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CES: Xiaomi unveils 65″ TV

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Xiaomi kicked off its CES debut in Las Vegas this week with the announcement of the Mi TV 4, a 65-inch modular TV.

The Mi TV 4 has a 4.9mm ultra-thin frameless metal body and a separate Mi TV Bar consisting of the mainboard and a sound system that supports Dolby Atmos, to rival the experience in a cinema.

Xiaomi’s booth on the CES show floor displays a range of over 70 products from Xiaomi’s core range of smartphones, smart TVs, and smart routers, as well as dozens of Mi Ecosystem products in the smart home, health and fitness, personal transportation, smart toys, and other categories.

Xiaomi provided the following information:

Mi Ecosystem covers hundreds of smart products manufactured by Xiaomi’s ecosystem partners. What makes Xiaomi’s approach to Internet of Things unique is the way it incubates and invests in specialized companies to effectively expand its product line in a highly scalable manner. As the world’s most successful hardware incubator, Xiaomi has invested in 77 companies that design and manufacture products beyond the three core product categories designed in-house: smartphones, smart TVs and smart routers.

Xiaomi also announced today that over 23 million Mi Bands and 3.3 million webcams have been sold to date, and over 1 million Mi Air Purifiers are sold annually. Tying these smart products together is the Mi Ecosystem IoT platform, which now has over 50 million connected devices, with the Mi Home app crossing over 5 million daily active users.

Xiang Wang, Senior Vice President, Xiaomi, said: “We have proved that the Mi Ecosystem model works, and our focus going forward is to ensure that we can scale this model further in terms of products, and also geographically. CES, as a global event that showcases innovations from around the world, is the ideal place for us to kick off this effort.”

At its media event today, Xiaomi also took the wraps off the white version of Mi MIX, a gorgeous work of art with a clean and modern finish. Mi MIX was first announced three months ago to wide acclaim. With a full display design jointly developed with world-renowned designer Philippe Starck, Mi MIX has an ultra-high screen-to-body ratio made possible because of new innovations that do away with the physical earpiece speaker and proximity sensor. The white version will be available in China later this year.

Hugo Barra, Vice President, Xiaomi, said: “Xiaomi is bringing a glimpse of the future to the world as we explore the frontiers of technological innovation to deliver even more amazing features to our users. We continue to push boundaries with the use of ceramic on smartphones, this time in white, which presents more challenges in terms of yield.”

Mi TV 4: The thinnest ever Mi TV with revolutionary Dolby Atmos home theatre

Since its first TV, Xiaomi has redefined what users expect from a smart TV. Mi TV 4 continues this trend in terms of design, visual and audio performance.

Mi TV 4 is extremely thin at 4.9mm. With a screen that goes almost all the way to the edge, the 4K display takes centerstage. This is further complemented by a transparent stand.

Mi TV 4 (65″) has been crafted with a modular design approach first introduced with Mi TV 3. The TV set is separated into two parts: a 4K display and the Mi TV Bar, which incorporates both the motherboard and an independent sound system that now includes upfiring speakers. These speakers, together with a subwoofer and two rear wireless satellite speakers together make up the Mi TV 4 Dolby Atmos home theatre.

Having such a design makes Mi TV 4 easily upgradeable, as changing the Mi TV Bar will make any TV like a brand new product, while keeping the 4K panel unchanged.

Mi TV 4 will be available in China at a later date, with an estimated price well under US$2000 for the 65-inch version that comes with the Dolby Atmos home theatre.

Key features of Mi TV 4:

·         4K display (3,840 x 2,160 pixels)

·         4.9mm ultra-thin metal body

·         Quad-core 64-bit flagship TV processor

·         Independent Dolby Atmos cinematic sound system

·         Dolby and DTS dual audio decoding

·         Deep learning AI system for intelligent recommendations

·         Sizes: 49”/ 55”/ 65”

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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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