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BBC 2 HD to Launch March 26th 2013

The BBC Trust have confirmed a ‘Launch’ of BBC 2 HD on March 26th 2013. This will, sadly, not be an additional service but instead will replace the current BBC HD Channel on all platforms – Freeview / YouView 102, Sky 169, Freesat 109 & BT Vision 852. Whilst we welcome the ‘addition’ we can’t help think its a shame that some of the excellent content on BBC 3 & BBC 4 will no longer have an outlet for the HD Version. It also seems to be a cost cutting exercise by the BBC – Whilst at the same time launching BBC 1 HD Regional Version – with its ‘Upscaled’ content – for Wales, Scotland and Northern Island.

This represents the loss of an excellent Licence Funded Service where you were guaranteed to see ONLY High Definition Content. We are also sad to say this may well see the end of the BBC HD Test Card being available for dealers & techies like ourself to check just how good (or bad) new HD Screens are. Shame, the price of progress?

It is also the end of BBCs 3D Trial Broadcasts. We accept the whole 3D thing hasn’t really taken off, but again, shame to see the service dropped. The BBC is renowned round the world its expertise & technical excellence, roll on 4K

BBC Trust approve Project Canvas

The BBC Trust – the governing body of the BBC -has given their provisional approval for the continued development of Project Canvas.

Project Canvas is backed by the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 & Five. Talk Talk – the Telecomminication division of the Carphone Warehouse have expressed their desire to join the project.

Project Canvas is the working title of the project, which itself has risen from the ashes of Project Kangaroo. The ‘Brand’ name for the service is still in discussion.

The aim of the project is to make all the ‘on-demand’ content from the partners avaliable under one one roof, all accessed from one set top box, via IPTV – Internet Protocol Television. It is expected that initially only free content will be offered, such as 4oD, BBC iPlayer, ITV Player.

OFCOM to allow Wireless Home Cimena Radio Spectrum use

OFCOM, who govern the allocation of UK Radio Spectrum, have confirmed the release of a small part of spectrum for use in Home Cinema & Audio Visual applications.

Wideband Data Transmittion Technology – WBDTS – will allow the transfer of HD Video & Audio content between Home AV Devicies without HDMI Leads, Cat5 etc.

The allocated part of Radio Spectrum, at 2400-2483.5 MHz and 57-66 GHz, will be avaliable without Licence.

AVAV Systems join Buy With Confidence Scheme

AVAV Systems are delighted to announance they have been accepted on to the Buy With Confidence Scheme.

The inititavie is run by West Sussex County Council Trading Standards and works with consumers and local traders, to uphold the highest level of fair trading and quality service.

“Before being accepted as a member the business has demonstrated a high level of commitment to operate in a fair and honest way and has been audited by Trading Standards personnel, including a Criminal Records Bureau check.”- Trading Standards

We look forward to supporting the scheme and building a long term relationship with West Sussex Trading Standards and the Buy With Confidence Scheme.

Sky and Microsoft confirm Xbox and Sky Player Launch

Sky and Microsoft have announced that the Sky Player service will be available to XBox 360 owners from Autumn 2009.

The service will offer Streaming, Live Channels, Video On Demand (VOD) content and Pay Per View Special Events.

Details are not yet fully released but it is anticipated existing Sky customers with a valid XBox LIVE account will be able to access the Sky Player as they can now from a PC or MAC and also purchase one off Movies, Sports events etc using their Sky account or LIVE Points.

Non Sky subscribing XBox owners will be able to purchase different ‘Packages’ offering various channels or special events, again using XBox LIVE Points.

High Definition Movies and SKY HD content will be available on a ‘forward and store’ service, with content saved to the XBox Hard Drive offering a greater range of content to that currently offered via XBox LIVE.

With its Broadband connection, access to MSN Messenger and XBox Gamer Profiles, subscribers will be able to communicate with eachother, in real time, whilst watching football matches and streaming content.

This is a major coup for Microsoft and Sky, as Sony’s PS3 and Nintendo’s Wii both currently offer access to the full web & BBC iPlayer.

HDMI 1.4 Specification Announced

The governing body for the HDMI specification – HDMI Licensing LLC, has confirmed some of the new improvements incorporated in the latest version of HDMI  – V1.4

Improvements include

  • Faster data rates for higher resolution Audio & Video Applications
  • Audio Return – which will allow a return path for audio between devices
  • New smaller connector – for portable applications such as mobile phones, netbook PC etc
  • 3D Support – Control Data & Protocols, ideal for Blu-Ray devices
  • Ethernet Connectivity

All new version will retain backwards compatibility with existing HDMI spec & versions – 1.1, 1.2, 1.3a, 1.3b etc