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Samsung unveils SUHD line-up for SA

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Earlier this week, Samsung announced its line-up of SUHD TVs to the South African market, setting a new standard and elevating the viewing experience to new levels.

Samsung reserves the “S” identification for its most premium flagship products that signify a true leap forward in technology. As the leader in the industry, Samsung is excited to extend the prestigious “S” identification to its latest premium TV line, the SUHD TV. It is developed to excite all of the senses, with Sensational Picture, Seamless Interaction and a Stylish Curved design.

The development celebrates a major milestone in the UHD era, delivering on stunning contrast, striking brightness and spectacular colour. Its exciting features and various Smart functions, are powered by Tizen, giving viewers easy access to their favourite content.

“Our innovative heritage and spirit continue to push the boundaries of the home entertainment experience to new possibilities,” said Matthew Thackrah, Deputy Managing Director and Head of Consumer Electronics at Samsung Electronics SA. “Regardless of the content source, Samsung provides leading picture quality in the industry and will continue to do so with this latest innovation.

Introducing Unmatched Quality Viewing

The product utilises Samsung’s proprietary, eco-friendly nano-crystal technology, which provides viewers with 64 times more colour expression than conventional TVs. This is supported by the intelligent SUHD re-mastering engine, which automatically analyses the brightness of images to minimise additional power consumption while expressing ultimate contrast levels, producing images with much darker blacks and an elevated brightness 2.5 times brighter than usually.

Sophisticated and Improved Curved Designs

When Samsung introduced the curved form-factor in 2013, it dramatically improved the consumers’ engagement with the device. Taking cues from contemporary art and architecture, it was designed and enhanced with many modern and minimalist highlights.

Samsung SUHD TV (JS9500) features Samsung’s Chamfer bezel framework, adding more depth to the screen, with the elegant frame making the TV look like a piece of art when mounted on the wall. The soft, textured shirring pattern on the back ensures that the TV maintains its stylish edge from any angle, making it appear to display a soft, undulating fabric.

Tizen Redefines the Future Entertainment Experience

As of this year, all of Samsung’s Smart TVs, including the new SUHD, will be powered by Tizen, an open-source platform that supports web standards for app development. This allows for a multitude of new features, including a more intuitive UI (User Interface), more truly integrated entertainment experience and more ways to access content than ever before.

·         The new user interface for Samsung’s Smart Hub is more responsive and playful. The hub displays the most recently viewed content, so you can pick up right where you left off and it also gives users tailored recommendations for even more entertainment options.

·         With Quick Connect, Samsung smartphones are automatically recognised once paired via BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) technology. Consumers can share video content from their Samsung smartphone to their Smart TV with the press of a button. Users can also watch programmes from their mobile unit, without any apps or complicated pre-settings.

·         In order to address the needs of consumers in Africa, Samsung has partnered with eNCA to provide users with convenient access to local news and weather. To further showcase its commitment to diverse entertainment options, Samsung is working with SuperSport to give users access to sports highlights, live scores and player information across the continent. Samsung also offers ONTV, a premium lifestyle application for South Africa, which provides a variety of content, including magazines, vehicle and travel information as well as recipes in video format, sponsored by Raj and Robertson spices.

·         Samsung, in partnership with Times Media Group, will also launch VIDI, which gives users in South Africa access to blockbuster and catalogue movies as well as access to popular TV series. Movies are made available in line with DVD release.

·         Furthermore, Samsung has partnered with Vonetize to launch Aflix, offering access to top Hollywood movies, television series and other video entertainment to African consumers in 30 countries across the continent.

·         Consumers can now wake-up with Briefing on TV, which acts as an alarm by syncing with Samsung mobile products to turn on and display important items such as the time, weather and consumers’ schedules.

·         With all Samsung TVs poised to become part of the Internet of Things by 2017, Tizen’s compatibility with other devices establishes Samsung’s Smart TVs as the control centre of any Smart Home.

Thackrah concludes: “The introduction of SUHD TV, incorporating enhanced technology and various smart features, demonstrates our continued commitment to consistently deliver a superior home entertainment experience that truly meets the evolving needs of our consumers.”

Samsung will offer three new models, the JS9500, JS9000 and JS8500 – in seven screen sizes varying from 55” to 88”. The recommended retail price varies from R35 000 to R300 000 (model dependent).

 

* Follow Gadget on Twitter on @GadgetZA

Arts and Entertainment

The VPN path to Netflix

In January 2016, Netflix announced that they were expanding their global offerings. In one day, the company simultaneously launched in 130 new countries, bringing the total number of countries with access to the streaming service to 190.

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It was an announcement that was met with excitement; it meant that hundreds of countries that weren’t previously able to access any content from the streaming site would now have access. But it came with a catch: due to agreements with content owners, who license titles by region, not all Netflix libraries would be the same. So, while a multitude of countries now had access to the streaming service, content libraries could be extremely limited. For example, when Netflix launched in South Africa in 2016, users in the country only had access to 678 titles — a strong contrast to the then-U.S. library, which had over 5,600.

To get around limited content libraries, users took to using virtual private networks, or VPNs, which enable users to change their IP address to a different location, effectively tricking the streaming service into thinking they’re in a country with more titles. Shortly after the launch date, however, Netflix began clamping down on VPNs, implementing a VPN ban meant to stop users from circumventing the geo-blocks.

Today, two years after Netflix’s global expansion, users are still facing limited content libraries. According to Finder, in June of 2017 — more than a year after Netflix launched in South Africa — the country still didn’t have access to 93 percent of the titles in the United States. To access them, they now also have to get around the Netflix VPN ban, a tricky process that involves figuring out which VPN providers can still get access to the streaming site.

To help simplify the process, TheBestVPN tested 67 VPN providers to see which ones could still access Netflix, two years into the ban. View their findings, as well as an overview of the Netflix VPN ban and the best VPNs for accessing Netflix in 2018, in the full infographic below.

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Arts and Entertainment

Incredible animation landmark

The Walt Disney Company Africa is pleased to share that, in its sixth week of release, Disney•Pixar’s Incredibles 2 has become the biggest animated film of all time at the South African Box Office, with over R47.4 million and 676k attendances.

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Disney releases now account for 4 of the top 10 films of all time at the local Box Office, with 3 coming from 2018 alone, including Marvel Studios’ Black Panther and Avengers: Infinity War in number 1 and 2 positions respectively and Disney•Pixar’s Incredibles 2filling the 8th position. The 2015 release of Lucasfilm’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens currently sits in the 7th position.

Now in cinemas, Disney•Pixar’s Incredibles 2 sees Helen (voice of Holly Hunter) being called upon to lead a campaign to bring Supers back, while Bob (voice of Craig T. Nelson) navigates the day-to-day heroics of “normal” life at home with Violet (voice of Sarah Vowell), Dash (voice of Huck Milner) and baby Jack-Jack—whose superpowers are about to be discovered. Their mission is derailed, however, when a new villain emerges with a brilliant and dangerous plot that threatens everything. But the Parrs don’t shy away from a challenge, especially with Frozone (voice of Samuel L. Jackson) by their side. That’s what makes this family so Incredible. Incredibles 2 is written and directed by Brad Bird (“Iron Giant,” “The Incredibles,” “Ratatouille”) and produced by John Walker (“The Incredibles,” “Tomorrowland”) and Nicole Grindle (“Sanjay’s Super Team” short, “Toy Story 3” associate producer).

Also in cinemas is Marvel Studios’ Ant-Man and The Wasp, a new chapter featuring heroes with the astonishing ability to shrink. In the aftermath of Captain America: Civil War, Scott Lang grapples with the consequences of his choices as both a Super Hero and a father. As he struggles to rebalance his home life with his responsibilities as Ant-Man, he’s confronted by Hope van Dyne and Dr. Hank Pym with an urgent new mission. Scott must once again put on the suit and learn to fight alongside The Wasp as the team works together to uncover secrets from the past. Ant-Man and The Wasp is directed by Peyton Reed and stars Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Michael Peña, Walton Goggins, Bobby Cannavale, Judy Greer, Tip “T.I.” Harris, David Dastmalchian, Hannah John-Kamen, Abby Ryder Fortson, Randall Park, with Michelle Pfeiffer, with Laurence Fishburne, and Michael Douglas. Kevin Feige and Stephen Broussard are producing, with Louis D’Esposito, Victoria Alonso, Charles Newirth and Stan Lee serving as executive producers. Chris McKenna & Erik Sommers, Paul Rudd & Andrew Barrer & Gabriel Ferrari wrote the screenplay.

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