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Force is with Star Wars pop-up channel on DStv

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M-Net Movies and MultiChoice have launched a new pop up channel featuring all six epic films from the Star Wars Saga.

From 31 August until 13 September DStv Premium customers will be transported to a galaxy far, far away with a special channel on M-Net Movies 109. This two week long addition to the existing nine M-Net Movies channels on DStv is the continent’s very first events channel built around international movies, as well as Africa’s first channel dedicated to all things Star Wars.

Darth Vader, Luke Skywalker, Yoda, Obi-Wan Kenobi and all the other iconic Star Wars characters will wield their lightsabers on channel 109 on DStv Premium, which will feature all the Star Wars movies, as well as other programming linked to the franchise.

Each day of the week, starting 31 August, the M-Net Movies Star Wars channel will screen one of the blockbusters that dominated global popular culture since its epic release in 1977 – from the cult classic Star Wars: A New Hope with which George Lucas introduced us to Star Wars mythology to 2005’s Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith which was praised for its mind-blowing digital effects. The movies will play in chronological order of release at 19:30 CAT as well as at 06:00 CAT on the same day, while those who missed out on the action during the week can binge-watch the entire galactic saga from beginning to end on Sundays.

The movies will be interspersed with animated features and series, featurettes, documentaries and other delights from the Star Wars universe.

“This is a great coup for us,” says M-Net CEO South Africa Yolisa Phahle.”Creating a movie channel dedicated to Star Wars is an initiative that Star Wars fans will enjoy, but we also hope to introduce this iconic programming to a new audience. Pop-up television channels are currently all the rage worldwide and our M-Net Movies Star Wars channel once again shows that we continue to align ourselves with the hottest trends and biggest brands whilst embracing the future of visual entertainment.”

With this M-Net Movies Pop-Up channel fans will be able to enjoy all their favourite Star Wars battles, plots and characters before the cinematic release of the brand-new Star Wars film later this year.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens is due for release by the Walt Disney Company in December 2015.

“We are thrilled to be bringing Star Wars, one of the greatest family entertainment franchises of all time, to audiences in this first-for-Africa television event with DStv,” says Christine Service, Senior Vice President and Country Manager for The Walt Disney Company Africa. “This is a perfect opportunity for families to experience some of the world’s most unforgettable characters and stories to screens across the continent.”

In addition to the Star Wars content available to DStv Premium customers on channel 109, young and old alike can also look forward to a magical Star Wars online experience on www.mnet.tv.

From Wookies to Droids and bounty hunters to Sith lords, the M-Net Movies Star Wars Pop-Up channel, exclusive to DStv Premium, will be a gateway to the Galactic Empire. For the full schedule as well as the latest information go to mnet.tv/starwars.

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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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