SPI International / FILMBOX Channels Group unveils an Ultra HD on-demand streaming app on Amazon Fire TV and replaces the FUNBOX 4K/UHD demo loop on Eutelsat’s HOT BIRD satellite with a full-fledged channel – the global TV operator announced today.
FUNBOX 4K/UHD – new application launched on Amazon Fire TV
FUNBOX 4K/UHD online streaming service from SPI International has been successfully launched on Amazon Fire TV, allowing users with UHD-supported TV sets to enjoy an on-demand library of native UHD programming which features documentaries, arts/culture, sports and lifestyle content in Ultra High Definition. Amazon Fire TV is currently available in the US, the UK, Germany, Austria and Japan.
FUNBOX 4K/UHD is an on-demand streaming application which SPI International developed to make the best quality UHD content available to the most innovative OTT platforms such as Amazon Fire TV. With the FUNBOX 4K/UHD app, the audience will receive more nuance and detail, exceptional contrast dynamics and extended colors - the best TV experience possible today.
This video app is based on a unique, emotionally appealing and intuitive video-based user interface developed by Munich’s studio COENO that lets the user dive into the high-resolution imagery right at the start of the app and while browsing through the video catalog.
FUNBOX 4K/UHD – from demo to full-fledged channel
Throughout the past year SPI offered a free-to-air demo version of FUNBOX 4K/UHD, however Eutelsat and SPI have recently switched from the demo loop to a full channel. FUNBOX will also start to be encrypted effective October 22nd. The full version of FUNBOX 4K/UHD features compelling prime time programming such as LA BOHEME – a cinematic opera captured in UHD and THE SEA CHEF – a documentary series hosted by Ángel León, a two-Michelin starred chef who goes for authentic sea flavor all over the coast of Spain. FUNBOX 4K/UHD also airs native UHD documentaries on nature, wildlife, human civilization, music videos and arts/culture content.
SPI’s Ultra HD channel offers plenty of entertainment value for a variety of audiences, allowing viewers to experience more nuance and detail, contrast dynamics and extended colors. FUNBOX 4K/UHD features new content shot in High Dynamic Range 4K. The HDR (High Dynamic Range) and WCG systems are the latest development of the UHD standard and they guarantee an extraordinary color depth as well as a never before seen strong contrast between the bright parts and the dark parts of the image.
“We are offering a truly unique app and a linear channel which attract subscribers because of the highest quality service,” says BerkUziyel, Executive Director at SPI International / FILMBOX Channels Group. “We have built our satellite distribution and broadcasting on Eutelsat and successfully launched our 4K app with Amazon. The channel is currently carried by operators in Portugal, Spain, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and also in Turkey,” Mr. Uziyel adds.
SPI International / FILMBOX Channels Group has acquired worldwide rights to eight episodes of Royal Jewellersseries andThe Barber of Seville opera captured in 4K Ultra HD. The new titles will boost 4K programming on SPI’s FUNBOX 4K/UHD channel.
The Royal Jewellers series features interviews with leading practitioners and conceptual artists from the jewellery/goldsmith world. It is the only program on the "Art of Haute Joillerie" which has visited the secret world and workshops of the most important jewellers in the world. Kostas Metaxas, the series producer, is not only a documentary filmmaker, but an artist who has consulted and worked personally with such jewellery titans as Robert Mouawad, Nick Paspaley, Laurence Graff, Maria Gaspari and BHP Billiton Diamonds.
The Barber of Seville, captured by DBW, is the first lyric opera to be shot in High Dynamic Range 4K. The HDR (High Dynamic Range) and WCG systems are the new development of the 4K standard and they are able to guarantee an extraordinary color depth as well as a never before seen strong contrast between the bright parts and the dark parts of the image. The production has been realized at the wonderful historic Teatro Regio in Turin with 8 shooting points. The Sony PMW-F55 cameras – in live setup and all equipped with 4K Prime Lenses optics – were adopted; the same cameras used by the director Jacques Audiard in his film Dheepan, Palme d’Or award winner at last edition of Cannes Film Festival.
The Barber of Seville is the second opera production in 4K which SPI acquired from DBW for FUNBOX 4K/UHD. Last year the company purchased worldwide rights to La Bohème, the famous opera by Giacomo Puccini.
"WE are very happy about this new second deal with SPI international for the FUNBOX 4K channel and we are looking forward for future cooperation with such a pioneering company,” said GIULIANO BERRETTA, President of DBW Communication. “DBW is very engaged in sports, culture and special events production using the most advanced technologies, particularly with UHD (4K) along with the most recent developments in High Frame Rate, High Dynamic Range and Wide Color Gamut," explained Mr. Berretta.
“We are thrilled to present this stunning cinematic opera in the Ultra HD resolution on our FUNBOX 4K UHD channel,” said Berk Uziyel, Executive Director for FilmBox International Ltd. “The Barber of Seville, shot entirely in high dynamic range 4K, as well as The Royal Jewellers series are exactly what will make watching our channel an unforgettable experience for the premium viewer who appreciates quality programs,” Mr. Uziyel added.
FUNBOX 4K/UHD is a premium, general entertainment TV channel which airs a mix of native 4K documentaries, performing arts programming, extreme adventure content as well as movies and TV series. The channel is broadcast from the Eutelsat’s HOT BIRD satellite.
SPI International is a member of the UHD Alliance, the inter-industry group charged with fostering the Ultra HD ecosystem and promoting the benefits of Ultra HD entertainment technology.
Eight channels from the SPI International / Filmbox portfolio will be distributed by Slovak Telekom’s IPTV, DTH, cable and OTT platforms including Digi Slovakia, Magio Sat and Magio IPTV.
Slovak Telekom’s Magio Sat has already launched Filmbox channels in their XL package while Magio IPTV will add the Filmbox Premium package in October. The channels which are being added are FilmBox, FilmBox Plus, FilmBox Family, FilmBox Extra HD, FilmBox Premium HD, DocuBox HD, Eroxxx HD and FightBox HD. Slovak Telekom’s customers may also enjoy these channels by subscribing to a separate package called Filmbox Premium.
The DTH platform Digi Slovakia has added six channels from SPI International/Filmbox to its offer. FilmBox, FilmBox Plus, FilmBox Family, FilmBox Extra HD, FightBox HD and Eroxxx HD have been included in a package Maxi. Digi Slovakia Cable will launch the same channel line up from SPI/Filmbox in their Maxi offer in October 2016.
“With this recent deal we have expanded our strategic relationship with Slovak Telekom and Digi Slovakia,” said Berk Uziyel, Executive Director of SPI International / Filmbox Channels Group. “Together with Slovak Telekom and Digi Sk we will deliver top quality content to all end users.”
SPI’s Filmbox channels have a very strong presence throughout the Czech Republic and Slovakia as they are now being carried by all providers/operators in both countries.
Filmbox movie channels offer a rich variety of blockbuster hits and popular TV series which SPI acquires from the most renowned U.S. and international suppliers such as Disney, NBCUniversal and BBC Worldwide.
Global TV operator SPI International has recently acquired 155 hours of HD documentary programming from the French distributor Terranoa.
SPI International / FILMBOX Channels Group operate 30+ TV networks in Europe, North America, LatAm, Asia, Africa and Australia offering viewers top quality HD content on various movie, documentary, lifestyle, sports and music channels.
The Terranoa package acquired by SPI comprises numerous documentary features and series covering travel and adventure, science and wildlife, lifestyle as well as history and arts. The deal includes worldwide rights to thirty nine 60-minute episodes of MISSION EXPLORATION - a travel series visiting 5 continents to discover different cultures and ways of live with popular hosts like the famous French chef Fred Chasneau. SPI’s channels will also air such series as SCIENCE ON THE EDGE, TRAVEL NOTEBOOKS, NOMAD’S LAND, I HAVE SEEN THE EARTH CHANGE and DESTINATION WILDERNESS.
“We are very glad to have acquired such an extensive and diverse package of doc programming from Terranoa as these shows are perfectly crafted for our documentary channel DocuBox HD,” said Revi Benshoshan, head of acquisitions for worldwide channels at SPI International. “SPI is always looking for high quality content with mass appeal and returning series. I’m so pleased to have completed this deal with Terranoa and look forward to nurturing this relationship further with even more great content,” she added.