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DStv Now served more than 500,000 unique users during match day.

In addition to the Springboks making history at the 2019 Rugby World Cup Finals this weekend, another revolution has been quietly underway. This year marks the point that live-streaming of sports went mainstream in Africa, breaking all-time online viewing records.

Much like the Springboks’ Rugby World Cup campaign, sport live-streaming had a somewhat rocky road to the final. But when things really counted, streaming delivered a record-breaking performance.

In the opening game, as South Africa faltered against New Zealand, DStv Now had its own challenges with some viewers missing out during the first half of the game. Fast-forward to the Final six weeks later and the situation was dramatically different, with viewing breaking all-time records for concurrent users and throughput, and this was all achieved with no downtime or outages.

Speaking about this, Niclas Ekdahl, CEO of the Connected Video division of MultiChoice said:

 

 

“Live events are the single biggest challenge a streaming service like DStv Now can face, as the huge number of concurrent users not only puts our systems under unprecedented load, it also strains the systems of the companies downstream from our servers who deliver the stream to customers. It’s fair to assume that the load during the Final was the largest ever seen in Africa, with three times more peak concurrent viewers than in the first game and double the number who watched the 2018 football World Cup Finals. Over the course of the day, we served more than half a million unique users.”

 

 

The number of active DStv Now users is four times higher than just two years ago, and there’s no sign of growth slowing. The number of hours streamed in a single day on the service now regularly tops one million, which is more than 100 years’ worth of viewing for a single person.

Talking about what the company changed to see the turnaround in DStv Now performance between the first and last games of the Rugby World Cup, Ekdahl said:

 

 

“We were disappointed at the problems we experienced early in the tournament. We’d of course done load testing and provisioned plenty of capacity, but we didn’t anticipate how congestion in one specific system could cascade into others. I’m proud of the work our engineering team has done to learn from that mistake, to rework systems architecture, and also work with partners who deliver the stream to customers to sort out bottlenecks affecting image quality. Our customers rightly expect systems to work, and in the face of record-breaking demand during the Final, DStv Now delivered the goods.”

 

The data carried by content delivery network partners during the Final peaked at more than 500 Gbps (more than 4,000 GB of data per minute), another record for DStv Now in Africa.

“This was a major test of our systems and the capacity of distribution networks and ISPs in the region. I’m pleased we came out on top and look forward to working with our partners to beef up streaming ability ready for 10 times and even 100 times the traffic we’re seeing now because the one thing we know for sure is that streaming video is going to keep growing,” concluded Ekdahl.

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Understanding video quality when streaming

Posted by radio On October - 31 - 2019 ADD COMMENTS

It’s really frustrating when streaming video goes fuzzy and pixelated or sometimes stops playing altogether. Why does this happen, and why does it seem worse at peak times?

 

Starting with the basics, streaming video is delivered over the internet. Every few seconds, our streaming apps test the speed of the viewer’s internet connection and based on that we send higher or lower resolution video packets. Put simply, a slow connection generally means lower video quality and a faster connection supports higher video quality. If the speed is really slow, the video will stop altogether (the dreaded buffering spinning wheel).

My video quality was fine, but as soon as the big game started it fell apart – so the problem is clearly with your service, right? 

We plan ahead for big games and make sure we’ve got enough capacity, so no that isn’t likely to be the cause. The simplest explanation for video quality falling during high demand times is congestion downstream from our servers, and there could be a number of factors causing that.

An example of how congestion affects someone connecting via mobile is that lots of people are accessing the same mobile base station at the same time (e.g. as the game starts) and because the base station has limited capacity, the quality of the mobile connection drops.

We use world-class CDN (content distribution network) providers like Akamai, and these companies specialise in delivering the highest possible video stream to the end-user. Under extremely high load situations, even CDN companies can run into capacity constraints or can run into bottlenecks elsewhere in the system. More information on this here.

That’s rubbish! YouTube is fine but DStv Now looks terrible, so clearly the problem is with your service. 

Great point! The key here is supplying pre-recorded content is different from supplying live content. In the case of YouTube or Showmax or Netflix, shows can be stored (the technical term is ‘cached’) close to the customer. In the case of live content, we’re taking the stream from Japan and distributing it in South Africa without the same ability to pre-load it as close as possible to the customer, so any bottlenecks downstream from our servers can have an impact on video quality. The other obvious difference is with YouTube or Showmax or Netflix, people aren’t all watching exactly the same thing at the same time – which presents a whole bunch of technical challenges.

So are you saying you can’t or won’t fix it?

Live streaming with huge numbers of concurrent users is a technical challenge that video services worldwide are grappling with – if it were as simple as just increasing capacity we’d most definitely have done that long ago. But we’re not backing down – we’re working with content distribution networks and others, and we are making headway.

What should I do?

To test if the issue is related to your ISP, one approach is to temporarily switch to mobile data (or to a fixed connection if you’re currently on mobile) and see if there is a change in quality. Obviously the other connection may also be congested but certainly if the quality improves you’ll have an indication that it may be worth speaking to the ISP or changing to another ISP.

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Why TV is still the biggest show

Posted by radio On October - 21 - 2019 ADD COMMENTS

Despite the proliferation of the internet, TV still remains widely popular in South Africa

• Over 90% of South Africans still watch live TV*
• Local soap operas, reality TV and sports continues to enthral the nation*
• The appetite for bigger, better screens is strong

 

From spellbinding soapies to edge-of-your-seat sporting moments, the beloved TV continues to entertain generations of South Africans. Living rooms in South Africa sometimes feel like arenas filled with an audience waiting to be amused, amazed and astounded. This is why the market for larger more immersive TV experiences is so significant. (do we have/need a SS stat?). An incredible example of these in-demand TV’s is Samsung’s 2019 QLED TV line-up, which features more screen size options, stunning picture quality, dazzling colours from every angle, exciting new design elements and intuitive smart TV upgrades.

 

“As family entertainment continues to evolve along with modern viewing habits, we’ve focused on the use of pioneering technology and AI to create unparalleled and personalised viewing experiences. The results are astounding,” says Nithia Pillay, Director of Consumer Electronics at Samsung South Africa

 

Here are a few good reasons why TV is still the biggest show in South Africa:

 

TV has Authority

 

These days information is everywhere. But television has a particular authourity. People know what they see on TV has been verified, produced and created by professionals. This is why television remains the most popular and trusted platform for news, culture, sports and entertainment.

 

TV Creates Communities

 

Great television programmes create communities. TV shows, live events and news bind people together and elicit reactions on social networks.

 

TV Inspires

 

Television is an amazing educational tool. It gives us a different perspective on diverse cultures, promotes tolerance and global understanding of international issues. Through current affairs, discovery, lifestyle, cooking shows and children’s programmes, television inspires scientific and cultural curiosity.

 

TV Scores Big

 

Without television, professional sport would not be the same. Millions enjoy watching live sport every week, in ever-higher picture quality, and enjoy the sense of unity that sports creates.

 

Technology is a GameChanger

 

Intelligent TV’s can now produce a picture that’s amazingly real. With Samsung’s ground-breaking 8K QLED every scene is amazingly vivid and real. It’s like 3D without the glasses. Powered by Samsung’s proprietary Quantum Processor, the QLED range has more colours than the human eye can see, infinite details and optimised audio you see, feel and hear as if the match has come to life in front of you. Additionally, as you watch, it analyses what’s playing and automatically fine-tunes the picture and sound to your TV space. Which means you’re able to hear and feel the stadium erupt with celebration during the biggest moments. Sports Season has just got a lot more riveting.

 

“The QLED line-up brings together innovative feature enhancements and exciting content and service partnerships to deliver a truly ground-breaking viewing experience and unprecedented value,” concludes Nithia Pillay, Director of Consumer Electronics at Samsung South Africa.

 

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MTF Class of 2020 start their first day

Posted by radio On October - 8 - 2019 ADD COMMENTS

Hot on the heels of the graduating class of 2019, the MultiChoice Talent Factory Academies in Nairobi, Lagos and Lusaka are buzzing with excitement as the class of 2020 sit for their first day in class. The 60 students from 13 countries were chosen after a month-long process which shortlisted candidates from thousands of entries.

This year’s applicants were put through a rigorous interview and adjudication process by a group of leading film and television industry experts and the regional Academy Directors and represent the very best in young talent from across the region.

 

The 60 new students start the academic year with an orientation programme in partnership with Kenyatta University in Kenya, Pan-Atlantic University in Nigeria, the University of Zambia and the Henley Business School.

 

These academic partners have been onboard since the academies first opened their doors in October 2018 as part of MultiChoice Africa’s ground-breaking corporate shared value (CSV) initiative, the MultiChoice Talent Factory (MTF) aimed at igniting Africa’s creative industries through TV and filmmaking.

 

The second intake of students from Angola, Botswana, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe will be provided with training and hands-on experience in the film industry, with a focus on storytelling, production, audio and directing among other key areas.

 

The curriculum offers students the opportunity to learn directly from leading African and international industry experts, work on live sets of local TV productions and create original content aired on local M-Net channels across the MultiChoice platforms – DStv, GOtv and Showmax.

 

“It is a new year with new students. Different backgrounds and different expectations. For all of us to grow in our careers, we have had mentors in our journeys, we have also learnt a lot from each other and from life experiences. I hope that MTF provides all these to our new students,” says Njoki Muhoho, East Africa Academy Director.

 

The 60 aspiring filmmakers carry a lot of hope for the African continent in our quest to tell our stories that reflect who we are and how far we’ve come as storytellers. Femi Odugbemi, MTF West Africa Academy Director attests to this

We are very excited to welcome the Class of 2020 and to begin a new journey of discovery. We learn filmmaking by making films and that process of hands-on exposure and learning from the best industry leaders remains our path to infusing the passion of our students with creative power.

 

The MTF has over the past 12 months partnered with government, local and international film industry associations and partners to hone and sharpen the skills of emerging filmmakers and industry professionals and Berry Lwando, Southern Africa Academy Director feels that the past year has equipped the Academy Directors with great insights to produce the next generation of authentic storytellers.

 

The first year was a great learning curve and I’m excited for the Class of 2020 as they embark on their new journey. Their passion for filmmaking makes us wake up in the morning wanting to do more.” Here’s to the next class of authentic African storytellers!

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DStv announces channel changes

Posted by radio On October - 4 - 2019 ADD COMMENTS

As part of our ongoing efforts to refresh our content line-up and optimise the suite of channels on offer, MultiChoice Group will be saying goodbye to the History, Crime + Investigation and Lifetime channels on its DStv platform at the end of the current contract term. The current contract expires on 1 November 2019. Viewers will however be able to continue enjoying some of the firm favourites such as the Housewives franchise that’s already available on 1 Magic.

 

We will soon be announcing the introduction of two new channels to DStv. The first is an established global brand and the other, a new innovative brand. Both channels will bring exciting new titles and genres that viewers will really enjoy, including among others blue chip documentaries, history and factual reality shows. In addition, we continue to increase our significant investment in local shows and content, which have great resonance with customers and are a key driver of engagement.

 

 

We are continuously reviewing our content line-up and channel selection to improve our entertainment offering to our customers, as well as ensuring customers continue to get good value. This process includes ongoing engagement with various content partners to ensure we can provide more compelling content offerings for customers.

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Netflix Inc., the world’s leading Internet entertainment service, announced that a melodrama film Tune in for Love will launch globally on November 5, 2019.

Tune in for Love is a young couple’s love story, in which fate keeps pulling them together and pushing them apart again as they try to figure out life on their own, and with each other.

 

The film starts off in the year of 1994. Mi-su, played by Kim Go-eun (Guardian: The Lonely and Great God, Cheese in the Trap) works at a bakery, inherited from her mother. Hyeon-u, played by Jung Hae-in (One Spring Night, Something in the Rain) ends up working at the shop, and they slowly start to grow feelings for each other. Throughout the next decade, Mi-su and Hyeon-u continue to cross paths, but timing is not always in their favor.

 

 

Tune in for Love is a music-filled melodrama, with songs flowing through the years, triggering nostalgia and emotion. The film depicts fresh college graduates who are faced with an economic recession due to the Asian financial crisis of 1997. It also attempts to capture two sincere young adults who try to do their best to make it through those uncertain times.

 

 

Tune in for Love is directed by Jung Ji-woo (Heart Blackened, Eungyo), and written by Lee Sook-yun (One Fine Spring Day, On the Way to the Airport).

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Game of Thrones, Chernobyl, Fleabag win big at Emmys

Posted by radio On September - 23 - 2019 ADD COMMENTS

At last night’s Primetime Emmy Awards, Game of Thrones won Best Drama, Chernobyl took home Best Limited Series and Fleabag was named Best Comedy.

In the three main narrative categories, five series on Showmax (Game of Thrones, Chernobyl, Barry, A Very English Scandal and Succession) won eight awards; two Amazon comedies (Fleabag and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel) won six awards and three Netflix shows (Ozark, Pose and When They See Us) won four awards. Netflix also won Competition Programme (RuPaul’s Drag Race) and TV Movie (Black Mirror: Bandersnatch), putting them at six awards overall for the night.

 

This follows last week’s Sunday Times Top Brands Awards, where Showmax placed ahead of Netflix and just behind DSTV Now in the Paid Streaming Service category.

 

The Emmy results are also in line with Rotten Tomatoes’ recent list of The Best TV Shows of 2019 So Far, which features eight titles on Showmax in its top 20, compared to five titles available on Netflix and one on Prime Video in Africa.

According to Variety, HBO was the overall Emmy winner, taking home 34 awards from 137 nominations across both weekends, followed by Netflix with 27 wins out of 117 nominations.

 

Best Drama: Game of Thrones sets records 

In addition to winning Best Drama, Game of Thrones’ Peter Dinklage also won Best Supporting Actor for his role as Tyrion Lannister. This was his second consecutive win in the category and fourth overall – a new record for the category, putting him one ahead of Aaron Paul for Breaking Bad.

 

“I count myself as so fortunate to be a member of a community that is nothing but all about tolerance and diversity because there’s no other place where I’d be standing on a stage like this,” he said at the start of his acceptance speech.

 

Only available to stream on Showmax in Africa, Game of Thrones has now won 59 Emmys – the most of any narrative show ever and the second most of any show, period, behind only Saturday Night Live, which has been running for 44 years compared to Game of Thrones’ eight seasons.

 

After its fourth Best Drama win, the HBO fantasy is now tied for the most Best Drama wins of all time with Hill Street Blues, L.A. Law, Mad Men and The West Wing.

 

Other drama winners included Succession (Best Writing), Killing Eve (Best Actress for Jodie Comer), Ozark (Best Directing and Best Supporting Actress for Julia Garner) and Pose’s Billy Porter (Best Actor).

 

Best Limited Series: Chernobyl 

In addition to winning best limited series, Chernobyl won Best Writing and Best Directing.

 

Creator Craig Mazin dedicated his Emmys to the victims of the tragic Chernobyl nuclear power plant disaster.

 

The HBO historical drama is only available to stream on Showmax in South Africa.

 

Other Limited Series winners included When They See Us (Best Actor for Jharrel Jerome), A Very English Scandal (Best Supporting Actor for Ben Whishaw), Fosse/Verdon (Best Actress for Michelle Williams) and The Act (Best Supporting Actress for Patricia Arquette).

Best Comedy: Fleabag 

Having won six times in a row, Julia Louis-Dreyfus was tipped to win Best Actress for the final season of Veep, but she lost out to Fleabag creator Phoebe Waller-Bridge, who also won Best Writing and Best Comedy. Fleabag also won Best Director.

 

Other comedy winners included Barry (Best Actor for Bill Hader) and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Best Supporting Actor for Tony Shalhoub and Supporting Actress for Alex Borstein).

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MAYANS M.C. S2
First on Showmax. Binge the first four episodes on 1 October, with new episodes every Wednesday

In this Sons of Anarchy spinoff, Ezekiel “EZ” Reyes (JD Pardo from Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part II) is a prospect in the Mayans M.C. charter on the Cali/Mexi border. Once the golden boy with the American Dream in his grasp, EZ is trying to reconcile with his brother Angel (Clayton Cardenas from American Crime) while searching for the truth behind their mother’s death. Meanwhile, their father, Felipe (Oscar nominee Edward James Olmos), is struggling to lead his sons down the righteous path.

:: The third-biggest cable premiere of the year in the US, behind only Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead
:: Best TV Action Series nominee, IGN Summer Movie Awards, 2018
:: 86% critics score, Rotten Tomatoes



HARLOTS S3

First on Showmax. Binge from 1 October

The first two seasons of Harlots revolved around rival brothel owners, Margaret Wells (Oscar nominee Samantha Morton) and Lydia Quigley (Oscar nominee Lesley Manville), and was set in 18th century London – an era when one in five women earned a living as a prostitute in the city.  At the start of Season 3, it seems that the Wells girls can finally free themselves of their mother’s feud, helped by allies such as Lady Fitz (Liv Tyler). But Charlotte Wells (Jessica Brown Findlay from Downton Abbey) soon learns that running a lucrative brothel brings enemies as well as friends, including new pimp in town Isaac Pincher (2019 Emmy nominee Alfie Allen from Game of Thrones).

 

:: 100% critics rating, Rotten Tomatoes

:: “Obscenely enjoyable” The Guardian



SUCCESSION S2

First on Showmax. Binge from 14 October

In Season 2, the dysfunctional Roy family are struggling to retain control of their global media empire. But while the future looks increasingly uncertain, it is the past that threatens to ultimately destroy them. Kieran Culkin was nominated for the Golden Globe as Roman, Matthew Macfadyen was up for a Critics Choice Award as Tom, and the impressive cast includes Golden Globe nominee Brian Cox (Adaptation, X-Men 2, Deadwood), Screen Actors Guild nominee Jeremy Strong (The Big Short) and multi-award winners like Hiam Abbas (Ramy, Blade Runner 2049) and Sarah Snook (The Dressmaker).

:: Best International Series, BAFTAs, 2019
:: TV Program Of The Year, AFI Awards, 2019

:: #3 on Rotten Tomatoes’ list of the Best TV Shows of 2019 So Far
:: Season 1 was nominated for a Golden Globe and five Emmys this year
:: #17, Most Popular TV, IMDB
:: Recently renewed for a third season


GODFATHER OF HARLEM S1

Same time as M-Net. New episodes every Tuesday from 15 October 2019

In the early 1960s, infamous crime boss Bumpy Johnson (Oscar winner Forest Whitaker) returns from 10 years in prison to find the neighbourhood he once ruled in a shambles. With the streets controlled by Vincent ‘Chin’ Gigante (Emmy nominee Vincent D’Onofrio from Daredevil and Jurassic World) and the Italian mob, Bumpy must take on the Genovese crime family to regain control. During the brutal battle, he forms an alliance with radical preacher Malcolm X (Nigel Thatch from Selma). Godfather of Harlem shows how the criminal underworld and the civil rights movement collided during one of the most tumultuous times in American history.

:: Directed by Oscar winner John Ridley, the writer of 12 Years A Slave and creator of American Crime



WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS S1

First on Showmax. Binge from 1 November

From Jemaine Clement (Flight Of The Conchords) and Taika Waititi (Thor: Ragnarok), the hit mockumentary What We Do In The Shadows is a look into the daily (or rather, nightly) lives of three vampires who’ve lived together for over 100 years on Staten Island, New York.

:: #31 on Rotten Tomatoes’ list of the Best TV Shows of 2019 So Far
:: 94% critics score, Rotten Tomatoes | 8.4/10, IMDB

:: Delightfully absurd and ridiculously fun… A mockumentary worth sinking your teeth into.” Rotten Tomatoes’ critics consensus

 



PERPETUAL GRACE, LTD S1
First on Showmax. Binge from 1 November 2019

This 10-episode modern noir drama follows a young grifter, James (Emmy nominee Jimmi Simpson from Westworld, Black Mirror and House of Cards), as he attempts to prey upon Pastor Byron Brown (Oscar winner Sir Ben Kingsley). But the pastor and his wife Lillian (Oscar nominee Jacki Weaver from Silver Linings Playbook) – known to their parishioners as Pa and Ma – turn out to be far more dangerous than he suspects…

:: 92% critics rating, Rotten Tomatoes
:: Kingsley is “my odds-on favourite to win the Emmy for best actor in 2020” – The Hollywood Reporter


THE DEUCE S3 – THE FINAL SEASON
First on Showmax. Binge from 1 November

Following the interconnected lives of Times Square’s barkeeps, prostitutes, pimps, police, mobsters, porn actors and producers, the eight-episode third season of The Deuce brings the series to a dramatic conclusion. It’s 1985 and VHS has just overtaken film as the primary medium for porn production and distribution, while the lure of the California sunshine, the city’s aggressive takeover of commercial sex properties in Times Square, and the devastating impact of the AIDS epidemic mark the end of an era… Maggie Gyllenhaal (Golden Globe nominee for Season 1 and Critic’s Choice nominee for Season 2 of the series) returns as Candy, a porn director struggling to maintain her artistic integrity in an industry that is quickly devolving.

:: 94% critics rating, Rotten Tomatoes
:: 8.1/10, IMDB
:: From The Wire creators George Pelecanos and David Simon

 

THE GOOD FIGHT – SEASON 3
Binge from 1 November

Missing The Good Wife? Thankfully Diane Lockhart (Christine Baranski in an Emmy-nominated role) and Lucca Quinn (Cush Jumbo in a Critics Choice nominated role) are back in the sequel, The Good Fight, which picks up a year later as a financial scam wipes out Diane’s life savings, and good reputation, forcing her to start from scratch at a historically black law firm, Reddick, Boseman, & Kolstad. Look out for a host of familiar faces from The Good Wife, including Kurt McVeigh (Emmy nominee Gary Steele), Marissa Gold (Sarah Steele) and Julius Cain (Michael Boatman), alongside the likes of Emmy winner Audra McDonald (Private Practice), Screen Actors Guild nominees Rose Leslie (Game of Thrones) and Delroy Lindo (Get Shorty), and Golden Globe nominees Michael Sheen (Masters of Sex) and Matthew Perry (aka Chandler from Friends).

:: #27 on Rotten Tomatoes’ list of the Best TV Shows of 2019 So Far
:: “Pulls no punches… One of the best dramas on TV.” Rotten Tomatoes
:: Critics Choice nominee for Best Drama Series at the 2019 Broadcast Film Critics Association Awards
:: Nominated for Outstanding Achievement in Drama and Outstanding Individual Achievement In Drama (Christine Baranski) at the 2019 Television Critics Association Awards

:: Two-time Emmy nominee

 

CATCH-22 S1
Binge from 1 November

Based on the classic Joseph Heller novel, Catch-22 follows the adventures and misadventures of a US air squadron in Italy in World War II. Christopher Abbott (The Sinner, Girls) is Yossarian, a bombardier, whose frantic obsession every time he goes up on a mission is “to come down alive”. His odds of success at such a simple aim keep getting worse, because Colonel Cathcart (Emmy winner Kyle Chandler from Friday Night Lights and Bloodline) keeps raising the number of missions the men have to fly. More than the retreating Germans, the real enemy for Yossarian and his rag-tag bunch of friends is the bureaucracy of the military, inverting logic at every turn. The pinnacle of this is Catch-22, a military by-law which states that if you willingly fly your missions, you’re crazy, and don’t have to fly them; all you have to do is ask. But if you ask, that proves you’re sane, and so you have to fly them. Oscar winner George Clooney stars as the barking mad, parade-obsessed Scheisskopf and  Golden Globe winner Hugh Laurie (House M.D.) is the mellow, slightly checked-out Major de Coverley.

:: #52 on Rotten Tomatoes’ list of the Best TV Shows of 2019 So Far
:: Nominated for two Emmys, 2019




WATCHMEN S1
Same time as M-Net. New episodes Mondays at 21:00 from 4 November

Inspired by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ iconic DC graphic novel, Watchmen is set in an alternate history where masked vigilantes are treated as outlaws. Oscar, Golden Globe and Emmy winner Regina King (If Beale Street Could Talk, Seven Seconds) leads a strong cast as Angela Abar, alongside the likes of Oscar winners Jeremy Irons and Louis Gossett Junior, Golden Globe winner Don Johnson, Tim Blake Nelson (Oh Brother Where Art Thou), Yahya Abdul-Mateen II (Aquaman) and Adelaide Clemens (The Great Gatsby). The series is created by Emmy winner Damon Lindelof (Lost, The Leftovers), with Andrij Parekh (Succession), Nicole Kassell (The Following), Emmy nominee Stephen Williams (Westworld) and Oscar nominee Steph Green (The Americans) among the directors.

:: Over 11m YouTube views for the two trailers released so far




HIS DARK MATERIALS S1
First On Showmax. New episodes weekly, express from the US, from 6 November

Lyra’s search for a kidnapped friend uncovers a sinister plot involving stolen children, setting off a quest through parallel worlds to understand a mysterious phenomenon called Dust. The fantasy’s cast includes child stars Dafne Keen and Amir Wilson as Lyra and Will, supported by Golden Globe winner Ruth Wilson (The Affair, Luther), Golden Globe nominee James McAvoy (X-Men), and BAFTA winner Helen McCrory (Harry Potter, The Queen). Oscar winner Tom Hooper (The King’s Speech) is one of the directors.

:: Based on author Philip Pullman’s award-winning trilogy of the same name
:: Over 7m YouTube views for the two trailers released so far



GOOD TROUBLE S2

First on Showmax. Binge from 2 December

A spinoff from the multi-award-winning The Fosters, Good Trouble explores the trials and tribulations of the tenants of Downtown LA’s hippest residence, The Coterie. This season, Mariana (Cierra Ramirez), Callie (Maia Mitchell) and the rest of The Coterie crew will continue to navigate their early twenties as they deal with breakups, demand equality, find happiness and discover what it means to fight for what you believe in.

:: Nominated for three 2019 Teen Choice Awards: Drama and Best Actress (both Cierra Ramirez and Maia Mitchell)

:: 100% critics rating, Rotten Tomatoes



THE RIGHTEOUS GEMSTONES S1

First on Showmax. Binge from 2 December

The Righteous Gemstones tells the story of a world-famous televangelist family with a long tradition of deviance, greed and charitable work. Creator Danny McBride (Vice Principals, Eastbound & Down) stars as Jesse Gemstone, the eldest of three grown Gemstone offspring, who looks to lead in his father’s footsteps, but finds his past sins jeopardising the family ministry. Golden Globe winner John Goodman stars alongside Teen Choice and MTV Movie Awards winner Adam Devine (Pitch Perfect, Modern Family) and Emmy nominee Walton Goggins (Justified).

:: #12, Most Popular TV Shows, IMDB
:: 8.1/10, IMDB
:: Just renewed for a second season

 



SILICON VALLEY S6 – THE FINAL SEASON

First on Showmax. Binge from 9 December

A collaboration between Mike Judge (Beavis and Butthead) and Alec Berg (Barry), Silicon Valley takes a comedic look at the modern-day epicentre of the high-tech gold rush, where the people most qualified to succeed are the least capable of handling success. Thomas Middleditch stars in an Emmy-nominated role as Richard Hendricks, a Silicon Valley engineer trying to build his own company called Pied Piper.

:: #185, Top Rated TV of All Time, IMDB
:: Two-time Golden Globe nominee for Best TV Comedy or Musical
:: Winner of two Emmys, with a further 35 nominations
:: 8.5/10, IMDB | 94% critics rating, Rotten Tomatoes

 



MRS. FLETCHER S1

First on Showmax. Binge from 13 December

Starring Emmy nominee Kathryn Hahn (Transparent) in the title role, Mrs. Fletcher is a seven-part series based on the bestselling novel of the same name by Tom Perrotta (The Leftovers, Little Children). The series is a dual coming-of-age story chronicling the personal and sexual journeys of an empty-nest mother and her college freshman son, who both embrace their newfound freedom with mixed results. South African Liesl Tommy (Insecure, The Walking Dead, Jessica Jones) is part of the all-female directing team, which also includes Oscar nominee Nicole Holofcener (Orange Is The New Black), nine-time Emmy nominee Carrie Brownstein (Portlandia, Transparent) and Gillian Robespierre (Silicon Valley).

:: Premiered at Toronto Film Festival 2019
:: “I could watch 100 episodes of Mrs. Fletcher… A smart, thoughtful, and hopelessly addictive adaptation… Ultra-charming.” Indiewire

 

 

 

VIDA S1-2
First on Showmax. Binge from 2 January 2019 

This half-hour drama focuses on two Mexican-American sisters from the East Side of Los Angeles who couldn’t be more different or distanced from each other. Circumstances force them to return to their old neighbourhood, where they are confronted by the past and the discovery that their deceased mother was in a lesbian marriage.

:: 100% critics rating, Rotten Tomatoes
:: Audience Award winner, SXSW, 2018
:: Over 6m YouTube views for its trailer

BUT WAIT THERE’S MORE…

Sweetbitter S2– Restaurant drama | 83% critics score, 92% audience score, Rotten Tomatoes | First On Showmax; due 1 October 2019
Sons of Anarchy S1-7 | Motorbike drama | #200, Top Rated TV of All Times, Rotten Tomatoes | Due 1 October 2019

The Twilight Zone S1 – Sci-fi | Kumail Nanjiani is up for Outstanding Guest Actor at the 2019 Emmys – Same time as M-Net; new episodes every Friday from 11 October 2019
South Park S23 – Animated comedy | #90, Top Rated TV of All Time, IMDB – New episodes every Monday from 21 October 2019

The Passage S1 – Apocalyptic horror | Based on Justin Cronin’s bestselling novel – First On Showmax; due 1 November 2019
New Girl S1-7 – Comedy | Five-time Golden Globe nominee – Due 1 November 2019
Lost S1-6 – Fantasy | Winner of 109 awards  – Due 2 December 2019
Glee 1-6 – Musical | Winner of four Golden Globes – Due 2 December 2019
Scrubs 1-9 – Medical comedy | Three-time Golden Globe nominee | Due 2 December 2019
Bless This Mess S1 | Comedy | Starring Dax Shepard & Lake Bell; 82% critics rating, Rotten Tomatoes | First On Showmax, due 6 December 2019

 

These are just a sample of what’s to come; more titles will be confirmed soon. Please note this release schedule is subject to change.

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Apple today introduced the new seventh-generation iPad, bringing more screen area and support for the full-sized Smart Keyboard1 to its most popular and most affordable iPad. Starting at just $329, the upgraded iPad features a stunning 10.2-inch Retina display and the latest innovations including Apple Pencil2 support, the fast A10 Fusion chip, advanced cameras and sensors, unmatched portability and connectivity, ease of use and great all-day battery life.The new iPad is available to order starting today and in stores starting Monday, September 30.

 

“The new iPad packs even more value into our most popular and affordable iPad model featuring a bigger 10.2-inch Retina display, support for Apple Pencil and for the first time, the full-size Smart Keyboard,” said Greg Joswiak, Apple’s vice president of Product Marketing. “The new iPad was built to run iPadOS, which introduces powerful new ways to multitask, manage and mark up documents, use Apple Pencil and view more information at a glance on a redesigned Home screen. This new iPad with iPadOS takes everything people love about our most popular iPad and makes it even better for creating, learning, working and playing.”

 

 

Bigger Display in a Powerful and Portable Design

The new 10.2-inch Retina display iPad has nearly 3.5 million pixels and a wide viewing angle making it a vivid canvas for creative expression and perfect for immersive augmented reality (AR) experiences that take advantage of its enhanced cameras and advanced sensors. Featuring the powerful A10 Fusion chip, the new seventh-generation iPad brings up to two times faster performance over the top-selling Windows PC4 for powerful multitasking and smooth gameplay in Apple Arcade.
Designed to be ultra-portable and durable, iPad weighs about one pound and for the first time features an enclosure made from 100 percent recycled aluminium with the same strength, durability and beautiful finish as the aluminium in all Apple products.5 Staying connected is easy on iPad with ultra-fast wireless performance and support for Gigabit-class LTE connectivity — delivering three times faster6 cellular data connections.7 With Touch ID, unlocking iPad is simple and secure using just a finger, to keep important information safe.

A New iPad Experience with iPadOS

iPadOS brings powerful new capabilities and intuitive features designed for the unique experience of iPad. A redesigned Home screen shows more apps on each page and the Today View can now be added, allowing quick access to widgets for at-a-glance information including news headlines, weather and calendar events. Working with multiple files and documents from the same app is now easier on iPad with updates to Split View, as well as switching between multiple apps using Slide Over.
The must-have Apple Pencil opens up new ways to be creative and more productive and is even more integrated into the iPad experience. Customers can now mark up and send entire webpages or documents by simply swiping Apple Pencil from the bottom corner of the screen, and a redesigned tool palette gives easier access to useful tools, colours and shapes.
Managing documents in the Files app with iPadOS gets even more powerful with support for external USB drives and file servers. Safari brings desktop-class browsing to iPad so users always get the website best optimised for iPad, as well as support for popular web apps like Squarespace and Google Docs. For additional information on iPadOS features, including Dark Mode, custom fonts and working with Photos, visit apple.com/ipados.
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Available on the Apple TV App Worldwide, Apple TV+ Will Be $4.99 per Month

 

Apple today announced Apple TV+, the first all-original video subscription service and home for today’s most imaginative storytellers, will launch November 1 in over 100 countries and regions. Apple TV+ will offer a powerful and inspiring lineup of original shows, movies and documentaries, including “The Morning Show,” “Dickinson,” “See,” “For All Mankind” and “The Elephant Queen.” The service will be available on the Apple TV app on iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, iPod touch, Mac and other platforms, including online at tv.apple.com, for $4.99 per month with a seven-day free trial. Starting today, customers who purchase any iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, iPod touch or Mac can enjoy one year of Apple TV+ for free. Through Family Sharing, up to six family members can share one Apple TV+ subscription.
“With Apple TV+, we are presenting all-original stories from the best, brightest and most creative minds, and we know viewers will find their new favourite show or movie on our service,” said Zack Van Amburg, Apple’s head of Worldwide Video. “Each Apple TV+ original offers its own unique story, fresh perspective and powerful message — all meant to entertain, connect and inspire cultural conversations.”
“Apple TV+ is an unprecedented global video service with an all-original slate,” said Jamie Erlicht, Apple’s head of Worldwide Video. “We look forward to giving audiences everywhere the opportunity to enjoy these compelling stories within a rich, personalised experience on all the screens they love.”

All-New, Exclusive Originals

These Apple TV+ originals from the world’s most celebrated creative artists will debut on the Apple TV app on November 1:
  • See,” an epic drama starring Jason Momoa and Alfre Woodard, is set 600 years in the future after a virus has decimated humankind and rendered the remaining population blind. When all humanity has lost the sense of sight, humans must adapt and find new ways to survive.
  • The Morning Show,” a cutthroat drama starring and executive produced by Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston, and starring Steve Carell, explores the world of morning news and the ego, ambition and the misguided search for power behind the people who help America wake up in the morning.
  • Dickinson,” a darkly comedic coming-of-age story, explores the constraints of society, gender and family through the lens of rebellious young poet, Emily Dickinson.
  • For All Mankind,” a new series from Ronald D. Moore, imagines what would have happened if the global space race never ended and the space program remained the cultural centrepiece of America’s hopes and dreams.
    • Helpsters,” a new children’s series from the makers of “Sesame Street,” stars Cody and a team of vibrant monsters who love to help solve problems. It all starts with a plan.
    • Snoopy in Space,” a new original from Peanuts Worldwide and DHX Media, takes viewers on a journey with Snoopy as he follows his dreams to become an astronaut. Together, Snoopy, Charlie Brown and the Peanuts crew take command of the International Space Station and explore the moon and beyond.
    • Ghostwriter,” a reinvention of the beloved original series, follows four kids who are brought together by a mysterious ghost in a neighbourhood bookstore, and must team up to release fictional characters from works of literature.
    • The Elephant Queen,” an acclaimed documentary film and cinematic love letter to a species on the verge of extinction, follows a majestic matriarch elephant and her herd on an epic journey of life, loss and homecoming.
    • Oprah Winfrey joins the world’s most compelling authors in conversation as she builds a vibrant, global book club community and other projects to connect with people around the world and share meaningful ways to create positive change.
    • More Apple TV+ originals will be added to the Apple TV app each month, including:
      • Servant,” a new psychological thriller from M. Night Shyamalan, follows a Philadelphia couple in mourning after an unspeakable tragedy creates a rift in their marriage and opens the door for a mysterious force to enter their home.
      • Truth Be Told,” a gripping new series starring Academy Award winner Octavia Spencer and Emmy Award winner Aaron Paul, explores America’s obsession with true crime podcasts and navigates urgent concerns about privacy, media and race.
      • Little America,” inspired by the true stories featured in Epic Magazine, brings to life the funny, romantic, heartfelt, inspiring and surprising stories of immigrants in America.
      • The Banker,” a feature film inspired by a true story, stars Anthony Mackie and Samuel L. Jackson as two African American entrepreneurs who try to circumvent the racial limitations of the 1950s and quietly provide housing loans to the African American community in Jim Crow Texas. Nia Long and Nicholas Hoult also star.
      • Hala,” a feature film and official selection of the 2019 Sundance Film Festival and 2019 Toronto International Film Festival, follows a high school senior struggling to balance being a suburban teenager with her traditional Muslim upbringing.

       

     

Starting today, viewers can watch trailers and add Apple TV+ series and movies to Up Next on the Apple TV app, so they can be notified when the first episodes become available. At launch, most Apple TV+ series will premiere with three episodes, with one new episode to roll out each week, while full seasons of some series will be available all at once.
Audiences worldwide can enjoy Apple TV+ originals subtitled and/or dubbed in nearly 40 languages, including Subtitles for the Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing (SDH) or closed captions. Apple TV+ series and movies will also be available with audio descriptions in eight languages.
Apple TV+ is one of Apple’s newest services, joining Apple Arcade, the world’s first game subscription service featuring over 100 new and exclusive games; Apple News+, which brings together over 300 magazines, newspapers and digital publishers within the Apple News app; Apple Music, the home of over 50 million songs, thousands of playlists and daily selections from the world’s best music experts; Apple Card, a new kind of credit card created by Apple and designed to help customers lead a healthier financial life; Apple Pay, the most popular mobile contactless payment system in the world that gives customers an easy, secure and private way to pay using their Apple devices; as well as the App Store and iCloud.
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