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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.

Audio/Visual

Kia makes car audio personal

KIA Motors has revealed its Separated Sound Zone (SSZ) technology that allows each passenger of a vehicle to experience an audio stream tailored to their individual needs.

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SSZ technology creates and controls the acoustic fields of the car, allowing the driver and each passenger to hear isolated sounds. The many speakers installed in the vehicle feature technology that uses scientific principles to reduce or increase audio levels of sound waves. This negates the overlap of sounds being heard in each seat, creating the same effect as current noise cancellation systems, but without the need for headphones.

“Customers in the autonomous navigation era will demand increasingly customisable entertainment options within their vehicles, which includes technological innovations such as the Separated Sound System.” says Kang-duck Ih, Research Fellow at KIA’s NVH Research Lab. “I hope by providing drivers and passengers with tailored, independent audio spaces, they will experience a more comfortable and entertaining transportation environment.”

People’s musical tastes vary, so some passengers choose to use headphones during a journey to isolate their audio stream, but this also creates an unnecessary social barrier when interacting with other passengers. When travelling in a vehicle equipped with next-generation SSZ technology, each passenger can connect their smartphone via Bluetooth and listen to their own music without interference from, or interfering with other passenger’s audio streams.

When the SSZ is utilised, hands-free phone calls can also be isolated to individual passengers, ensuring privacy when having important phone conversations on the move.

Furthermore, this ground-breaking technology can eliminate unnecessary sounds for the passenger, but provide them for the driver. Navigation sounds, or various alerts, allow the driver to focus on controlling the vehicle, while the SSZ system isolates these sounds, maintaining a quiet area for the other passengers. This has a particularly strong application for drivers with a sleeping child in the vehicle.

SSZ technology has been in development since 2014, and the completed mass production system is expected to be ready for installation in vehicles within one to two years.

For a video of Separated Sound Zone technology, please visit https://youtu.be/lokXL8qyu1c.

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Future of TV in 4 letters

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Television technology has come a long way, transforming not just the way we consume our entertainment, but also the formats in which media is broadcasted or streamed. Today, TVs can do a lot more than just display our favourite shows, says DEAN DAFFUE, GTM manager at LG Electronics SA.

Today, consumers demand TVs that are not just slim, but so thin that they are like paintings on walls. TVs have become an element of décor that can seamlessly integrate into the design of a home, and render the clearest, sharpest images, with the deepest blacks and crispest whites without compromising on resolution. Home cinema is not just about the picture anymore. Consumers are eyeing TVs that would be able to learn usage patterns and automatically suggest entertainment based on individual preferences. The switch from LCD to LED transformed TV design, allowing for lighter, thinner and easily wall-mountable frames, housing even more sophisticated display tech. The picture quality also dramatically improved with new contrast ratios rendering more vivid colours, deeper blacks and crisper whites. But they were still more functional than aesthetic.

As larger segments of the population embraced internet connectivity and streaming content, the TV became smarter, integrating content-streaming apps for a more seamless viewing experience. As Internet Service Providers (ISPs) upgraded their infrastructures to accommodate the growth in streaming services, TV manufacturers also upgraded their TVs’ ability to tap into different types of content.

In the future, TVs with built in Artificial Intelligence (AI) will be able to learn usage patterns and automatically switch modes based on user preference, and even take instructions from multiple users as TVs become increasingly connected to digital home assistant systems.

Six years on, and we see the evolution that continues to lead in the OLED TV market, LG is racking up awards and accolades for its innovative OLED TVs. This pioneering effort in the design and manufacturing of OLED TVs has culminated in complete dominance of the OLED market, leaving the pinnacle challenge of innovation in display technology, redefining the TV viewing experience, and its place in your home. Great efforts have been made on OLED technology being affordable and accessible, allowing more people to enjoy a better-quality television experience than before. No TV is a greater testament to this than last year’s award-winning LG SIGNATURE W7 – also known as wallpaper.

As South Africans are continuously looking for ‘an experience that amazes’, OLED TVs are considered by industry experts to offer the most advanced display technology. As each pixel on the display can be individually switched on and off, OLED offers enhanced picture quality without image degradation. This results in the highest quality image rendering with the purest blacks. With its myriad advantages, OLED panels have become the most desired display technology today and it has become a leading force in making this technology even more ubiquitous and accessible.

With support for both Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos, LG OLED TV is the first of its kind to offer a premium cinema experience in the comfort of your home. It also features Active HDR technology, which optimises HDR picture quality scene-by-scene, rendering brighter scenes and greater shadow detail for a life-like viewing experience.

Despite the market dominance, the development of newer, more innovative technologies does not stop. This year a staggering number of innovative display technologies were unveiled, such as future display technology like roll-able OLED screens and large format curved displays that will become the future of wall art.

AI is also set to make an appearance. There is a unique and personalised AI services built on the deep learning-based DeepThinQ technology, in cooperation with other AI service providers such as Google, giving AI TVs the ability to automatically adjust the settings to Game Mode, or Sports Mode based on whether a user is currently playing Xbox or watching a football match. Ultimately, AI TV will provide care and comfort to users’ mind and body by learning more about its users’ viewing habits.

What does this all mean for consumers? With continued innovation and development of display technologies, as well as advanced design, AI, premium audio integration and support for the latest resolutions, colour and High Dynamic Range (HDR) standards, the TV will no longer be a display, but a complete home viewing experience. This is what new ranges of OLED TVs will bring to fruition in the coming months, making it the ideal time to upgrade your TV to the ultimate home entertainment experience.

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