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CES: Acer launches monitor with eye-tracking

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Acer this week announced the availability of the 30-inch Predator Z301CT, the world’s first 21:9 monitor with Tobii eye-tracking functionality.

The company also unveiled two Predator XB2 Series models featuring 24.5- and 27-inch flat screens with 240Hz refresh rate. All three new models feature sleek black frames with sharp angles and red accents and NVIDIA G-SYNC technology for ultra-smooth gameplay.

Acer provided the following information:  

The 30-inch Acer Predator Z301CT’s integrated Tobii eye-tracking technology adds to a gamer’s arsenal of control tools, helping them to intuitively aim, shoot and explore. Intended to complement, rather than replace, traditional PC gaming inputs, Tobii eye tracking uses the gamer’s eye movement to create a new input modality. Pairing eye tracking with mouse and keyboard or gamepad controls give gamers a richer, more immersive experience as they are able to mimic actions that occur in real life, such as looking for cover or aiming at a target. Camera angles also automatically rotate as the gamer’s eye focuses on the edge of the screen, while characters and game environments react as the gamer looks around. Tobii eye tracking functionality can be found in over 45 titles like Elite Dangerous, Deus Ex: Mankind Divided and WATCH_DOGS 2. The games’ sounds and graphics will dynamically adapt depending on where the gamers look. In addition, the ultra-wide Full HD (2560 X 1080) and 1800R curved screen makes gaming more attractive and powerful.

Other key features include a rapid 200Hz refresh rate and a fast 4ms response time. Wide 178 degree viewing angles and an extreme-narrow frame provide maximum viewing area. For optimum comfort, the display can tilt and swivel -5° to 25° and reach 4.7 inches (120mm) up and down for providing the most comfortable viewing position. Two 3W speakers with DTS™ Sound deliver quality audio for deepening the immersive experience.

New Predator XB2 Series – Ultrafast 240Hz Refresh Rate       

The Predator XB2 Series was built from the ground up for fast-paced, tournament-grade intensity. Boasting NVIDIA ULMB technology, a fast 1ms response time and a rapid 240Hz refresh rate, the 24.5-inch Predator XB252Q and 27-inch Predator XB272 deliver an incredibly realistic in-game experience with fast-moving action, sharp edges and dramatic transitions rendered smoothly without smearing or ghosting.

Superb picture quality is made possible with a Full HD 1080p resolution and a sharp 1,000:1 contrast ratio. The ZeroFrame design is ideal for multi-monitor setups and an ergonomically-designed stand lets gamers find the perfect viewing position with -5 to 20 degrees tilt, +45 degree swivel, 90 degrees clockwise pivot and height adjustment up to 4.5 inches (115 mm). The monitors can be quickly released from the stand for VESA wall-mounting for maximizing desk space and a cable clip keeps the desk clutter-free. They also come with two 2W speakers.

All New Predator Models                 

Outfitted with GameView technology, gamers can swiftly toggle between three customizable display profiles to tweak settings in-game without having to navigate the OSD menu, a significant advantage when every second counts. Special settings include dark boost (black level adjustment) to clearly see threats in the dark, aim-point assistance for hip fire accuracy as well as the ability to select the on-screen refresh rate.

Featuring Acer EyeProtect, the new monitors leverage flicker-less, blue-light filter, ComfyView and low-dimming technologies to help safeguard the eyes from flickering visuals, screen glare, blue light emissions and over-illumination, which may help reduce eye strain during long gaming sessions. Powerful connectivity includes HDMI, DisplayPort v1.2 and a USB 3.0 hub (1 up/4 down).

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Prepare for Digital TV migration

The deadline for the digital migration is fast approaching. JACQUES BENTLEY, Skyworth Southern Africa Sales Manager, lets us know what we can expect.

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By now you’ve probably heard about the impending digital migration for South African broadcasting. Initially, this shift from old-school, analogue technology to newer, more efficient digital technology was set to take place in 2015 but the deadline for a national migration has been pushed out several times. With our neighbours Namibia and Botswana blazing ahead with their own digital transformations, the pressure is on for our own government to push forward to a fully digital South Africa.

But what does this overdue switch really mean for you and me?

What is digital migration?

Basically, the process involves moving over from an analogue transmission to a Digital Terrestrial Television/Transmission (DTT). We currently use analogue technology, transmitting video and audio through analogue signals. The drawback of this traditional broadcasting format is that the colours, sound and brightness are heavily impacted by the quality of the signal, resulting in a less-than-ideal snowy effect, and your TV deciding to randomly fade or ghost.

Digital TV, on the other hand, boasts crystal-clear image quality and excellent sound without interference because of its land-based network of TV transmitters that broadcast digital signals. This kind of technology also allows viewers to access a wider range of channels with different programmes.

Why is it happening?

Apart from the fact that everyone wants clearer sound, more channels and an enhanced viewing experience, the conversion to digital TV also has a far-reaching goal that ultimately

aids developing nations like our own. According to the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), the objective of Broadcast Digital Transition (BDT) work is to help developing countries with their smooth journey from analogue to digital broadcasting, including terrestrial TV, mobile TV and sound broadcasting. In turn, this means that we can enjoy new broadcasting services as well as an allocation of the digital dividend.

When is it taking place?

June 2019 is D-Day for all countries to have completed their digital migration. Our Communications department is determined to meet this international deadline and has implemented a specific DTT war room to ensure that all the boxes are ticked, and they can deliver on time.

The first province to undergo the digital migration was the Free State back in August, where digital Set-Top Boxes (STBs) were launched in Senekal. Essentially, STBs decode digital signals for old, box-style TV sets and the government aims to distribute these devices to about 5-million poor households, so that all citizens can enjoy prime TV, despite their financial situation. In fact, Skyworth is one of the chosen suppliers of these set-top boxes and is proud to be a core part of an all-inclusive transition to digital.

What can you do about it?

While the government has agreed to subsidise cash-strapped consumers with STBs, the only guarantee is that the digital migration is upon us and it is our responsibility to digitally transform our homes in order to meet the requirements. This means that you’ll either need to invest in a digital-ready TV or purchase your own STB to work with your current TV’s analogue signal. Whichever route you decide to go, you can look forward to exceptional viewing entertainment in the comfort of your own home.

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5 things you should ask about buying a new TV

With so many technological advancements that cater to various needs, and endless options on the market, buying a new TV for your home can be pretty daunting. JACQUES BENTLEY, Southern African Sales Manager at Skyworth, offers a few tips when buying a new TV.

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Given the role a TV occupies in the home – providing entertainment, relaxation and a window to the world for the whole family – it’s not a purchasing decision to be made lightly. Not to mention the fact that you’re likely to spend a rather large sum of hard-earned dough in the process. Fear not – we’re here to help you decide. Here are five important things to think about before you swipe that plastic to ensure your new TV will bring nothing but joy into your home (ok, and maybe a couple of disagreements on what to watch).

  1. Size matters

If you’re a fan of action-packed movies or nail-biting sporting events, you already know how important the size of the screen is. Consider the space into which your new TV will fit, and take measurements of the wall area or cabinet it’s going to sit on to make sure that you’re being practical about its size. How many people will be watching the TV at the same time? Now opt for the largest screen size that will fit comfortably in your lounge (and your budget). Generally, anything between 55 and 65 inches is a great all-round pick according to price, performance and how close most families sit to the TV.

  1. Is it digital-ready?

South Africa’s digital migration is upon us and by June 2019, you’ll either need a digital-ready TV that can transmit digital signals or a Set-Top Box to decode digital signals for your old, box-style analogue TV set. The benefits of investing in a digital TV include crystal-clear image quality, excellent sound and a wider range of channels. Ask the sales assistant to show you their range of digital ready TVs when making your selection.

  1. Does it have a 4K screen resolution?

Resolution refers to the sharpness of the TV picture, usually in terms of horizontal lines of pixels. Ultra HD/ 4K sets have four times more pixels than current Full HD screens. That’s as many as 2 160 horizontal lines, or 3 840 x 2 160 pixels. The result? Super-sharp, detailed and lifelike images, even on large screen sizes. For this reason, a 4K resolution is becoming increasingly popular because it’s a much better choice if you want to future-proof your investment – Skyworth’s G6 model was created with this in mind; it’s basically an Android TV made for the future.

  1. What will you be using your TV for?

Apart from the obvious activity of chilling out to watch your favourite shows, what else do you want to be able to do with your TV? Will your kids be using it to play games? Will you be streaming shows on it? All of these preferences will impact the specific features that will attract you to buy a certain model over another one, so it’s wise to do your research, either online or in store, before you say ‘yes’ to the device. Also, look out for at least four HDMI ports at the back of the set as these tend to get used up very quickly, especially if you are using accessories like a sound bar.

  1. Does it include cutting-edge technology?

From Google Voice Assist, allowing you to speak to your TV, to rich connectivity via Bluetooth, selecting a TV that has advanced capabilities makes for a smarter TV and one you aren’t likely to need to replace in a few years’ time. With Android System 6.0, an easily updatable operating system, the G6 TV is your best bet when it comes to constantly upgrading your TV without forking out money every time.

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