All the latest on satellite TV, wherever you live.

  • Mar
  • 04

An application to help viewers choose TV programmes has won First Prize for ASTRA in Samsung’s Smart TV Challenge. A combined team of experts from ASTRA and Capablue created the advanced ASTRA Recommends application. This is designed to be downloaded, installed and run on Samsung’s Apps line of connected TVs.

The ASTRA Recommends app presents an onscreen video-on-demand programme guide, which viewers use to select programmes by category or genre, with advice from an intelligent recommendation engine. They can also share programme recommendations with friends through social networks like Facebook.

Thomas Wrede, VP Reception Systems at ASTRA, said “We are very pleased to have been awarded First Prize in Samsung's competition. This will motivate us to pursue further activities with the CE industry to promote satellite reception in connected consumer devices.”

ASTRA Web & e-marketing manager Neill Henderson said, “It’s great to see manufacturers like Samsung recognise the power of satellite to engage large audiences. This application shows how the internet world and the satellite TV world can come together to enhance the overall TV experience.”

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  • Jan
  • 25

February 1 sees the launch of Sky Atlantic, a new entertainment channel broadcast in both SD and HD versions from the Astra 28.2°E position, and free to all 10 million Sky customers across the UK and Ireland. Sky Atlantic will feature films and drama, in particular series such as Boardwalk Empire and Treme from Sky's exclusive output deal with HBO, Mad Men from Lionsgate Television and Blue Bloods and The Borgias from CBS Studios International. The channel will also include UK commissions such as original comedy This Is Jinsy, Paul Abbott’s new drama, Hit and Miss, and Sir David Attenborough’s ground-breaking documentary, Flying Monsters.

Also on February 1, Sky UK will reshuffle the channel order within the Sky EPG. In particular Living will rebrand as Sky Living and move to channel 107, Sky Atlantic will launch in position 108, Comedy Central, Universal, Syfy and FX will move up the EPG channel list, and MTV will be reclassified from Music to Entertainment and move to channel 126. For HD subscribers, 40 HD channels will swap EPG position with their SD counterparts, and so move higher up the EPG list to make the HD version a more natural selection in HD homes. A notable exception is recently launched BBC One HD (channel 143) which will not swap with BBC One (channel 101) in HD homes as the HD channel does not provide the regional variations of the SD version.

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