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e.tv challenges encryption rule

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e.tv has headed to court to challenge a South African government decision on encryption for set top boxes, writes GARETH VAN ZYL of Fin24.

The broadcaster says it filed an application in the Gauteng High Court on Tuesday to “review aspects of the Broadcasting Digital Migration policy finalised by the Minister of Communications”.

Set top boxes (STB) will decode digital television signals for analogue TV sets. The government plans to subsidise boxes for five million poorer households when South Africa makes its switchover to digital television signals.

Last month, the Department of Communications made amendments to the Broadcasting Digital Migration policy. Amendments to the policy outlined that a STB control system for free-to-air DTT (Digital Terrestrial Television) boxes will not have capabilities to encrypt broadcast signals for subsidised boxes. A second amendment to the policy also included that the STB control system will be non-mandatory.

In its statement, e.tv has asked that the first provision be set aside and the second provision be amended.

“In one provision, the Minister (Faith Muthambi) purports to allow broadcasters the right to make their own decisions on the question of encryption,” said e.tv’s Chief Operating Officer Mark Rosin in a statement.

“But in another adjacent provision, the Minister renders this right entirely nugatory and meaningless by stating that the five million government subsidised STBs shall not have the capability to encrypt,” added Rosin.

e.tv in its statement has further said it wants to encrypt its signal to “prevent non-compliant STBs from receiving digital broadcast signals, thereby ensuring a uniform and reliable viewer experience”.

The company also said that “without a fully conformant platform, broadcasters such as e.tv would in the future likely be unable to provide broadcasts in high definition”.

Political party the Democratic Alliance said last month that Muthambi’s decision could be the “death knell” of free-to-air broadcasters. DA Shadow Minister of Telecommunication and Postal Services, Marian Shinn, told Fin24 last month that the set-top-box encryption could protect free-to-air broadcasters from having their content illegally pirated.

This could prevent free-to-air broadcasters from adding high quality programming to their viewing selection.

Shinn also told Fin24 that encryption could ensure that devices would stop receiving signals if they are stolen.

* Source Fin24

http://www.fin24.com/Tech/News/etv-to-challenge-set-top-box-decision-in-court-20150414

* Follow Gadget on Twitter on @GadgetZA

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CES: And thanks for all the beer!

Last week, the Las Vegas expo showed off its fun side with state-of-the-art technologies for making and enjoying beer, writes BRYAN TURNER

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From craft beer-making machines to robots that pour beer, CES had more beer than usual in Las Vegas last week. And even free beer if you found the right stand. Stampede’s saloon-style booth offered beer to visitors who tried out its latest drones, virtual reality, and other gaming products. No beer tech, though.

Here are some of the beer technologies that stood out:

LG HomeBrew – Craft beer made at home

LG’s HomeBrew craft beer-making machine,  debuted at CES 2019, brings the brewing process home thanks to single-use capsules,  a self-cleaning feature, and an algorithm optimised for fermentation. 

Like a Nespresso coffee machine, the beer maker uses capsules, which contain malt, yeast, hop oil and flavouring. At the press of a button, LG HomeBrew automates the whole procedure from fermentation and carbonation to ageing. A companion app lets users check HomeBrew’s status at any time during the process, from their handsets.

The beer machine not only offers a simple way to make craft beer, but also enhances the quality of beer it makes. The fermentation algorithm intelligently controls the fermenting process with precise temperature and pressure control. It automatically sanitises itself, using nothing more than hot water, ensuring everything is hygienically clean for the next batch.

Designed with discerning beer lovers in mind, HomeBrew allows for in-home production of batches of more than 4 litres of beer in a variety of styles. The following five distinctive, flavoured beers are available now: 

  • Hoppy American IPA
  • Golden American Pale Ale
  • Full-bodied English Stout
  • Zesty Belgian-style Witbier
  • Dry Czech Pilsner

The only catch? It takes about two weeks to make, depending on the beer type.

“LG HomeBrew is the culmination of years of home appliance and water purification technologies that we’ve developed over the decades,” said Dan Song, president of LG Electronics Home Appliance & Air Solutions Company. “Homebrewing has grown at an explosive pace, but there are still many beer lovers who haven’t taken the jump because of the barriers to entry, like complexity, and these are the consumers we think will be attracted to LG HomeBrew.”

Click here to read about the party speaker that holds beer and robots that pour beer.

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CES: Alienware gets Legend-ary

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At CES in Las Vegas last week, Dell’s Alienware released a family of high-end, thin, light, and affordable machines for both amateur and professional gamers – and a new identity.

Alienware marked CES 2019 as a brand milestone with the debut of a new design identity, Alienware Legend. It aims to set a new bar of excellence for what gamers want most – performance and function. Alienware says it evaluated multiple concepts and chose one that was the biggest and boldest departure from its current look.

Alienware Legend, says the company, stays true to the brand’s core design tenets, taking cues from its deep roots in sci-fi culture and its early industrial designs, to distinguish the brand from the rest of the industry. The new Legend design is optimised with cutting-edge thermal cooling technology to achieve and sustain overclocking power, improved AlienFX lighting, and ultra-thin screen borders. It also unveiled a new “three-knuckle hinge” design that reduces the overall dimension while creating a stronger assembly, all combining to yield a better gaming experience.

“We’re excited to come to this year’s CES with some truly groundbreaking products, next-gen software and strategic partnerships that will bring more people to experience PC gaming and advance the industry,” said Frank Azor, vice president and general manager of Alienware. “The legend design answers the call for more and better from our gaming community, and the new G Series laptops will make PC gaming even more accessible to those looking for high-performance gaming at a cost they can appreciate.”

Click here to read about Alienware Legend in action with the Area-51m and m-series laptops

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