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CES 2016: Opera TV 2.0 debuts

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Smart TV, Blu-ray Disc player and set-top-box manufacturers will now be able to offer their viewers an interactive content discovery experience with Opera TV 2.0, which made its debut at the International Consumer Electronics Show last week.

The new Opera TV 2.0 brings video content to the forefront, offering greater content personalization and an enhanced understanding of consumer preferences. The next generation of this popular HTML5-based application platform provides a tailored consumer viewing experience that also creates new after-sale revenue opportunities for manufacturers and operators.

“Consumers today want a dedicated video experience where app content is delivered to them based on their preferences, location, language, and what content is new,” says Aneesh Rajaram, Senior Vice President for TV & Devices at Opera. “Opera TV is a turn-key, Smart TV solution with a truly global footprint. We’ve made it simple for operators and OEMs to deploy, allowing them to easily differentiate and monetize personalized content offerings, and allowing content owners and publishers to bring their content to the top of the consumer experience, increasing user engagement through fresh content.”

Opera TV 2.0 is a managed cloud solution that provides a wide selection of popular OTT content – including video channels and clips, movies, apps, games and live TV from sources such as CinemaNow,  Crackle, IGN, Feeln, Pitbull, Paula Deen, Red Bull, TED, Washington Post and Young Hollywood, among others – directly to households. A new user interface (UI) organizes recommended, trending and most popular HD movies, videos and channels into neat rows, incorporating Opera curation for increased user engagement. This UI can be customized for increased viewer stickiness, with curation and promotional scheduling system tools in place for enhanced personalization.

Enhancing the HD viewing experience, Opera TV 2.0 allows consumers to engage, favorite and enjoy HD content on their biggest screens. In addition to prioritizing content at the top of the consumer experience, the entire solution is built on top of our backbone of over 800 apps in categories such as Lifestyle, Music, Kids, Nature and Travel, News and Weather, Sports, Social, Internet TV, and as well as many more. A Games section allows easy access to games developed using HTML5 and hosted in the cloud. Universal search across all sections simplifies user discovery, allowing them to enjoy the extensive portfolio by searching for specific terms or accessing trending keywords. With the emphasis on a “lean back” experience, consumers can use a standard TV remote control to navigate, select and launch content. They can also favorite and follow the channels they are most interested in.

Monetization opportunities and billing support

Opera TV 2.0 creates a hybrid approach to content discovery that enables increased consumer engagement across all touch points of the OTT platform. This capability opens up new after-sale revenue opportunities based on the content consumers view, including advertising and billing capabilities.

Opera TV 2.0 comes with fully integrated support for video advertising. Built on Opera Mediaworks ad-serving and mediation platform, a robust and scalable advertising infrastructure used by more than 19,000 sites and apps across smartphones, tablets and connected TVs, and reaching 1.1 billion users worldwide. Content owners and manufacturers can rely on Opera’s fully managed monetization service, as well as leveraging the self-service tools for their directly sold campaigns. The Opera TV Ads SDK is a one-stop solution for placement of video advertising anywhere inside the device user interface, including targeting of users across apps and interactive advertising via linear broadcast, where available.

Opera TV 2.0 also simplifies billing support with the seamless integration of a PayPal-powered certified payment solution. Billing is integrated into the overall user experience, allowing consumers to purchase additional items or extend subscriptions within seconds. The solution supports multiple markets and currencies with account authentication done securely through a second screen. Premium content owners can also charge customers for premium content access through the billing API.

Opera TV 2.0 to premiere on Hisense Smart TVs 

Opera TV 2.0 is coming to Hisense Smart TVs in the first quarter of 2016. Hisense is the fourth-largest global TV manufacturer, and this recent integration extends a partnership begun in 2013.

“Hisense believes that technology should make what we want to do, where we want to go and what we want to learn easier,” says Charlie Wang, Vice President of Hisense Group. “Opera TV 2.0 maximizes the capabilities of today’s Smart TVs by delivering to consumer’s highly-customized content based on their viewing habits and preferences.”

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Future of TV in 4 letters

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Television technology has come a long way, transforming not just the way we consume our entertainment, but also the formats in which media is broadcasted or streamed. Today, TVs can do a lot more than just display our favourite shows, says DEAN DAFFUE, GTM manager at LG Electronics SA.

Today, consumers demand TVs that are not just slim, but so thin that they are like paintings on walls. TVs have become an element of décor that can seamlessly integrate into the design of a home, and render the clearest, sharpest images, with the deepest blacks and crispest whites without compromising on resolution. Home cinema is not just about the picture anymore. Consumers are eyeing TVs that would be able to learn usage patterns and automatically suggest entertainment based on individual preferences. The switch from LCD to LED transformed TV design, allowing for lighter, thinner and easily wall-mountable frames, housing even more sophisticated display tech. The picture quality also dramatically improved with new contrast ratios rendering more vivid colours, deeper blacks and crisper whites. But they were still more functional than aesthetic.

As larger segments of the population embraced internet connectivity and streaming content, the TV became smarter, integrating content-streaming apps for a more seamless viewing experience. As Internet Service Providers (ISPs) upgraded their infrastructures to accommodate the growth in streaming services, TV manufacturers also upgraded their TVs’ ability to tap into different types of content.

In the future, TVs with built in Artificial Intelligence (AI) will be able to learn usage patterns and automatically switch modes based on user preference, and even take instructions from multiple users as TVs become increasingly connected to digital home assistant systems.

Six years on, and we see the evolution that continues to lead in the OLED TV market, LG is racking up awards and accolades for its innovative OLED TVs. This pioneering effort in the design and manufacturing of OLED TVs has culminated in complete dominance of the OLED market, leaving the pinnacle challenge of innovation in display technology, redefining the TV viewing experience, and its place in your home. Great efforts have been made on OLED technology being affordable and accessible, allowing more people to enjoy a better-quality television experience than before. No TV is a greater testament to this than last year’s award-winning LG SIGNATURE W7 – also known as wallpaper.

As South Africans are continuously looking for ‘an experience that amazes’, OLED TVs are considered by industry experts to offer the most advanced display technology. As each pixel on the display can be individually switched on and off, OLED offers enhanced picture quality without image degradation. This results in the highest quality image rendering with the purest blacks. With its myriad advantages, OLED panels have become the most desired display technology today and it has become a leading force in making this technology even more ubiquitous and accessible.

With support for both Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos, LG OLED TV is the first of its kind to offer a premium cinema experience in the comfort of your home. It also features Active HDR technology, which optimises HDR picture quality scene-by-scene, rendering brighter scenes and greater shadow detail for a life-like viewing experience.

Despite the market dominance, the development of newer, more innovative technologies does not stop. This year a staggering number of innovative display technologies were unveiled, such as future display technology like roll-able OLED screens and large format curved displays that will become the future of wall art.

AI is also set to make an appearance. There is a unique and personalised AI services built on the deep learning-based DeepThinQ technology, in cooperation with other AI service providers such as Google, giving AI TVs the ability to automatically adjust the settings to Game Mode, or Sports Mode based on whether a user is currently playing Xbox or watching a football match. Ultimately, AI TV will provide care and comfort to users’ mind and body by learning more about its users’ viewing habits.

What does this all mean for consumers? With continued innovation and development of display technologies, as well as advanced design, AI, premium audio integration and support for the latest resolutions, colour and High Dynamic Range (HDR) standards, the TV will no longer be a display, but a complete home viewing experience. This is what new ranges of OLED TVs will bring to fruition in the coming months, making it the ideal time to upgrade your TV to the ultimate home entertainment experience.

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Game of screens

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When it comes to the ultimate home entertainment experience, what you watch is just as important as how you watch it. With streaming services like Netflix keeping people glued to their screens people are paying a lot more attention to the overall home viewing experience.

Flat panel TV screens have long been favoured as the most cost-efficient and appropriate option for everyday home entertainment. However, more and more people are investing in projectors and fully kitted-out home theatre systems to enhance the experience, as proven by the 28% global market growth of home-used projectors over the past five years. However, choosing between the myriad of options on the market today can be challenging.

Money matters

When it comes to affordability, TVs are certainly becoming more accessible than ever. Where plasma screens were once the talk of the town, and features like HD quality and larger screen size only added more zeroes to the price, today’s LED and OLED models are far more accessible and affordable for everyone – despite offering even more technologically advanced features, which is the biggest reason why people generally opt for TVs.

However, projectors have become more affordable too, and are just as easy to use. The cutting-edge models available now are a far cry from the clunky ones with poor display quality of the previous tech era. For instance, the full HD Epson TW-600 series offers everything you would expect from high-end projectors – three-times brighter, crystal clear display thanks to 3LCD technology, built-in Wi-Fi, 11 years of lamp life and a great warranty offer – at a much more attractive price point compared to other projectors on the market. Unlike TVs, however, the projectors offer an immersive, real-life experience that TVs simply can’t match.

Screen size and quality

While the cost is almost always the first factor that people consider when purchasing a home entertainment system, factors like quality and screen size are often a close second and third.

On the one hand, LED TVs are great all-rounders for sport, movies, normal TV and gaming, and offer pretty much all the average person needs in terms of a home viewing experience that ranges from adequate to impressive. There are a variety of LED TV models currently on the market that offer great resolutions and good contrast ratios, but TV screens are still limited in terms of size, which impacts the overall viewing experience.

Projectors offer all the benefits of an LED TV with the added benefit of a huge, movie-theatre like screen to enjoy in the comfort of your home. Projectors are also capable of projecting high definition content onto a surface of anywhere from 30 inches right up to 300 inches, allowing you to choose your screen size depending on your requirements.

In terms of quality, 3LCD technology, as offered by world-leading technology brand Epson, is the most popular projector technology available on the market making up more than 69% of all projectors sold worldwide. This technology offers a clearer, crisper image, showing more detail while allowing for smoother motion on-screen and more vibrant, differentiated colours.

Choosing the best screen option for your dream home theatre setup is a decision that’s best made after careful consideration of the options that are currently available. And while the average flat panel TV screen display has certainly improved over the years in terms of technology and affordability, projection technology is cutting edge, and these nifty devices are now more accessible and desirable than ever.

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