Hong Kong telecommunications operator HKT, via its international operating division PCCW Global, has launched ONTAPtv.com, a new Internet-based Video on Demand (VoD) entertainment service for South Africa.
With a selection of à la carte content packages for a variety of entertainment needs, ONTAPtv.com is available now via www.ontaptv.com as well as Android and iOS apps.
Customers can subscribe to monthly packages of local and international TV series, movies, and lifestyle programmes, and rent Hollywood blockbusters. They can stream this content to PCs and Macs, and stream or download to their smartphones and tablets.
“We are excited about the growth in demand for anytime, anywhere VoD services. We first invested in South Africa in 2012 through the acquisition of Gateway, and this has been extremely successful for us. We are today delighted to demonstrate our further commitment to South Africa through the launch of ONTAPtv.com,” said Marc Halbfinger, Chief Executive Officer of PCCW Global.
Lindsay Servian, Head of ONTAPtv.com, said, “There is something for everyone in ONTAPtv.com. Our comprehensive content lineup includes local SABC series, as well as leading international content from studios such as Warner Bros, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) and BBC Worldwide, and we are also delighted to announce our sponsorship of projects of the Maxum Media Accelerator (the MMA) to produce local dramas which will be available later this year. This partnership demonstrates our commitment to the development of exciting local content, whilst helping to grow the South African film and entertainment industry. ONTAPtv.com also offers Chinese content from PCCW’s now TV, Hong Kong’s leading IPTV service.”
With around 2,500 movies and episodes, and more being added all the time, customers are able to choose to stream, using Adaptive Bit Rate technology, or download content using public Wi-Fi hotspots and mobile data. They can use routers at home linked to ADSL or fibre-based Internet connections. Once downloaded, the content is available for viewing on smartphones and tablets for 48 hours and customers can link their devices to TVs.
ONTAPtv.com packages start from R39 per month, or customers can subscribe to blockbuster hits from R15 for a 48-hour rental. In order to ensure that customers only pay for the content they want to watch, ONTAPtv.com has introduced an à la carte approach to watching video on demand. ONTAPtv.com customers can choose from a range of packages specifically tailored to their viewing needs, with only a small incremental payment required for additional packages within the flagship mega-pack offering. ONTAPtv.com has a free trial with no obligations to subscribe later.
Servian added, “Customers are able to access ONTAPtv.com through any data provider. However we are pleased to announce that we have negotiated highly cost effective data bundles for exclusive ONTAPtv.comuse in AlwaysOn Super Wi-Fi locations nationwide, including shopping malls, hotels, hospitals and transport locations.”
The ONTAPtv.com app is free to download through the Google Play and iOS App stores, and includes preview trailers, where available. Registration and subscriptions are made through www.ontaptv.com.
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.
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.
Future of TV in 4 letters
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.