generation of African superstars, and this week’s show features her singles, “FOR MY BABY,” and “SOMETHING.” Listen HERE.

Read Also: Headie One Releases “Bigger Than Life” Featuring Dutch Rapper Frenna

Dadaboy’s Song of the Week
Each week, Dadaboy Ehiz chooses his favourite track from one of Apple Music’s African playlists. This week he spotlights South African singer-songwriter Samthing Soweto and his single, “Amagents,” from Apple Music’s Mzansi Hits playlist, showcasing South Africa’s biggest hits. Listen HERE.

Tune in and listen to the full episode this Friday July 1st at 9a Lagos/London / 10a Johannesburg/Paris / 1a LA / 4a NYC on Apple Music 1 at apple.co/_AfricaNow or on Cool FM in Nigeria every Sunday at 6pm.

RUGER ON RELEASING A DELUXE EDITION OF ‘THE SECOND WAVE’

 

It was only right for us to do that, because these songs were supposed to be on that from the beginning. We were supposed to release like 7 songs, but we cut it down to 4. Then, the idea came from releasing ‘The Second Wave’ EP. We said that we’d release 4 songs, then release 3 additional songs as a deluxe. Then, as life goes on new vibes came from the studio, so we said we’re not even putting those additional 3 songs, we’re going to put new additional 3 songs. That’s how it happened, and I’m happy with how it’s going. Thank God for everything.

Read Also: Nigeria’s new hiphop star, Portable granted bail after reporting himself to police

RUGER ON HIS GRATITUDE AND DETERMINATION

 

I feel good, I feel blessed going to every country that I go to. Netherlands, Australia… People singing my songs word for word. It’s an amazing feeling because not every artist comes out within a year and that song travels that far, but I am a testimony. I thank God and I thank everyone that enjoys my music as it comes out every time. It’s just encouragement for me to work harder and keep doing my best. Never going to the studio to do any mediocre sounds, never going to the studio to say “Whatever I drop they’re going to listen,” I go into the studio giving my 100% best and God will do the rest for me.

RUGER ON FAST-CONSUMING FANS

 

People tend to forget how good Ruger is. People are fast consumers so they consume what they have now and then… Do they forget about you? I don’t know but I feel like if they don’t hear anything from you in a while they feel like “Where’s Ruger?” They should always know that whenever Ruger comes through, it’s always a 100% vibe so these songs are very personal songs to me – “Girlfriend” is a personal song, “WeWe” is a personal song, “Warning” is a personal song – it’s just me stating about my personal experiences, and people who can relate to what I’m talking about, can relate. I feel like these songs are going to go very far, I’m proud of what I’ve done in the studio and I’m thankful to everyone supporting me in every little way they can. I’ll keep giving my best.

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Efia Odo, Sista Afia and more open up their lives in GH Queens, now streaming on Showmax

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Binge-watch all 10 episodes of the reality series, plus an explosive 3-part reunion. Reality fans buckle up: the Ghanaian queens have arrived in full swing on Showmax. Expect drama and chaos in the first reality show of its kind in Ghana.

(more…)

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2022 Tour de France to take Showmax Pro subscribers on 109th edition journey

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The 2022 Tour de France is on track for its 109th edition. It will kick off on 1 July in Copenhagen (starting abroad for the 24th time) with the final stage finishing at the Champs Élysées in Paris on 24 July. Riders will cover a total of 3 328 km across flat, hilly and mountain stages.

Showmax Pro subscribers across the African continent (excluding those in South Africa, Mauritius and Lesotho) will be able to join the ride live to see who will finish the race in the coveted yellow jersey.

Slovenian cyclist Tadej Pogačar, winner of both the 2020 and 2021 editions, is the clear favourite to bring home his third title in a row. The 23-year-old is riding for UAE Team Emirates. His compatriot Primož Roglič of Team Jumbo Visma has three Tour de France stages to his name and is also among the contenders. Others include Welshman Geraint Thomas, riding for Ineos Grenadiers, and last year’s runner-up, Jonas Vingegaard.

Two South African riders, Lotto-Soudal’s Reinardt Janse van Rensburg and Intermarché–Wanty–Gobert Matériaux’s Louis Mentjies, will be looking to make their country proud in the French tour.

Read also:SXSW Announces New Event in Australia

Other riders to keep an eye out for include Kenyan-born and four-time Tour de France winner Chris Froome, who will want to pick up a recent win with his last victory coming in 2017. He will be racing for Isreal-Premier Tech.

The 109th men’s edition of the Tour de France will be followed by the first ever edition of the Tour de France Femmes, one of women’s cycling’s two grand tours. This comes after years of campaigning to get an equivalent to the men’s tour, with the action getting underway from the 24 to 31 July. What many are calling a race for the history books will begin on the Champs-Élysées in Paris and finish at La Super Planche des Belles-Filles. The historic race will see riders compete in eight stages and cover 1 029km.

It has been announced that 24 teams are set to go head to head in the eight-day race. Frenchwoman Aude Biannic is looking to impress at her debut Tour Femmes in her home country with home support. Boasting Annemiek van Vleuten on their roster, Movistar are setting out to achieve overall victory at the Tour de France Femmes – a race that holds extra significance for teammate Breton Biannic, who will be challenging at home.

Elisa Longo Borghini is fresh off a 34-kilometre win at Paris-Roubaix and the Italian will now be 100% focused on paddling to victory at Tour Femmes.

Showmax Pro subscribers across Africa excluding South Africa, Mauritius and Lesotho can follow all the racing action at this year’s Tour de France and Tour de France Femmes.

Why Showmax Pro?

Showmax Pro is a streaming service available for Showmax subscribers in Africa that bundles the existing Showmax entertainment offering with music channels, news and live sports streaming from SuperSport. You can tune in from any of your favourite gadgets, anywhere you are in the globe.

Subscribers can live stream the latest seasons of the English Premier League, LaLiga, Serie A, UEFA Europa and UEFA Conference leagues, the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers and more.

The platform also offers a wide range of other live sports events including athletics, professional boxing, and the world’s biggest marathons.

Stream on two devices at the same time when you subscribe to Showmax Pro.
To learn more and join the Pros, visit showmax.com to subscribe to Showmax Pro.

Join the conversation on social media

Twitter: @ShowmaxPro
Instagram: @ShowmaxPro
Facebook: @ShowmaxOnline

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Falz talks about ‘BAHD’ collaborators and more on Apple Music’s Africa Now Radio

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This Week’s Episode Features a Conversation With Falz, the 5 Hottest Tracks of the Week, Africa Rising and Dadaboy Ehiz’s Favourite Track of the Week!

Tune in to Africa Now Radio with Dadaboy Ehiz this Friday, June 24th at 9a Lagos/London / 10a Johannesburg/Paris / 1a LA / 4a NYC on Apple Music 1 and broadcast on Cool FM in Nigeria every Sunday at 6pm.

Cover Star Interview
Nigerian singer, rapper and actor Falz joins Dadaboy Ehiz via FaceTime on Apple Music 1 to talk about his latest track, “Knee Down (feat. Chike).” He also discusses his new album, ‘B A H D,’ what keeps him inspired, and how he spends his time in between projects.

Read Also: Samsney Recruits Black Sherif, Kelyvnboy And Darkovibes On His New Single, ‘Kuacha’

The Big 5
Dadaboy Ehiz shares the 5 hottest new African tracks of the moment. This week’s selection includes new tracks from Samthing Soweto, Ruger, Krizbeatz, Bella Shmurda & Ravyanny, Scorpion Kings, and KO-C feat. Innoss’B.

Africa Rising 
South African amapiano DJ-producer duo TxC is the latest artist featured from Apple Music’s Africa Rising playlist, a campaign which shines a light on the next generation of African superstars, and this week’s show features their single, “Too Deep (feat. Dinky Kunene & TNK MusiQ).” Listen HERE.

Dadaboy’s Song of the Week
Each week, Dadaboy Ehiz chooses his favourite track from one of Apple Music’s African playlists. This week he spotlights Tanzanian Afrobeats singer-songwriter Mimi Mars and her single, “La La (feat. Marioo),” from Apple Music’s EA Wave playlist, showcasing East Africa’s biggest hits. Listen HERE.

Tune in and listen to the full episode this Friday June 24th at 9a Lagos/London / 10a Johannesburg/Paris / 1a LA / 4a NYC on Apple Music 1 at apple.co/_AfricaNow or on Cool FM in Nigeria every Sunday at 6pm.

Falz on what to expect from ‘B A H D’

Expect something sexy, expect naughty Falz, expect emotional Falz, vulnerable Falz… it’s like a blend of all these different emotions.

A lot of people look at me like “Ok this guy is a responsible soul, he’s always fighting for our lives but he’s now coming on a sexy thing.” There are so many different sides to me already so I feel like people are already used to me being this guy with such multiplicity in his person.

Falz on staying inspired

I just consume other forms of art, I listen to other artists, try to pay attention to stuff I’m generally into, stuff that I like, trying to draw inspiration from that. If I listen to a completely different genre, I’m like “I need to challenge myself. I can do this. Why can’t I do this?” That’s how I stay inspired.

Falz on BAHD collaborators

I always wanted to work with all these guys that I have on the project, so this project just presented the perfect opportunity to make that happen. It was pretty simple thankfully and shout out to them, it was seamless. It was just like “Yo, I’m working on this project, let’s make one happen” and everyone came through. Every single collaboration has its own story but everything was pretty straight forward and beautiful to create.

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Journey of The Beats, Showmax Original music docu-series premieres, includes companion Spotify playlist with each episode

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Journey of The Beats, Showmax Original music docu-series premieres, includes companion Spotify playlist with each episode

“Music is the fuel that fires up our souls. It’s the oldest form of communication, predating language itself. African music is synonymous with the word Afrobeats.” So begins the first episode of Journey of the Beats, a new docu-series that follows the journey of Nigerian and black music through the years, and is now streaming exclusively on Showmax.

Told through the lens of music historians and some of Nigeria’s biggest artists, like 2Baba, P-Square, Onyeka Onwenu, Daddy Showkey, Flavour, and D’Banj, the 10-part documentary series traces the origins of Afrobeats that has taken the world by storm.

Journey of the Beats is produced by creative entrepreneur and the creator of Storm Records, Obi Asika.

Watch the trailer for Journey of the Beats:

Each episode of the series is complemented by a Spotify playlist. Episode One: Origins and the Switch Up is curated by Ed Keazor, co-director and producer on Journey of the Beats and a historian, lawyer and musician.

Read Also: Superhero series ‘Peacemaker’ delivers something no one saw coming! Streaming on Showmax

This Spotify playlist of 103 songs straddles the grooves that made Nigeria dance from the dawn of time, with traditional drum and melodic tunes, through to the birth of modern popular music in the 1920s.

Find the Spotify playlist here: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/6zYlHpavDbsI8RpQJ5zbyC

The playlist covers the birth of highlife music, through to the influence of Latin and Caribbean genres like rhumba and calypso, US jazz, soul, RnB and funk, as well as the birth of a uniquely Nigerian sound, with juju, highlife, Fuji, and Afrobeat.

New episodes of the music documentary drop every Friday exclusively on Showmax. Afrobeats fans, documentary lovers and anyone who appreciates music can subscribe to watch the docuseries on www.showmax.com.

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African spectators to witness Wimbledon on Showmax Pro, courtesy of SuperSport

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It is a momentous occasion for tennis as the world’s oldest and most prestigious tennis tournament, the Wimbledon Champions, returns for its 135th edition from 27 June to 10 July 2022. Showmax Pro subscribers across Africa, excluding those in South Africa, Mauritius and Lesotho, will be able to live stream all the action from the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club in London, courtesy of SuperSport.
Six-time champion Novak Djokovic looks to defend his title following his return to competitive tennis at Roland Garros in May, where he was knocked out of the tournament by a defeat against Rafael Nadal, who won the men’s singles title for a record 14th time and secured his second Grand Slam of the calendar year, having also won the Australian Open at the start of 2022.
These wins put Nadal at 22 Grand Slam titles in total – two ahead of both of his long-standing rivals, Djokovic and Roger Federer, who is currently injured. Djokovic leads their head-to-head by 30 wins to Nadal’s 28 – the Serbian has won the most finals, with 15 to Nadal’s 13, but Nadal will be boosted going into this year’s Wimbledon with the most Grand Slam wins in history.
This year is set to wow spectators as the 19-year-old newcomer Carlos Alcaraz, who is also the youngest player to defeat both Nadal and Djokovic, is one of the top contenders alongside 2021 Wimbledon runner-up, Matteo Berrettini, and Roland Garros runner-up, Casper Ruud. Stan Wawrinka returns following a 2021 surgery and will compete at Wimbledon for the first time since 2019 after receiving a wildcard.
In the women’s field, reigning champion Ashleigh Barty announced her retirement from professional tennis in March 2022. The ladies’ field is currently led by world number one, Iga Swiatek, who looks to extend her record-equalling 35-match winning run and secure a third Grand Slam title following her recent win and second French Open title at Roland Garros against Coco Gauff.
Top female contenders include four-time Grand Slam winner and local favourite, Emma Raducanu. This year will also see Serena Williams returning to Grand Slam tennis after being granted a main draw wild-card slot in this year’s field. Williams has won the most Grand Slam titles, including Wimbledon seven times, most recently winning on back-to-back occasions in 2015 and 2016. Naomi Osaka will miss out on this year’s action due to a last-minute injury.
Showmax Pro subscribers across Africa, excluding South Africa, Mauritius and Lesotho, have a front-row seat to catch all the action from one of the four Grand Slams at Wimbledon 2022, streaming live courtesy of SuperSport.
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