HGTV is an American basic cable and satellite television channel, owned by Discovery, Inc. The network broadcasts reality programming related to home improvement and real estate; as of February 2015 95,628,000 American households receive HGTV. In 2016, HGTV overtook CNN as the third most-watched cable channel in the United States, behind Fox News and ESPN. Kenneth W. Lowe envisioned the concept of HGTV in 1992. With modest financial support from the E. W. Scripps corporate board, he purchased Cinetel, a small video production company in Knoxville, as the base and production hub of the new network. Lowe cofounded the channel with Susan Packard. Cinetel became Scripps Productions, but it found producing more than 30 programs daunting; the organization brought in former CBS television executive Ed Spray, who implemented a system of producing programming through independent production houses around the United States. Burton Jablin, as Vice President of Programming, set the tone and oversaw the production of the early series.
About 90 percent of the channel's programming consisted of original productions at launch, with ten percent licensed and rerun from Canadian channels, PBS, other sources. Using local Scripps cable franchises, the Federal Communications Commission "must carry" provisions of Scripps medium-market television stations, other small television operators to gain cable carriage, the channel launched on December 1, 1994; the major programming themes, unchanged since the beginning, were home building and remodeling and gardening, decorating and design, crafts and hobbies. During its development, the channel was named the Home and Garden Channel; the name was shortened and a logo was developed. The logo was amended in 2010, with this version debuting on March 1 of that year; the square with the "G" in it was removed, the roof was increased in size and the "HGTV" letters are now set in Gotham Black, with the other Gotham fonts being used around the network. The network debuted with a skeletal staff, but with gradual acceptance by other cable operators, it now reaches 94 million households in the United States and has either partner networks, or network interests, in Canada and elsewhere.
It is now referred to as "HGTV". In July 2008, the E. W. Scripps Company spun off the channel and the other Scripps cable channels and web-based properties into a separate company, Scripps Networks Interactive. W. Scripps broadcast newspaper properties remain as part of the original company. In December 2011, the channel began broadcasting all of its programming in 16:9 aspect ratio format on its primary standard definition channel; this results in the appearance of black bars on the top and bottom of the screen on 4:3 aspect ratio televisions. HGTV's current programming focuses on home-buying and reality shows following the business of house flipping. SNI CEO Ken Lowe stated of the programming strategy. We're not going to throw you a curve ball. It's not easy to create content that people are passionate about and somewhat addicted to, somewhat repetitive." As of 2016, HGTV has invested at least $400 million annually on original programming. An annual promotion held by the network is the HGTV Dream Home, a sweepstakes which awards a custom-built house as its grand prize.
The 1080i high definition simulcast feed of HGTV launched on March 31, 2008. The HD channel did not simulcast the standard definition feed of HGTV. Instead, the HD channel featured programming separate from the standard channel; the standard definition feed of the channel began to carry the full 16:9 aspect ratio downgraded from the HD feed in a letterboxed format in early 2013. On December 31, 2009, Scripps Networks Interactive removed the Food Network and HGTV from New York City-area cable provider Cablevision, on the day that its carriage contract was set to expire. After months of negotiations, an agreement between Scripps and Cablevision was not reached, prompting the removal of the two channels. On January 21, 2010, Cablevision and Scripps reached a deal and the channels were restored to Cablevision's systems in the New York City area on the same day and by the next day in other areas. On November 5, 2010, AT&T U-verse dropped the DIY Network, Cooking Channel, Food Network, Great American Country and HGTV, due to a carriage dispute with Scripps Networks.
The carriage dispute was resolved two days on November 7, 2010, through a new carriage agreement. On June 13, 2012, representatives for HGTV admitted that scenes featured in the original series House Hunters are re-creations of prior events. In many cases, the final decision and purchase were made prior to filming. In some cases, homes visited were not on the market. In May 2014, HGTV decided not to premiere the Benham Brothers' series Flip It Forward, due to a controversy regarding the Brothers' beliefs concerning homosexuality and pro-life beliefs. In 1997, Atlantis Communications and Scripps Networks launched a Canadian version of HGTV as a Category B specialty channel. Through a series of acquisitions over the years, Corus Entertainment became Scripps Networks' partner in the network; the Canadian version features much of the same programming as the U. S. channel, along with domestical
1080i is an abbreviation referring to a combination of frame resolution and scan type, used in high-definition television and high-definition video. The number "1080" refers to the number of horizontal lines on the screen; the "i" is an abbreviation for "interlaced". A related display resolution is 1080p, which has 1080 lines of resolution; the term assumes a widescreen aspect ratio of 16:9, so the 1080 lines of vertical resolution implies 1920 columns of horizontal resolution, or 1920 pixels × 1080 lines. A 1920 pixels × 1080 lines screen has a total of 2.1 megapixels and a temporal resolution of 50 or 60 interlaced fields per second. This format is used in the SMPTE 292M standard; the choice of 1080 lines originates with Charles Poynton, who in the early 1990s pushed for "square pixels" to be used in HD video formats. Within the designation "1080i", the i stands for interlaced scan. A frame of 1080i video consists of two sequential fields of 540 vertical pixels; the first field consists of all odd-numbered TV lines and the second all numbered lines.
The horizontal lines of pixels in each field are captured and displayed with a one-line vertical gap between them, so the lines of the next field can be interlaced between them, resulting in 1080 total lines. 1080i differs from 1080p, where the p stands for progressive scan, where all lines in a frame are captured at the same time. In native or pure 1080i, the two fields of a frame correspond to different instants, so motion portrayal is good; this is true for interlaced video in general and can be observed in still images taken of fast motion scenes. However, when 1080p material is captured at 25 or 30 frames/second, it is converted to 1080i at 50 or 60 fields/second for processing or broadcasting. In this situation both fields in a frame do correspond to the same instant; the field-to-instant relation is somewhat more complex for the case of 1080p at 24 frames/second converted to 1080i at 60 fields/second. The field rate of 1080i is 60 Hz for countries that use or used System M as analog television system with 60 fields/sec, or 50 Hz for regions that use or used 625-lines television system with 50 fields/sec.
Both field rates can be carried by major digital television broadcast formats such as ATSC, DVB, ISDB-T International. The frame rate can be implied by the context, while the field rate is specified after the letter i, such as "1080i60". In this case 1080i60 refers to 60 fields per second; the European Broadcasting Union prefers to use the resolution and frame rate separated by a slash, as in 1080i/30 and 1080i/25 480i/30 and 576i/25. Resolutions of 1080i60 or 1080i50 refers to 1080i/30 or 1080i/25 in EBU notation. 1080i is directly compatible with some CRT HDTVs on which it can be displayed natively in interlaced form, but for display on progressive-scan—e.g. Most new LCD and plasma TVs, it must be deinterlaced. Depending on the television's video processing capabilities, the resulting video quality may vary, but may not suffer. For example, film material at 25fps may be deinterlaced from 1080i50 to restore a full 1080p resolution at the original frame rate without any loss. Preferably video material with 50 or 60 motion phases/second is to be converted to 50p or 60p before display.
Worldwide, most HD channels on satellite and cable broadcast in 1080i. In the United States, 1080i is the preferred format for most broadcasters, with Inc.. Viacom, AT&T, Comcast owned networks broadcasting in the format. Only Fox-owned television networks and Disney-owned television networks, along with MLB Network and a few other cable networks use 720p as the preferred format for their networks. Many ABC affiliates owned by Hearst Television and former Belo Corporation stations owned by TEGNA, along with some individual affiliates of those three networks, air their signals in 1080i and upscale network programming for master control and transmission purposes, as most syndicated programming and advertising is produced and distributed in 1080i, removing a downscaling step to 720p; this allows local newscasts on these ABC affiliates to be produced in the higher resolution to match the picture quality of their 1080i competitors. Some cameras and broadcast systems that use 1080 vertical lines per frame do not use the full 1920 pixels of a nominal 1080i picture for image capture and encoding.
Common subsampling ratios include 3/4 and 1/2. Where used, the lower horizontal resolution is scaled to capture and/or display a full-sized picture. Using half horizontal resolution and only one field of each frame results in the format known as qHD, which has fram
Sky Cable is a cable television service of Sky Cable Corporation. Its franchise area covers Metro Manila, its suburb or neighboring areas and it is in provincial areas that both digital and few analog services, it has 700,000 subscribers controlling 45% of the cable TV market. Since it started community antenna television system operation in the Philippines on January 26, 1992, SkyCable provides cable Internet, VoIP services and digital cable TV service. On June 6, 1990, SkyCable Corporation was incorporated via 79.3% stake in Sky Vision Corporation, operator of cable brands, SkyCable and Sun Cable. On April 18, 1991, Sky Vision Corporation was incorporated and ventures into cable television, system, television media, shopping network and film distribution, it is owned 18.8 % by 78 % by Lopez Inc.. On March 30, 1995, Central CATV Inc. was granted a 28-year provisional franchise to establish, construct and operated community antenna television system in the Philippines through Republic Act 7969.
In 1997, Sky Vision Corporation acquired 47% of Pilipino Cable Corp. operator of Sun Cable for P900 million. In 1997, SkyCable launches its first cable TV branded credit card in the Philippines, the SkyCard MasterCard with SolidBank and the SkyCard-Citibank MasterCard with Citibank N. A. In 2001, Benpress Holdings Inc. and Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company signed a master consolidation agreement for SkyCable Corporation to consolidate its interest. In July 2001, Unilink Communications Corp. operator of Home Cable, Philippines second largest cable TV company, merged its CATV operation to SkyCable and created Beyond Cable Inc. with an enterprise value of P14.5 billion. Beyond Cable Inc. controls 66.5% through Benpress Holdings Corp. and 33.5% through MediaQuest Holdings, Inc. On December 7, 2001, Beyond Cable Holdings Inc. was incorporated. In April 2008 ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corporation, which owns about two-thirds of the equity of SkyCable, started consolidating the cable company’s fiscal result into its financial report including SkyCable’s general and administrative expenses or the GAEX.
In May 2011, Singaporean firm Sampaquita Communications Pte. Ltd. acquired 40 percent of SkyCable through Philippine Depositary Receipts worth P3.612 billion and P250 million of convertible notes to fund the expansion of SkyCable’s broadband Internet and cable TV services. On May 11, 2012, SkyCable bought Destiny Cable Inc. Uni-Cable TV Inc. and Solid Broadband Corp.'s cable TV and broadband internet assets and subscribers with consolidating value of P3.497 billion. In order to be competitive in the cable TV industry, SkyCable adopts an alternative pricing model for its subscribers, it allows its subscribers to select their own packages or channels, comparable to a pay per channel service most used in the United States. SkyCable introduces the package-pricing model used by other cable television providers in which channels are classified into packages; the SkyCable postpaid bundles are categorized into 10 clusters named as Select, Bronze 299, Bronze 399, Bronze 499, Silver HD, Gold HD, Postpaid HD and a separate payment scheme for its Premium/Pay-Per-View.
Select: It is a customizable plan that allows its subscribers to choose channels on top of their preset package. Select plan is available on existing subscription either from Bronze 299, 399 and 499, Silver HD, Gold HD or Postpaid HD plans and requires a digital set-top boxes. Bronze 299: SkyCable Bronze 299 package consists of 20 basic channels, but as of October 1, 2015, it no longer offered for new subscribers for Greater Manila Area, Laguna, San Jose del Monte and Bacolod and status of current subscribers remained unchanged for said mentioned areas. However, it continues offered for new subscribers in the rest of remaining provincial areas. Plus: SkyCable Plus package consists of 50 channels. No longer offered to new subscribers. Bronze 399: SkyCable Bronze 399 consists of more or less than 30 channels. Available only in most of regional areas with digital service; as of November 2014, the plan were expanded its service in Metro Manila and areas nearby. But as of October 1, 2015, it no longer offered for new subscribers.
However, status of current subscribers remained unchanged. Bronze 499: SkyCable Bronze 499 package consists of more than 50 channels, but as of October 1, 2015, it no longer offered for new subscribers. However, status of current subscribers remained unchanged. Max: SkyCable Max package consists of 50 channels. No longer offered to new subscribers. Silver HD: SkyCable Silver HD package consists of more than 70 SD channels and 10 HD channels. Gold HD: SkyCable Gold HD package consists of more than 80 SD channels and 13 HD channels. Other packs: SkyCable consisted of five packages, namely, HBO Pak, Family Pack, FOX Pack, MBC Pack and the SBS Pack; the HBO Pak includes three additional HBO channels: HBO Signature and HBO Family. The Family Pack is a combination of programs on current events, exploration and flicks; the FOX Pack contains nine additional FOX HD channels. In addition to its HBO, Family and FOX Packs, the MBC and SBS Pack offered MBC, a South Korean television and radio networks famous for its dramas and comedies.
Brazil the Federative Republic of Brazil, is the largest country in both South America and Latin America. At 8.5 million square kilometers and with over 208 million people, Brazil is the world's fifth-largest country by area and the fifth most populous. Its capital is Brasília, its most populated city is São Paulo; the federation is composed of the union of the 26 states, the Federal District, the 5,570 municipalities. It is the largest country to have Portuguese as an official language and the only one in the Americas. Bounded by the Atlantic Ocean on the east, Brazil has a coastline of 7,491 kilometers, it borders all other South American countries except Ecuador and Chile and covers 47.3% of the continent's land area. Its Amazon River basin includes a vast tropical forest, home to diverse wildlife, a variety of ecological systems, extensive natural resources spanning numerous protected habitats; this unique environmental heritage makes Brazil one of 17 megadiverse countries, is the subject of significant global interest and debate regarding deforestation and environmental protection.
Brazil was inhabited by numerous tribal nations prior to the landing in 1500 of explorer Pedro Álvares Cabral, who claimed the area for the Portuguese Empire. Brazil remained a Portuguese colony until 1808, when the capital of the empire was transferred from Lisbon to Rio de Janeiro. In 1815, the colony was elevated to the rank of kingdom upon the formation of the United Kingdom of Portugal and the Algarves. Independence was achieved in 1822 with the creation of the Empire of Brazil, a unitary state governed under a constitutional monarchy and a parliamentary system; the ratification of the first constitution in 1824 led to the formation of a bicameral legislature, now called the National Congress. The country became a presidential republic in 1889 following a military coup d'état. An authoritarian military junta came to power in 1964 and ruled until 1985, after which civilian governance resumed. Brazil's current constitution, formulated in 1988, defines it as a democratic federal republic. Due to its rich culture and history, the country ranks thirteenth in the world by number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Brazil is considered an advanced emerging economy. It has the ninth largest GDP in the world by nominal, eight and PPP measures, it is one of the world's major breadbaskets, being the largest producer of coffee for the last 150 years. It is classified as an upper-middle income economy by the World Bank and a newly industrialized country, with the largest share of global wealth in Latin America. Brazil is a regional power and sometimes considered a great or a middle power in international affairs. On account of its international recognition and influence, the country is subsequently classified as an emerging power and a potential superpower by several analysts. Brazil is a founding member of the United Nations, the G20, BRICS, Union of South American Nations, Organization of American States, Organization of Ibero-American States and the Community of Portuguese Language Countries, it is that the word "Brazil" comes from the Portuguese word for brazilwood, a tree that once grew plentifully along the Brazilian coast.
In Portuguese, brazilwood is called pau-brasil, with the word brasil given the etymology "red like an ember", formed from brasa and the suffix -il. As brazilwood produces a deep red dye, it was valued by the European textile industry and was the earliest commercially exploited product from Brazil. Throughout the 16th century, massive amounts of brazilwood were harvested by indigenous peoples along the Brazilian coast, who sold the timber to European traders in return for assorted European consumer goods; the official Portuguese name of the land, in original Portuguese records, was the "Land of the Holy Cross", but European sailors and merchants called it the "Land of Brazil" because of the brazilwood trade. The popular appellation eclipsed and supplanted the official Portuguese name; some early sailors called it the "Land of Parrots". In the Guarani language, an official language of Paraguay, Brazil is called "Pindorama"; this was the name the indigenous population gave to the region, meaning "land of the palm trees".
Some of the earliest human remains found in the Americas, Luzia Woman, were found in the area of Pedro Leopoldo, Minas Gerais and provide evidence of human habitation going back at least 11,000 years. The earliest pottery found in the Western Hemisphere was excavated in the Amazon basin of Brazil and radiocarbon dated to 8,000 years ago; the pottery was found near Santarém and provides evidence that the tropical forest region supported a complex prehistoric culture. The Marajoara culture flourished on Marajó in the Amazon delta from 800 CE to 1400 CE, developing sophisticated pottery, social stratification, large populations, mound building, complex social formations such as chiefdoms. Around the time of the Portuguese arrival, the territory of current day Brazil had an estimated indigenous population of 7 million people semi-nomadic who subsisted on hunting, fishing and migrant agriculture; the indigenous population of Brazil comprised several large indigenous ethnic groups. The Tupí people were subdivided into the Tupiniquins and Tupinambás, there were many subdivisions of the other gro
NHNZ Natural History New Zealand is a New Zealand-based factual television production house creating original content for global broadcasters. NHNZ has filmed above and below every ocean and every continent, including Antarctica - where it has produced 19 documentary films in total; the company has earned more than 300 international awards, among them two Emmy Awards, the television industry’s highest accolade, a prestigious Wildscreen Panda Award. In addition to its base in Dunedin, New Zealand, NHNZ has offices in Beijing and Washington DC and, majority ownership of Singapore-based production company Beach House Pictures and Aquavision Wildlife Filmmakers in South Africa, it works and co-produces with multiple major global broadcasters: Discovery Channel, Animal Planet, Discovery Science, A&E Television Networks, National Geographic Channel, Travel Channel, NHK, France 5 and ZDF. As a result, NHNZ's programmes are seen in more than 180 countries by millions of viewers. NHNZ was formed as the Natural History Unit of TVNZ.
The unit was created in 1977, with the aim of telling stories of New Zealand's most iconic and endangered species. In 2008, NHNZ celebrated 30 years of television production making it one of the world's longest standing production companies; the unit's first documentaries made were a series of six 15-minute programmes called Hidden Places which featured various New Zealand habitats, notably Okarito, White Island, Mackenzie Country and Sinclair Wetlands, near Dunedin. The first programme that captured international attention was the story of Don Merton's rescue of the New Zealand black robin from the brink of extinction. Several programmes were made chronicling this success story – Seven Black Robins, The Robins Return and Chatham Island a Black Robin Story. For more detail about the origins of these early programmes see Smith. A focus on New Zealand stories continued during the 1980s and early 1990s, with children’s series Wild Track and the series Wild South becoming cultural icons, still replayed in New Zealand today.
In 1990 the company produced a series presented by David Bellamy, in association with the New Zealand Heritage Foundation, called Moa's Ark. This was the first time NHNZ had worked with an international'star'. In 1997 it was sold, became a subsidiary of Fox International Channels. In October 2012, former Fox executive David Haslingden acquired 100% of NHNZ. NHNZ has been making documentaries in Antarctica for more than 25 years; the first, in 1982, featured the private life of Adelie penguins, paved the way for a further 18 titles. Icebird and Under the Ice were early offshore successes for the company, were both produced by Neil Harraway; the pair of documentaries, Emperors of Antarctica and The Longest Night, chronicled the over-wintering activities of scientists from Antarctica New Zealand, produced by Max Quinn in 1992, were joined by a third Solid Water Liquid Rock produced by Mike Single. This trilogy helped to establish a relationship with Discovery Channel. Throughout the 1990s and into the early 2000s, a string of documentaries were made by both Quinn and Single, while an exceptional icy dive team was led by Jeanie Ackley and Ed Jowett.
Single won an Emmy for outstanding cinematography for The Crystal Ocean and Quinn completed his trilogy, Ice Worlds, cementing NHNZ’s place as a leading documentary film maker in the inhospitable Antarctic. A second area of expertise lies in underwater filming. Two major marine based series Deep Blue, Shark Gordon were filmed at locations throughout the Pacific. Shark Gordon was made for Animal Planet, featured shark specialist Ian Gordon. Whales have featured in many documentaries including The Lost Whales about the rejuvenation of the population of southern right whales in New Zealand's subantarctic islands, Killers I Have Known about Dr Ingrid Visser's investigations into the life and habits of New Zealand orca. In 2010 NHNZ started producing 3D factual programming. NHNZ's first 3D documentary China Revealed: The Great Wall of China debuted on one of the world's first full-time 3D networks -3net. In 2012, NHNZ announced it was taking a lead role in the development of cost-effective 2D to 3D conversion technology, in partnership with Korean company ETRI.
ETRI will use NHNZ's HD documentaries as test subjects for trialling the new technology. NHNZ has made several successful series of programmes. Working with Animal Planet, the company made a series produced by Ian McGee. NHNZ produced 65 episodes of this series from 2002 to 2007; the show counted down the top ten animals on any given theme. The forerunner to The Most Extreme was Twisted Tales, two series produced in 1999 and 2000 which took a single animal group like The Frog or The Bat and focused on their relationship with people through time, around the world. Twisted Tales: The Bat earned Ian McGee NHNZ's second Emmy Award in 1999 for Outstanding Achievement in a Craft in News and Documentary Programming - Writers; the following year, Ian and co-writer Quinn Berentson were again nominated for an Emmy Award in the same category for Twisted Tales: The Rat. In 2008, NHNZ began a new series, I Survived... which airs on the Biography Channel. The series is now up to episode 86, has its own spinoff series, I Survived: Beyond and Back, which features people who have died and returned to life.
Other successful series include Life Force. Over the years, NHNZ diversified its programming away from just natural history, it expanded its genres to cover health. In Tuna Wranglers, NHNZ tested the waters of the current popularity of realit
Virgin Media Limited is a British company which provides telephone and internet services in the United Kingdom. Its headquarters are in Hampshire. Since 2013, Virgin Media has been a subsidiary of Liberty Global plc, an international television and telecommunications company; the company was listed on the NASDAQ Stock Market and London Stock Exchange. Virgin Media is not a sister company of Virgin Mobile USA, owned by Sprint Corporation; the company was founded in March 2006 by the merger of Telewest, which created NTL: Telewest. In July 2006, the company purchased Virgin Mobile UK, creating the first "quadruple-play" media company in the United Kingdom, offering television, mobile phone and fixed-line telephone services. In November 2006, the company signed a deal with Sir Richard Branson to licence the Virgin brand for the combined business. All of the company's consumer services were rebranded under the Virgin Media name in February 2007. Virgin Media owns and operates its own fibre-optic cable network in the United Kingdom, although their optical fibre network does not reach the customer premises, rather they connect to a street cabinet.
As of 31 December 2012, it had a total of 4.8 million cable customers, of whom around 3.79 million were supplied with its television services, around 4.2 million with broadband internet services and around 4.1 million with fixed-line telephony services. At the same date, it had around 3 million mobile telephony customers. Virgin Media competes in broadband with Sky, BT Group and TalkTalk, in mobile with EE, O2, Vodafone and Three; the company's origins lie in both Telewest and NTL, which merged in March 2006. Telewest began in 1984 in Croydon under the name "Croydon Cable", was acquired by United Cable of Denver in 1988; the company expanded during the 1990s and adopted the Telewest name in 1992 following the merger of its then-parent TCI and US West. It expanded into cable television access in 1999 by purchasing the remaining 50% stake in Cable London, one of the first cable TV companies in the UK, from NTL, adding 400,000 homes in north London. In April 2000 Telewest merged with Flextech, in November extended its cable network with the acquisition of Eurobell, taking the total number of homes past 4.9 million.
NTL was established by Barclay Knapp and George Blumenthal in 1993 as "International CableTel", taking advantage of the deregulation of the UK cable market. Cabletel acquired local cable franchises covering Guildford, Northern Ireland and parts of Central Scotland and South Wales. In 1996 CableTel acquired National Transcommunications Limited, the privatised UK Independent Broadcasting Authority transmission network. In 1998 CableTel adopted "NTL" as its new name. NTL purchased the ISP Virgin.net in 2004, having operated it as a joint venture with Virgin Group since it launched in November 1996. It sold ADSL broadband services through BT landlines to those living outside areas served by NTL's cable network and offered subscription-based and subscription-free dial-up Internet access. Prior to acquiring Virgin.net, NTL offered. Telewest and NTL began discussions regarding a merger in late 2003. Thanks to their geographically distinct areas, NTL and Telewest had co-operated as in redirecting potential customers living outside their respective areas.
On 3 October 2005, NTL announced a US$16 billion purchase of Telewest, to form one of the largest media companies in the UK. The merger agreement as structured would have required NTL to negotiate with BBC Worldwide due to a change-of-ownership clause written into the agreement for UKTV, a joint venture with Telewest's Flextech content division. To prevent this, Telewest instead acquired NTL. In December 2005 NTL:Telewest and mobile virtual network operator Virgin Mobile UK announced that talks had taken place regarding a merger. Virgin Mobile's independent directors rejected the original bid of £817 million, taking the view that NTL's bid "undervalued the business". Sir Richard Branson expressed confidence that a restructured deal could go ahead, in January 2006 NTL increased its offer to £961 million. On 4 April 2006, NTL announced a £962.4 million recommended offer for Virgin Mobile. According to reports, Branson accepted a mix of shares and cash, making him a 10.7% shareholder of the combined company.
NTL and Telewest formally completed their merger on 3 March 2006, making the merged company the UK's largest cable provider, with more than 90% of the market. The combined company renamed itself NTL Incorporated, with ex-NTL shareholders controlling 75% of the stock and ex-Telewest shareholders 25%. Nine of the 11 directors of the new board came with two from Telewest. NTL:Telewest's takeover of Virgin Mobile completed on 4 July 2006, creating the UK's first'quadruple play' media company, bringing together television, mobile phone and fixed-line phone services; the deal included a 30-year exclusive branding agreement that saw NTL adopt the "Virgin" name after it completed its merger with Telewest. NTL:Telewest announced on 8 November 2006 it would change its name to "Virgin Media Inc". On 9 November 2006, NTL announced it had approached the commercial television broadcaster ITV plc about a proposed merger, after a similar announcement by ITV. BSkyB blocked the merger on 17 November 2006 by controversially buying a 17.9% stake in ITV plc, a move that attracted anger from NTL shareholder Richard Branson, an investigation from media and telecoms regulator Ofcom.
On 6 December 2006 NTL announced that it had complained to the Office of Fair Trading about BSkyB's
Internet Protocol television is the delivery of television content over Internet Protocol networks. This is in contrast to delivery through traditional terrestrial and cable television formats. Unlike downloaded media, IPTV offers the ability to stream the source media continuously; as a result, a client media player can begin playing the content immediately. This is known as streaming media. Although IPTV uses the Internet protocol it is not limited to television streamed from the Internet. IPTV is deployed in subscriber-based telecommunications networks with high-speed access channels into end-user premises via set-top boxes or other customer-premises equipment. IPTV is used for media delivery around corporate and private networks. IPTV in the telecommunications arena is notable for its ongoing standardisation process. IPTV services may be classified into three main groups: Live television and live media, with or without related interactivity. Many different definitions of IPTV have appeared, including elementary streams over IP networks, MPEG transport streams over IP networks and a number of proprietary systems.
One official definition approved by the International Telecommunication Union focus group on IPTV is: IPTV is defined as multimedia services such as television/video/audio/text/graphics/data delivered over IP based networks managed to provide the required level of quality of service and experience, security and reliability. Another definition of IPTV, relating to the telecommunications industry, is the one given by Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions IPTV Exploratory Group in 2005: IPTV is defined as the secure and reliable delivery to subscribers of entertainment video and related services; these services may include, for example, Live TV, Video On Demand and Interactive TV. These services are delivered across an access agnostic, packet switched network that employs the IP protocol to transport the audio and control signals. In contrast to video over the public Internet, with IPTV deployments, network security and performance are managed to ensure a superior entertainment experience, resulting in a compelling business environment for content providers and customers alike.
The term IPTV first appeared in 1995 with the founding of Precept Software by Judith Estrin and Bill Carrico. Precept developed an Internet video product named IP/TV. IP/TV was an Mbone compatible Windows and Unix-based application that transmitted single and multi-source audio and video traffic, ranging from low to DVD quality, using both unicast and IP multicast Real-time Transport Protocol and Real time control protocol; the software was written by Steve Casner, Karl Auerbach, Cha Chee Kuan. Precept was acquired by Cisco Systems in 1998. Cisco retains the IP/TV trademark. Internet radio company AudioNet started the first continuous live webcasts with content from WFAA-TV in January 1998 and KCTU-LP on 10 January 1998. Kingston Communications, a regional telecommunications operator in the UK, launched Kingston Interactive Television, an IPTV over digital subscriber line service in September 1999; the operator added additional VoD service in October 2001 with a VoD content provider. Kingston was one of the first companies in the world to introduce IPTV and IP VoD over ADSL as a commercial service.
The service became the reference for various changes to UK Government regulations and policy on IPTV. In 2006, the KIT service was discontinued, subscribers having declined from a peak of 10,000 to 4,000. In 1999, NBTel was the first to commercially deploy Internet protocol television over DSL in Canada using the Alcatel 7350 DSLAM and middleware created by iMagic TV; the service was marketed under the brand VibeVision in New Brunswick, expanded into Nova Scotia in early 2000 after the formation of Aliant. IMagic TV was sold to Alcatel. In 2002, Sasktel was the second in Canada to commercially deploy IPTV over DSL, using the Lucent Stinger DSL platform. In 2005, SureWest Communications was the first North American company to offer high-definition television channels over an IPTV service. In 2005, Bredbandsbolaget launched its IPTV service as the first service provider in Sweden; as of January 2009, they are not the biggest supplier any longer. In 2007, TPG became the first internet service provider in Australia to launch IPTV.
By 2010, iiNet and Telstra launched IPTV services in conjunction to internet plans. In 2008, Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited launched IPTV under the brand name of PTCL Smart TV in Pakistan; this service is available in 150 major cities of the country offering 140 live channels. In 2010, CenturyLink – after acquiring Embarq and Qwest – entered five U. S. markets with an IPTV service called Prism. This was after successful test marketing in Florida. In 2016, Korean Central Television introduced the set-top box called Manbang providing video-on-demand services in North Korea via quasi-internet protocol television. Manbang allows viewers to watch five different TV channels in real-time, read find political information regarding the Supreme Leader and Juche ideology, read articles from state-run news organizations; the technology was hindered by low broadb