11-15 May: Your guide to what’s happened this week in the media, entertainment and technology industry.
Netflix has begun lifting streaming quality restrictions it imposed to prevent networks from overloading during the coronavirus lockdown.
The streaming giant agreed to cap bandwidth following a request from the European Commission, which feared the internet might struggle under increased demands for content streaming.
However, according to Forbes, Netflix appears to have eased the restrictions in some European markets, with users in Germany reporting that they are now seeing streaming speeds for 4K Netflix content routinely hitting 15.25Mbps. This is higher than the limits imposed by the US-based company.
Netflix’s decision prompted other streaming services to also tune down their offerings, but neither Netflix, YouTube or any other company has announced a return to normal service.
Tech giants back MPEG-5 EVC codec
Samsung, Huawei and Qualcomm are among the major technology vendors who have endorsed the release of new video coding standard, MPEG-5 Essential Video Coding (EVC).
The new codec will enable more screens to display 4K, 8K, VR, AR and HDR content, with the official description of the standard released at the end of April, Android Authority reports.
It aims to provide a significantly improved compression capability over existing video coding standards, and is an alternative to HEVC.
- Read more: 365 Playlist - Codecs
KKR increases stake in ProSiebenSat.1
US private equity firm KKR has bought a 5.2% stake in German broadcaster ProSiebenSat.1, marking a return to the company it was once co-owner of.
KKR bought ProSieben with Permira in 2006 in a deal reported to be worth $6.1 billion but offloaded its stake eight years later.
According to Reuters, the company opted to invest in ProSieben again based on a ”belief that markets are currently undervaluing the company”.
KKR becomes the company’s third major shareholder alongside Italy’s Mediaset, which directly and indirectly owns 24.2% in ProSieben, and investor Daniel Kretinsky whose Czech Media Invest (CMI) vehicle holds a 10% stake.