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Samsung unveils The Frame

Samsung Electronics has lifted the lid on its premium line-up of QLED TVs and The Frame, a new concept in TV, at a global TV launch event in Paris.

The Frame is an ultra-thin screen that lies flush against the wall and looks like a picture frame hanging on a wall when Art Mode is on, displaying custom-designed digital art pieces.

Samsung selected Paris, “the City of Lights,” to unveil the “TV of Light,” a name given to the QLED TV for its delivery of optimal brightness levels and visual experience.

“At Samsung, we strive to provide our customers with the most advanced technology to deliver unrivalled viewing experiences and cutting-edge designs that complement their everyday lives,” said HS Kim, President of Visual Display Business at Samsung Electronics. “With state-of-the-art style, smart features, and picture quality, our 2017 lineup is truly ushering in a new era for television.”

The latest QLED TVs address three key consumer paint points through solutions known as Q Picture, Q Smart and Q Style. Samsung once again worked with Yves Behar, a renowned Swiss designer, to create the innovative TV, The Frame.

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Samsung provided the following information:

The newly-announced QLED TV takes quantum dot technology to the next level with advancements in light efficiency, stability and a wider color spectrum. With new metal quantum dots, the QLED TV addresses all the major aspects of picture quality, including viewing angle, color volume, brightness and bold contrast. The QLED TV can express accurate color and achieves a 100 percent color volume – the highest on the market today.

In addition, the QLED TV’s rich, deep black levels and bold contrast provide a consistent viewing experience regardless of a room’s lighting. The QLED TV’s advanced HDR 1500 functionality allows users to see every hidden detail as it was meant to be seen, with no loss or distortion of color.

Samsung’s Smart Hub has been expanded to offer an even more intuitive and unified experience, directly via the QLED TV. The enhanced Samsung One Remote Control now supports more devices and offers voice control capabilities across more Smart TV features. Paired with the latest Smart View App – available on Android or iOS mobile devices – users will enjoy their personalized Smart Hub.

Additionally, the TV Plus service offers the easiest and fastest way to find, purchase and watch the latest 4K films and entertainment. The new Music service also allows for easy searching and identification of songs heard in the background of TV shows and films.

The new Invisible Connection cable helps manage unsightly cords and clutter with a refined, single cord system. Consumers can now design their space with a single optical cable that brings all devices together, reclaiming the living room space once occupied by set-top boxes and external devices.

Samsung has also introduced the No Gap Wall-mount which brings the TV flush against the wall, closer than ever before, with a 15-minute installation process. For those who do not wish to mount their TV onto the wall, there is also a range of stylish Samsung TV stands. Designed like an easel, the Studio Stand is an ideal accompaniment for any artist-inspired living space, and with the Gravity Stand, the TV can be rotated easily and allows for optimal viewing at any angle.

The Frame: A new way to look at TV

Samsung announced more details surrounding its newest innovation, The Frame. Teased at CES 2017, The Frame was curated with an artful approach meant to elevate any room or viewing environment.

The Frame looks like a picture frame hanging on a wall when Art Mode is on. Instead of fading to black like a conventional TV, the Lifestyle TV’s display transforms into a work of art, letting the users select custom-designed digital art pieces from The Frame. It has more than 100 art pieces in multiple categories – including landscape, architecture, wildlife, action, and drawing. Paired with the numerous options for art layouts and colors, as well as customizable accessory options including interchangeable bezels and an optional Studio Stand, it truly complements the user’s living space.

The Frame is outfitted with Samsung’s new Invisible Connection and No Gap Wall-mount, allowing users to hang it anywhere, because it can blend seamlessly into any living space without unsightly cables or wires.

“If there is one thing that has made Samsung the company that it is today, then it is our ongoing focus on innovation. Our position as a leading global electronics company is a direct result of our commitment in research and technological breakthroughs. This has not come about by chance,” says Mike van Lier, Director Consumer Electronics at Samsung South Africa.

The units will be available from mid May 2017 at selected Samsung Brand Stores and leading retailers at the following recommended retail prices (RRP):

65”: R65, 000.00

75”: R140, 000.00

88”: R400, 000.00

Audio/Visual

Planet Radio TV tune in on any device

Planet Radio TV plans to be Africa’s first online broadcaster that allows its listeners to watch via Internet and satellite TV as well as listen via FM or Internet radio. SEAN BACHER visits its studios.

Planet Radio TV (PRTV) is broadcast much like any other terrestrial radio station, allowing its users to tune into it with a standard FM tuner. But its owner, Planet Image Productions, is about to launch two other means of tuning into the station.

In the coming month, MultiChoice will place a new satellite in orbit that will, by the new year, allow Planet to broadcast to subscribers via the satellite. Planet has also announced the PRTV app, which can be downloaded to Apple, BlackBerry, Android and Windows Mobile devices, allowing users to stream the content to their phones and tablets.

‚”What makes this unique though is that our systems will automatically detect a user’s connection speed and stream content in a format that suits that speed, says Planet Image CEO Wale Akinlabi. ‚”For example, someone connecting through 3G will be able to view high-definition video and hear high-definition audio. A user with a slower connection will still be able to view and listen to the station, but at a lower quality.‚”

This, he believes, will eliminate the buffering issue which discourages many users from streaming video and audio to their devices.

The radio station comprises 80% African music, with the remainder being international, and is targeted at Africa’s youth.

‚”At PRTV we intend to change the way consumers view, listen and interact with television, radio and Internet mediums,‚” says Mabel Mabaso, chief operations officer and director at Planet Image. ‚”It is an exciting platform that synchronises three mediums, providing opportunities for consumers and advertisers alike.‚”

Planet RadioTV differentiates itself from other local broadcasters with its clever use of software and hardware. Planet Image uses a high-definition video-graphics (HDVG) rendering program, designed by Orad, an Israeli company specialising in TV production software. This software suite, combined with four Panasonic high-definition cameras, is able to detect and focus on a person’s voice. When the camera fixes on a voice, that camera is automatically activated and begins broadcasting. Should someone else begin talking, a separate camera will detect the voice and focus on that person.

The software controlling the cameras also performs basic video editing. Mabaso says that, although the initial cost of the equipment was more than that of standard cameras, it will prove well worth it, as it eliminates the need for a dedicated cameraman filming the show in the studio.

‚”Another payoff is that we don’t need that much office space,‚” she says.

Based in Randburg in Johannesburg, the studio is small in comparison to most others and the control room is just big enough for one person.

‚”The control room merely serves as a back-up should one of the cameras fail. It also allows us to control when and where visual adverts appear.‚”

The system is also tightly integrated with applications like Skype.

‚”We can interview someone overseas without having to send a crew there to perform recording. We simply communicate via Skype, making the interviewee’s Internet camera an extension of our own in-studio cameras.‚”

Besides featuring local and international music, the station has regular fashion, food and cooking, music and culture segments, which are broadcast to around 30 000 listeners around Africa.

Rounding up the technology aspect, PRTV has integrated Twitter and Facebook, allowing its listeners to interact with DJs.

Listeners can tune into Planet Radio TV by logging onto www.planetradio.co.za

* Follow Sean Bacher on Twitter on @SeanBacher

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Canon EOS M – small and simple

Canon has extended the EOS range with the EOS M, its first compact system camera. Although not yet available in South Africa, the EOS M offers DSLR quality images and full HD recording in a compact, easy to use device.

Canon has expanded the EOS range with the launch of the EOS M. The company’s first ever compact system camera (CSC), the EOS M offers DSLR-quality imaging and full HD movie creation in a compact and easy-to-use model.

The EOS M is available in sleek black, glossy white, stylish silver or bold red colours, and condenses Canon’s EOS imaging heritage into a stylish, compact design. The model launches alongside two new lenses, the EF-M 22mm f/2 STM pancake and the EF-M 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM standard zoom, as well as a new compact EX Speedlite the Speedlite 90EX. For those who want to push their images even further, the EOS M can also use Canon’s range of EF lenses with the new Mount Adapter EF-EOS M, for even more creative freedom.

The quality of a Canon DSLR

The EOS M’s high-resolution, 18 megapixel APS-C hybrid CMOS sensor also allows you to blur the background for beautiful portraits, or for close-ups with impact.

With the inclusion of Canon’s DIGIC 5 processor, colours ‚’pop’ and skin tones are beautifully natural, while a super-fast shutter allows you to capture split-second action.

Shoot what you see and easily express your creative vision

Every aspect of the EOS M has been designed to make it simple to capture high-quality images. With the high-resolution, 7.7cm (3.0‚”), Clear View LCD II Touch screen, the EOS M gives you as much or as little control over your photos as desired. Simply select different shooting modes and settings via the on-screen icons, or let Scene Intelligent Auto adjust the camera settings according to the subject and shooting conditions, leaving you free to focus on composition and selecting the perfect moment to hit the shutter release button.

Turn film-maker with EOS Movie and Video Snapshot

When a moment calls for more than a still image, the EOS M lets you switch to Full HD video with stereo sound.

Extending the EOS System with dedicated accessories

In addition to compatibility with Canon’s existing EF lenses, accessories and Speedlites, the EOS M launches with its own range of accessories. Two new EF-M lenses offer portability and high performance when using the new model the EF-M 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM standard zoom and the EF-M 22mm f/2 STM pancake lens. Both feature new stepper motor technology for exceptionally smooth AF performance, as well as precision Canon optics, while their compact designs offer the perfect form-factor to complement the camera’s pocket-sized body.

Additionally, the EOS M will ship with the new Speedlite 90EX flash unit as standard. Lightweight and highly-compact, it offers a maximum guide number of nine and supports wide-angle lenses, making it an ideal general-purpose flash for everyday use. A wireless master function also allows the control of multiple flash guns wirelessly, allowing more advanced users to experiment with a range of creative lighting effects.

EOS M key features

· The quality of a digital SLR in a compact body

· Scene Intelligent Auto

· Be versatile with interchangeable lenses

· Create out-of-focus backgrounds for high impact

· Easy-to-use touch-screen

· Atmospheric photos in low light

· Full-HD video with Video Snapshot Mode

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