The market is flooded with various monitors, each available in different sizes and offering different refresh rates and aspect ratios. FRANCOIS RHEEDERS, Product Manager at Rectron, discusses what to consider when buying a monitor.
With the rise in mobile devices such as tablets, smart phones and phablets, as well as the ever-increasing Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) trend, I’m often asked about the relevance of desktop monitors. I firmly believe that monitors remain irreplaceable; as long as there is a demand to consume content via mobile device, there is a need to create that content somewhere. And of course, there’s a very real space for monitors whether you’re a serious gamer or even a businessperson who needs to work on something a bit larger than a tablet screen. So, what should you be looking for in a monitor to make it a valuable and necessary addition to your tech devices?
Form follows function
The most important part of your decision is defining what you want to use your monitor for, and then narrowing your search options accordingly. Certainly considerations like size, resolution, connections, incorporated audio, refresh rate, dot pitch, blur reduction, black enhancement (I could go on) may seem daunting, which is why it’s so important to find a reseller who is well-versed in finding the best fit for you.
The optimal gaming experience
When it comes to best fit for your gaming experience, think about what kind of games you play. If you’re a racing fan, you may want the immersive experience a large, curved monitor offers; on the other hand, if you prefer shooting games you may favour the fast output of a 144Hz monitor. Generally, when it comes to gaming monitors, you need one that can optimally display your graphics output. If you invest in a high-end graphics card, you want to be able to see the great new resolutions it offers.
Along with graphics, you also need to consider the response time and refresh rate of your monitor, which can range from 60Hz to as much as 200Hz now.
And lastly, think about the size of your monitor. Perhaps “size does matter” to you, but be aware that large monitors tend to have a trade-off on pixel density, or come at a greater cost to give you the desired resolution along with size.
The right monitor for your job
Moving from pleasure to business, there is also still a clear role for monitors in the workplace. Despite BYOD, many people still enjoy the option of plugging into a docking station. For example, I like to work on a wide screen or two in order to maximise the window space I have. I care less about resolution as long as I can fit as much as possible on the screen. Alternatively, you could be a graphic designer who needs the great colour replication that comes with the IPS panels, not to mention a large resolution and screen size too. Either way, a mobile device just isn’t going to cut it.
Getting from point A to point B in style
With all that said, I’m still seeing the trend for price to determine which monitors are purchased for both the home and the office. And size still wins over resolution locally, regardless of resolution or refresh rate.To this I say, any car can get you from point A to point B, but your experience will differ significantly whether you choose a 4X4 or a racing car. So it all comes down to your needs and expectations. But either way, just like cars on our busy South African streets, I don’t see monitors disappearing any time soon.
Prepare for Digital TV migration
The deadline for the digital migration is fast approaching. JACQUES BENTLEY, Skyworth Southern Africa Sales Manager, lets us know what we can expect.
By now you’ve probably heard about the impending digital migration for South African broadcasting. Initially, this shift from old-school, analogue technology to newer, more efficient digital technology was set to take place in 2015 but the deadline for a national migration has been pushed out several times. With our neighbours Namibia and Botswana blazing ahead with their own digital transformations, the pressure is on for our own government to push forward to a fully digital South Africa.
But what does this overdue switch really mean for you and me?
What is digital migration?
Basically, the process involves moving over from an analogue transmission to a Digital Terrestrial Television/Transmission (DTT). We currently use analogue technology, transmitting video and audio through analogue signals. The drawback of this traditional broadcasting format is that the colours, sound and brightness are heavily impacted by the quality of the signal, resulting in a less-than-ideal snowy effect, and your TV deciding to randomly fade or ghost.
Digital TV, on the other hand, boasts crystal-clear image quality and excellent sound without interference because of its land-based network of TV transmitters that broadcast digital signals. This kind of technology also allows viewers to access a wider range of channels with different programmes.
Why is it happening?
Apart from the fact that everyone wants clearer sound, more channels and an enhanced viewing experience, the conversion to digital TV also has a far-reaching goal that ultimately
aids developing nations like our own. According to the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), the objective of Broadcast Digital Transition (BDT) work is to help developing countries with their smooth journey from analogue to digital broadcasting, including terrestrial TV, mobile TV and sound broadcasting. In turn, this means that we can enjoy new broadcasting services as well as an allocation of the digital dividend.
When is it taking place?
June 2019 is D-Day for all countries to have completed their digital migration. Our Communications department is determined to meet this international deadline and has implemented a specific DTT war room to ensure that all the boxes are ticked, and they can deliver on time.
The first province to undergo the digital migration was the Free State back in August, where digital Set-Top Boxes (STBs) were launched in Senekal. Essentially, STBs decode digital signals for old, box-style TV sets and the government aims to distribute these devices to about 5-million poor households, so that all citizens can enjoy prime TV, despite their financial situation. In fact, Skyworth is one of the chosen suppliers of these set-top boxes and is proud to be a core part of an all-inclusive transition to digital.
What can you do about it?
While the government has agreed to subsidise cash-strapped consumers with STBs, the only guarantee is that the digital migration is upon us and it is our responsibility to digitally transform our homes in order to meet the requirements. This means that you’ll either need to invest in a digital-ready TV or purchase your own STB to work with your current TV’s analogue signal. Whichever route you decide to go, you can look forward to exceptional viewing entertainment in the comfort of your own home.
5 things you should ask about buying a new TV
With so many technological advancements that cater to various needs, and endless options on the market, buying a new TV for your home can be pretty daunting. JACQUES BENTLEY, Southern African Sales Manager at Skyworth, offers a few tips when buying a new TV.
Given the role a TV occupies in the home – providing entertainment, relaxation and a window to the world for the whole family – it’s not a purchasing decision to be made lightly. Not to mention the fact that you’re likely to spend a rather large sum of hard-earned dough in the process. Fear not – we’re here to help you decide. Here are five important things to think about before you swipe that plastic to ensure your new TV will bring nothing but joy into your home (ok, and maybe a couple of disagreements on what to watch).
- Size matters
If you’re a fan of action-packed movies or nail-biting sporting events, you already know how important the size of the screen is. Consider the space into which your new TV will fit, and take measurements of the wall area or cabinet it’s going to sit on to make sure that you’re being practical about its size. How many people will be watching the TV at the same time? Now opt for the largest screen size that will fit comfortably in your lounge (and your budget). Generally, anything between 55 and 65 inches is a great all-round pick according to price, performance and how close most families sit to the TV.
- Is it digital-ready?
South Africa’s digital migration is upon us and by June 2019, you’ll either need a digital-ready TV that can transmit digital signals or a Set-Top Box to decode digital signals for your old, box-style analogue TV set. The benefits of investing in a digital TV include crystal-clear image quality, excellent sound and a wider range of channels. Ask the sales assistant to show you their range of digital ready TVs when making your selection.
- Does it have a 4K screen resolution?
Resolution refers to the sharpness of the TV picture, usually in terms of horizontal lines of pixels. Ultra HD/ 4K sets have four times more pixels than current Full HD screens. That’s as many as 2 160 horizontal lines, or 3 840 x 2 160 pixels. The result? Super-sharp, detailed and lifelike images, even on large screen sizes. For this reason, a 4K resolution is becoming increasingly popular because it’s a much better choice if you want to future-proof your investment – Skyworth’s G6 model was created with this in mind; it’s basically an Android TV made for the future.
- What will you be using your TV for?
Apart from the obvious activity of chilling out to watch your favourite shows, what else do you want to be able to do with your TV? Will your kids be using it to play games? Will you be streaming shows on it? All of these preferences will impact the specific features that will attract you to buy a certain model over another one, so it’s wise to do your research, either online or in store, before you say ‘yes’ to the device. Also, look out for at least four HDMI ports at the back of the set as these tend to get used up very quickly, especially if you are using accessories like a sound bar.
- Does it include cutting-edge technology?
From Google Voice Assist, allowing you to speak to your TV, to rich connectivity via Bluetooth, selecting a TV that has advanced capabilities makes for a smarter TV and one you aren’t likely to need to replace in a few years’ time. With Android System 6.0, an easily updatable operating system, the G6 TV is your best bet when it comes to constantly upgrading your TV without forking out money every time.