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4K shift comes to computers

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Computer monitors have come a long way from the bulky CRT screens of the 1980s, from plasma screens and LCDs to LED and high definition displays, and now to 4K displays, writes BRUCE BYRNE.

The evolution of the computer screen has delivered ever-clearer picture quality in slimmer form factors with larger displays and more screen real estate. Ultra-HD represents the next step in this chain of evolution, and 4K monitors are now a reality, delivering four times the resolution with four times the detail and four times the picture quality. Available in sizes of up to 40-inches, these large format 4K monitors deliver more than 100cm of extreme viewing clarity, superior contrast ratio including colour replication, and an unprecedented viewing experience ideal for entertainment, business productivity and much more.

Ultra High Definition (UHD) displays, also known as 4K displays, offer screen resolution of 2160 pixels by 3840 pixels. This is four times the resolution of a standard 720 pixel by 1280 pixel HD monitor, which in turn translates into much higher clarity of images and extreme levels of detail never before seen in a computer display. Utilising white solid-state LEDs, 4K monitors enable better dimming control, resulting in a super high contrast ratio, and deliver superior colour reproduction with consistent brightness across the screen. Higher contrast and dynamic image configuration ensure optimal viewing in any conditions. Details are clearer, text is sharper, colours are more true to life, and image quality is more impressive than ever. A wider viewing angle of up to 176 degrees allows images on screen to be viewed accurately from anywhere in a room, and innovative technology even enables users to connect multiple devices side by side to a single monitor for advanced multitasking capability.

This lends 4K monitors perfectly to a wide range of different applications. At home, users can stream movies and view and edit photographs with more clarity and detail than ever. For gamers, these monitors provide a truly immersive experience, allowing the user to get deeper into the world of their games for enhanced play. Numerous connectivity options including USB 3.0, HDMI, VGA and DisplayPort make it easy for users to connect a host of peripherals, including set top boxes and Blu-ray players, for ultimate streaming and centralised media access. In addition, Mobile High-Definition Link (MHL), a mobile audio/video interface for directly connecting mobile phones and other portable devices to high-definition displays, offers connectivity for the mobile world. With an optional MHL cable, users can connect MHL-capable devices to the display in seconds for UHD content sharing and simultaneous device charging.

For professional photographers and videographers, more detail is available for more accurate and seamless editing and viewing. In the business space, 4K monitors can help to improve productivity, with more screen space for key applications like spreadsheets and the ability to maintain multiple open windows on the same screen without losing detail and clarity. Specialised applications like scientific imaging can benefit from uncompromising clarity and the ability to view in granular detail, while Computer Aided Design (CAD) can leverage more space, more detail and improved responsiveness and multitasking ability.

In addition to lending itself to multiple applications, 4K monitor technology is also better for the environment and for users themselves. LEDs are free from mercury, making the displays more eco-friendly to manufacture and dispose of. Consistent images displays without screen flicker are better for the eyes, and additional screen space lets users zoom their displays to a level that is comfortable for their individual eyesight. With UHD set to become the next standard in broadcasting and display technology, 4K monitors allow users to benefit now while preparing for the future and protecting their investment.

* Bruce Byrne, Philips Product Specialist at Drive Control Corporation

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AppDate: DStv taps Xbox, Hisense for app

DStv Now app expands, FNB gets Snapchat lens, Spotify offers data saver mode, in SEAN BACHER’s apps roundup

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DStv Now for Xbox and Hisense

Usage of DStv Now, the online DStv service available free to DStv customers, is increasing rapidly with more than two million plays of live and Catch Up content per week. In addition to using DStv Now to watch TV on tablets and smartphones, an increasing number of DStv customers are also opting to use it as their primary method of getting DStv on additional TVs in the house. This is set to increase with the release of two new big-screen TV apps, one for Xbox gaming consoles (Xbox One, Xbox One S, Xbox One X) and another for Hisense smart TVs (2018 and newer models).

Expect to pay: A free download.

Platform: Any of the Xbox One range of gaming consoles and 2018 or later Hisense smart TVs.

Stockists: Visit the store linked to your Xbox console or HiSense smart TV.

Santam Safety Ideas

Start-up businesses that have a FinTech or InsurTech business venture brewing are called to enter the third annual Santam Safety Ideas competition. Safety solutions or InsurTech ventures that are ready for piloting could win up to  R150 000 worth of incubation support and R200 000 in seed funding. 

The Safety Ideas competition was launched two years ago in partnership with LaunchLab,  Stellenbosch University’s startup incubator that facilitates valuable connections for corporates and startups sourced from the startup ecosystem and partner universities in South Africa. The previous winners are Herman Bester and Anton Swanevelder, co-founders of MyLifeLine – a wearable panic device that won the competition last year; and Ntsako Mgiba and Ntandoyenkosi Shezi, co-founders of Jonga – a cost-effective security system for low income families, which won the competition in 2017.

Entries close on 28 February 2019. For more information on how to enter, visit: www.santam.co.za/safetyideas/

Click here to read about the FNB Snapchat lens, Spotify Free with data saver, and 00:37.

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Fortnite fixes hackers’ hole

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Epic Games has repaired a vulnerability that exposed Fortnite, the world’s most popular game of the moment, to hackers. The hole, which was left in Epic’s web infrastructure,  allowed hackers to target players with email that appeared to come from Epic Games, but would have led them to a phishing site, where their log-in details would have been stolen.

Researchers at cyber security solutions provider Check Point Software alerted Epic to vulnerabilities that could have affected any player of the hugely popular online battle game.

Fortnite has nearly 80 million players worldwide. The game is popular on all gaming platforms, including Android, iOS, PC via Microsoft Windows and consoles such as Xbox One and PlayStation 4.  In addition to casual players, Fortnite is used by professional gamers who stream their sessions online, and is popular with e-sports enthusiasts.

If exploited, the vulnerability would have given an attacker full access to a user’s account and their personal information as well as enabling them to purchase virtual in-game currency using the victim’s payment card details. The vulnerability would also have allowed for a massive invasion of privacy, as an attacker could listen to in-game chatter as well as surrounding sounds and conversations within the victim’s home or other location of play. 

While Fortnite players had previously been targeted by scams that deceived them into logging into fake websites that promised to generate Fortnite’s ‘V-Buck’ in-game currency, these new vulnerabilities could have been exploited without the player handing over any login details.

Click here to read how the Fortnite hack worked

To win a set of three Fortnite Funko Pop Figurines, click here.

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