Your digest of the week’s top media, entertainment and technology news.
Disney agrees Fox deal
The merger between 21st Century Fox and Walt Disney has been agreed for $52.4 billion. Disney will own the rights to all Fox content which includes Fox’s film and television studios, as well as its 39% stake in broadcaster Sky. The BBC confirmed the deal, with Fox repositioning itself among the competitive online players. Fox will remain a smaller focused company on news and major live sporting events, while Disney adds to its back catalogue of high-grossing films including the original Star Wars and Marvel superhero pictures and TV favourite, The Simpsons.
Amazon and Netflix pledge support for HDR10+
Netflix has announced that it is open to supporting the HDR10+ standard. Although it’s not on the company’s roadmap at the moment, Netflix’s Senior Product Manager of its Partner Ecosystem, Richard Smith, told TechRadar the company would be open to supporting other HDR formats beyond HDR10 and Dolby Vision. Meanwhile, Samsung Electronics and Amazon Prime Video have confirmed that the entire Prime Video HDR library is now available in HDR10+ according to Advanced Television.
FCC strikes at net neutrality
The Federal Communications Commission approved a measure to remove the tough net neutrality rules implemented two years ago by the Obama administration. The Verge reported the vote was 3-2 and ultimately enables internet providers to block, throttle and prioritise content as they see fit, however, they will have to state if they are manipulating search results.
Norway pulls plug on FM radio
Norway has become the first country in the world to close its national FM radio network, according to the Guardian. The country’s northern regions switched to digital audio broadcasting (DAB) on Wednesday this week. The transition allows for better sound quality and more channels and functionality at an eighth of the cost of FM radio, however, has been met with criticism for the lack of DAB coverage across the country.
T-Mobile snaps up Layer3 TV
T-Mobile US has acquired infrastructure firm Layer3 TV. According to Rapid TV News, the deal is part of T-Mobile’s plan to build a service for customers who are tired of multi-year service contracts, high bills and outdated user interfaces. The acquisition builds on the momentum of T-Mobile’s zero-rated Binge On and One Mobile package offering a free Netflix subscription at no extra cost.
Google uses light beam for internet
Google is working to use Free Space Optical Communications (FSOC), a light beam technology to deliver high-speed, high-capacity connectivity across rural India. According to Tech Crunch, the project is aimed at bridging the gap to major access points such as WiFi hotspots and phone towers in a government initiative to connect 12 million households to the internet by 2019.
Apple to acquire music app Shazam
Shazam, the UK based music app which allows users to identify the name and artists of a song through listening to an audio source, has been acquired by Apple Inc. The price of the deal has not been disclosed, Reuters reported the take over is a “natural fit” enabling Apple Music users to discover new songs and help in its rivalry with Spotify.
Wet string used for broadband connection
Engineers at a British internet service provider have successfully made a broadband connection using 2 metres of wet string. The connection reached speeds of 3.5Mbps per second. Andrews and Arnold Director Adrian Kennard told the BBC the project was a fun experiment and there are no commercial opportunities they’re currently aware of.