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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

VoD cuts the cord in SA

Some 20% of South Africans who sign up for a subscription video on demand (SVOD) service such as Netflix or Showmax do so with the intention of cancelling their pay television subscription.

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That’s according to GfK’s international ViewScape survey*, which this year covers Africa (South Africa, Kenya and Nigeria) for the first time.

The study—which surveyed 1,250 people representative of urban South African adults with Internet access—shows that 90% of the country’s online adults today use at least one online video service and that just over half are paying to view digital online content. The average user spends around 7 hours and two minutes a day consuming video content, with broadcast television accounting for just 42% of the time South Africans spend in front of a screen.

Consumers in South Africa spend nearly as much of their daily viewing time – 39% of the total – watching free digital video sources such as YouTube and Facebook as they do on linear television. People aged 18 to 24 years spend more than eight hours a day watching video content as they tend to spend more time with free digital video than people above their age.

Says Benjamin Ballensiefen, managing director for Sub Sahara Africa at GfK: “The media industry is experiencing a revolution as digital platforms transform viewers’ video consumption behaviour. The GfK ViewScape study is one of the first to not only examine broadcast television consumption in Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa, but also to quantify how linear and online forms of content distribution fit together in the dynamic world of video consumption.”

The study finds that just over a third of South African adults are using streaming video on demand (SVOD) services, with only 16% of SVOD users subscribing to multiple services. Around 23% use per-pay-view platforms such as DSTV Box Office, while about 10% download pirated content from the Internet. Around 82% still sometimes watch content on disc-based media.

“Linear and non-linear television both play significant roles in South Africa’s video landscape, though disruption from digital players poses a growing threat to the incumbents,” says Molemo Moahloli, general manager for media research & regional business development at GfK Sub Sahara Africa. “Among most demographics, usage of paid online content is incremental to consumption of linear television, but there are signs that younger consumers are beginning to substitute SVOD for pay-television subscriptions.”

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Arts and Entertainment

Cell C, MTN, Vodacom, announce big streaming deals

Cell C, Vodacom and MTN have all announced new data offerings designed to increase use of social media and streaming services on their networks.

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Cell C, Vodacom and MTN have all announced new data offerings designed to increase use of social media and streaming services on their networks.

Cell C has announced that, for the next three months, it will offer all customers free streaming on black, SA’s newest video-on-demand platform. Cell C customers can stream series, movies, music, kids’ entertainment, sport, news, and live TV channels on their mobile devices without being.

“We know the biggest hurdle to gaining access to streaming content is the data component, and so for the next three months, any existing or new black customer that is also on the Cell C network will not have to have data to be able to download or stream their shows,” says Cell C CEO Jose Dos Santos.

Any Cell C customer, whether prepaid or contract, will have access to this promotion, which kicks off on 7 May and will run until Friday, 10 August. There is no opt in required. In other words, browsing the black platform has also been zero rated, so customers looking around to see what is available will also not be charged for data if they are on Cell C. However, clicking through to the betting platform and the ticketing service will be charged according to the customer’s data plan. National data roaming is also not included in this promotion. so black customers that are on other networks will not benefit from the free data promotion.

“Our promise to our customer is the affordability and flexibility to pay what you want; for what you want; however long you want. Go on, sign up for the 7-day free trial, and start binge-ing with black,” says black Chief Executive, Surie Ramasary.

Customers can watch blockbuster movies like Star Wars: The Last Jedi; kids’ animated movie Ferdinand; and the comedy-remake, Jumanji, starring Dwayne Johnson. black series include the multiple award winning show The Fixer, starring Kerry Washington.

With flexible packages from R25 per movie rental or R5 per day for a whole day streaming a football club channel, customers have a range of options.

For more information on how to sign up for black and take advantage of this promotion, visit www.black.co.za or www.cellc.co.za.


MTN goes social

MTN has introduced a range of social bundles starting from R1 a day.  The bundles give new and existing customers affordable access to four social media platforms, namely WhatsApp, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.

Customers can use the social bundle data allocation without affecting their regular in-bundle data. The bundles cover daily, weekly and monthly expiry rates, allowing customers to choose bundles best suited for their specific usage needs and their budgets.

“There’s been a marked increase in the consumption of social media and data services, so these social bundles are designed to meet those changing customer needs,” says Jacqui O’Sullivan, Executive for Corporate Affairs: MTN South Africa. “By offering a variety of expiry periods, we put the control in the hands of our customers, so they can choose to buy just for the day or to stay connected for a week or a month.”

Moderate users can stay in touch with family and friends via WhatsApp for as little as R1 per day, while more medium and heavy users can opt for social bundles that retail at R5 and R10.

To give the customer more control over their usage, the social bundles will send notifications confirming bundle purchase, expiry and depletion notifications.

The social bundles are available on the MyMTN app or via USSD.

The table below illustrates the social bundle rates:

Facebook YouTube WhatsApp Twitter
Duration Data Price Data Price Data Price Data Price
Daily 100MB R5 100MB R5 20MB R1 20MB R1
Weekly 500MB R20 500MB R20 100MB R5 100MB R5
Monthly 1G R50 1G R50 1GB R10 1GB R10

Tickets for Vodacom 

Meanwhile, Vodacom is introducing a data bundle called “Ticket”, which offers overall usage of a range of apps, through categorised bundles, to Prepaid and Hybrid (Top-up) customers through the Vodacom Just4U platform. Ticket bundles offer up to four times the amount of data compared to standard bundles and are also priced for the best scenario, offering data bundles that are specifically tailored to the usage behaviour of the customer.

“Vodacom Ticket will offer customers a simpler way of accessing data bundles for a range of categories, allowing them to stay within their data budget,” says Nyimpini Mabunda, Vodacom’s Chief Officer: Consumer Business Unit.” Vodacom is continuously looking to deliver value for money offerings to our customers, and Ticket is no different. Our customers can engage in the things they love the most without the fear of spending more than they wanted to. That is what Vodacom’s Ticket bundle is ultimately looking to achieve so watch this space as we continue to evolve the product.“

Vodacom says it has formed partnerships with multiple market-leading streaming and digital apps to ensure that customers receive the best value for their data when posting pictures, watching videos, playing games and listening to music.

The service provides full data access to digital and entertainment content through four Ticket categories:

·        Video Ticket (for VuClip Videos, DStv, Netflix, YouTube and Showmax)

·        Music Ticket (for Deezer, Apple Music and Joox)

·        Social Ticket (for Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter)

·        Gaming Ticket (for VuClip Games, Vlive Games, SGN and Gamemine)

By partnering with app brands that customers enjoy the most, says Vodacom, it is able to give customers access to what they love, for less, without the limitation of restricted data access to a single pre-assigned app.

For instance, customers looking to binge on the latest series on Netflix, “update their tweeps on their tweleb lifestyles” (Vodacom’s words!) or listen to a hot new track on Deezer, can purchase a Ticket for any of the four available categories via Just4U by dialling *123# from a Vodacom Smartphone. Vodacom’s Ticket bundles enable customers to access platforms such as Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, through a single Social Ticket.

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