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Samsung unveils “innovation that makes a difference”

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Samsung Electronics today unveiled its product line-up for 2016 at its annual Samsung Africa Forum event.

The company underlined the importance of “innovation that makes a meaningful difference in people’s everyday lives”, showcasing its new bezel-less curved SUHD TVs with Quantum dot display, the industry-first Front Load Washer with AddWash, and a range of refrigerators and freezers with Twin Cooling technology.

“Samsung has continuously worked to help people live smarter lives, and this year we have taken a huge step forward with our diverse products and services,” said Mr. Yoo Young Kim, CEO and President of Samsung Electronics, Africa Office. “We will continue to enhance consumers’ quality of life by listening to their needs and strengthening our ecosystem.”

The Next Generation of Home Entertainment

Samsung unveiled its new line-up of SUHD TVs that feature good picture quality with Quantum dot display; the world’s first bezel-less curved design.

Samsung’s 2016 SUHD TVs feature the world’s only cadmium-free, 10-bit Quantum dot display. The future of display technology, Quantum dot display converts light into nearly any colour in the visible spectrum without distortion or compromising the brightness level, delivering the optimum viewing experience for consumers, regardless of the lighting environment.

This year, all of the Samsung SUHD TVs will feature the ability to provide a premium high dynamic range (HDR) experience, with 1,000 nit HDR minimum for a higher level of contrast between light and dark images. New Ultra Black technology also significantly reduces light reflection, further enhancing picture quality with minimal glare.

Built on the Tizen operating system (OS), Samsung’s 2016 Smart TVs make it easier for consumers to discover and access all their favourite content and services, from TV shows and movies, to games and programme information, all in one place. The new Samsung Smart TV eliminates the need to juggle multiple remote controls. The Samsung Smart TV will automatically recognise the type of set-top box, game console, OTT box or home theatre system that is connected to the TV. This allows users to control all of the external devices with the Smart Control remote — with no setup required.

Samsung also unveiled the latest additions to its audio product line-up, including the HW-K950 Soundbar, the company’s first to feature Dolby Atmos, and the industry’s first soundbar package to include two Dolby Atmos-enabled wireless rear speakers. The complete HW-K950 package delivers an incredible 5.1.4-channel sound.

Intelligent Digital Appliances Transform the Kitchen

Many consumers have dreamed of owning a spacious refrigerator that keeps food fresher longer so their weekly grocery shop goes further. It is a common disappointment to reach into the refrigerator to find that the fruits or vegetables have lost their natural moisture, even when kept in the vegetable drawer.

“The R&D team at Samsung worked hard to overcome this problem. Now consumers can keep food fresher, longer, with Samsung’s innovative Twin Cooling Plus technology,” says Sunil Gupta, Africa Regional Product Manager, Digital Appliances.

Samsung’s Twin Cooling Plus technology is a truly independent cooling system, preventing unpleasant smells from food moving between the fridge and freezer, ensuring the original flavour of ingredients stored in the freezer is perfectly preserved and odourless.

No air movement between the compartments also means the freezer stays completely frost-free, prolonging the shelf life and the flavour of its contents. It also prevents the build-up of ice, removing the need to defrost the freezer.

Thanks to the Twin Cooling Plus™ technology, consumers can enjoy flexibility with cooling storage depending on their needs. The true independent cooling system allows for turning the freezer into a fridge when required, or just turn off the fridge compartment when leaving home for a long vacation. The five modes are Freezer-Fridge, Energy Saving, Vacation, Fridge Max, and Mini mode.

Samsung today also launches an affordable range of refrigerators and freezers, designed especially for African consumers. These include the vertical freezer, the 180-litre top-mounted freezer, the 1-Door 110-litre fridge, and a chest freezer in the small size capacity of 150 litres.

Making the Washing Machine Work For You

Samsung recognises that in the rush to get laundry done on a frenzied weeknight or during a crazy weekend, a stray sock may simply get overlooked, so Samsung’s simple, practical response to that is to add the industry’s first “AddWash” door to its front load washer.

The Samsung Front Load Washer with AddWash has a distinctive access door that makes it convenient to add any item, such as a piece of forgotten laundry or extra detergent, in mid-cycle without needing to drain the washer and open the main washer door.

AddWash utilises a SuperSpeed feature, which finishes a load in less than an hour. It also features our EcoBubble technology, which premixes detergent with air and water, penetrating clothes 40 times faster than a normal mix of water and soap. It comes with an array of smart functions, making it easier for users to monitor and control wash cycles.

From gently caring for delicate fabrics, to advanced technologies that make detergent work harder, to a full load washed in as little as 30 minutes, Samsung’s Front Load Washer with AddWash can easily keep up with your family’s toughest laundry tasks.

Corporate Citizenship at the heart of business strategy

For the first time at Samsung Forum, Samsung will be showcasing its Corporate Citizenship initiatives in Africa.

Samsung will bolster its efforts in Africa in a bid to help the continent achieve its Sustainable Development Goals.

“As a global citizen, we felt it was important to use our technology to give back to society. We do this in four ways: by creating new learning opportunities so that young people can enjoy access to better education; by using our technical expertise to develop and provide access to new healthcare solutions; by supporting youth employment through vocational training and skills development; and by reducing our impact on the environment,” says Abey Tau, Corporate Citizenship and Public Affairs Manager.

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SAFTA awards get first streaming video nominees

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The 2019 nominations for The South African Film and Television Awards (SAFTAs) were announced late last week, and for the first time in the 13-year history of the awards, a TV series produced for a video-on-demand service was in contention. The result was a surprise boost to streaming service Showmax.

The comedy series Tali’s Wedding Diary, which premiered in December 2017, represented a major step for the then two-year old streaming service. It was the debut Showmax Original, the first time Showmax ventured into producing its own content. The gamble paid off, with the show becoming the most watched of any series on its first day on Showmax, and now Tali’s Wedding Diary has been further recognised with seven SAFTA nominations, making it this year’s most nominated comedy.

“When we first floated the idea of Tali’s Wedding Diary, we joked about winning awards,” says Candice Fangueiro, Showmax’s head of content. “At that point, just getting our first Showmax Original off the ground was already a major challenge and it was more than we could hope for to actually hit it out of the park. I was stunned when I heard the news about the nominations – it’s amazing to be considered in the same company as these other shows and thanks to this we’re already seeing a fresh spike in Tali views.”

Tali’s Wedding Diary was also a first for co-creator and star Julia Anastasopoulos, who until then was best known as YouTube star SuzelleDIY. “I am so thrilled about the SAFTA nominations for Tali’s Wedding Diary,” says Julia, who is up for Best Actress – TV Comedy and Best Achievement in Scriptwriting – TV Comedy, along with her husband Ari Kruger and Daniel Zimbler. 

“It was such a big and daunting step to create a full TV comedy series and intro a brand-new character. I really didn’t know how it would be received and am so happy to have received such positive feedback for the show and the Tali Babes character, along with the nominations. It feels so good to be recognised for something we poured our hearts into. None of it would have been possible, of course, without the incredible hard work and vision of my husband Ari and the incredible team, cast and crew that were part of the show. And a huge thank you to Showmax of course for making it all possible. Congratulations and best of luck to the entire team and to all the other nominees.”

Tali’s Wedding Diary is a mockumentary that follows Tali, a self-obsessed Joburg princess who’s moved to Cape Town and is planning her wedding to property-agent fiancé Darren (Anton Taylor). The series was inspired by Julia’s own wedding to Ari, her SuzelleDIY and Tali’s Wedding Diary co-creator, who is also up for Best Achievement In Directing – TV Comedy.  

In addition to Julia and Ari’s nominations, Tali’s Wedding Diary is up for Best TV Comedy, Art Direction (Keren Setton),  Cinematography (James Adey), and Editing (Richard Starkey). Winners will be announced on 2 March 2019 at Sun City Superbowl.

Following the success of Tali’s Wedding Diary, the second Showmax Original, The Girl From St Agnes, was released earlier this month. A third Showmax Original, Trippin With Skhumba, is slated for release at the end of February.

“With three Showmax Originals now under our belt and more on the way, we’d like to think this is the start of many more SAFTA nominations for shows from a streaming service,” concludes Candice.

South African content currently on Showmax has 110 nominations and includes the most nominated movie (Five Fingers With Marseilles), telenovela (The River), drama (Lockdown) and soap (Isibaya), with more SAFTA nominees scheduled for the coming months.

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Ford begins production of high-tech Ranger in SA

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Ford’s Silverton Assembly Plant in Pretoria has officially commenced production of the new Ford Ranger, bringing a raft of product upgrades and refinements to one of South Africa’s best-selling vehicles and export models.

“Following the investment of over R3-billion in our local operations and extensive upgrades to our plants over the past 18 months, we are delighted to see the first of the new Ford Ranger models coming off our production line,” says Neale Hill, managing director for Ford Motor Company Sub-Saharan Africa Region.

“This is an extremely important and exciting year for the Ford Ranger, which will also see the launch of the first Ranger Raptor that is undoubtedly one of this year’s most highly anticipated new models,” says Hill.

“The 2019 Ford Ranger will deliver more power, greater fuel efficiency, enhanced refinement, and additional advanced technologies when it goes on sale in the coming months, and we are confident it will once again set the benchmark in the extremely competitive pickup segment.”

Selected range-topping models, including the Ranger Raptor, will be powered by the all-new 2.0 Bi-Turbo diesel engine assembled at Ford’s Struandale Engine Plant in Port Elizabeth. This unit produces 157kW and 500Nm of torque – up by 10kW and 30Nm compared with the current 3.2 TDCi – and delivers up to a nine percent improvement in fuel efficiency when combined with the advanced new 10-speed automatic transmission.

Certain derivatives will feature a 2.0 Single Turbo version of this engine, producing 132kW and 420Nm of torque, mated to the same 10-speed transmission. Various other models in the line-up will retain the proven 2.2 and 3.2-litre Duratorq TDCi engines and existing gearbox options – thus giving customers the widest choice yet in this category. As usual, the line-up includes Single Cab, Super Cab and Double Cab body styles to suit customer requirements.

Along with freshened design cues, range-topping Ranger models will raise the bar once again with industry-defining safety features on the Wildtrak such as Pre-Collision Assist and Active Park Assist. SYNC 3® with Navigation remains one of the Ranger’s technology highlights as a fully featured infotainment system with intuitive voice control.

Following the launch of the ‘standard’ new Ford Ranger models, the attention will be shifted to the locally assembled Ranger Raptor that is set to create an entirely new segment in the pickup market when it makes its eagerly anticipated debut.

“There is a lot of excitement and hype around the Ranger Raptor, and this exhilarating new model will occupy a white space in the pickup market when it goes on sale in the second quarter of this year, creating a much-needed performance model in this crucial segment,” Hill states.

“We can’t wait to get the Ranger Raptor to market, enabling our customers to experience unrivalled off-road performance, cutting-edge technologies and the most muscular design yet seen in this class.”

Some of the defining features of the Ranger Raptor include Position Sensitive Damping (PSD) shock absorbers exclusively manufactured by FOX, and an advanced Terrain Management System (TMS) that includes an exciting Baja mode for fast off-road driving. It also boasts a toughened reinforced chassis, powerful all-disc braking system and specially developed BF Goodrich tyres.

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