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Telkom data bundles for Smart TV

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Samsung has signed an agreement with Telkom that will see the marketing of its Smart TVs with fixed-line broadband solutions as bundled packages.

At this week’s Samsung Africa Forum, Samsung Electronics announced the initiation of a partnership agreement with Telkom South Africa, which aims to drive the interconnected environment between affordable data and the availability of Samsung Smart TVs locally. Through this partnership, Samsung and Telkom will look to collaborate in areas that will drive both the easy access to affordable and bundled data and Samsung’s, Smart TV technology, which will enable an interconnected home and a superior viewing experience for the consumer.

Innovative products and content

Says Justin Shaw, Business leader for Visual Display at Samsung Electronics SA: ‚Samsung is committed to providing not only the most innovative TV products, but also are focused on driving locally relevant content and access to the very best viewing experiences through internet based content such as videos, information and games via the Samsung Smart Hub interface ‚ and through this partnership we are able to do so. Our alignment with Telkom will give consumers the opportunity to access broadband as part of their Smart TV purchase. Consumers will benefit from the ability to use their TVs to their full potential ‚ while not incurring additional costs.‚

Samsung and Telkom promoting bundled packages

This partnership will see Samsung and Telkom cooperate in the marketing of Samsung Smart TVs and fixed-line broadband solutions as bundled packages, thereby ensuring that consumers have access to affordable broadband while enabling Smart viewing experiences through Samsung’s latest Smart TV line-up. The new Samsung TV line-up is epitomised by intuitive technologies, those that are underpinned by ease of use and of course, by leading technology innovations. Such innovations can be described as the ability to interact with the TV through motion and voice control as well as face recognition, sharing and management of content through a virtual, cloud based platform and of course ‚ a key differentiator for the Samsung brand – the ability to ensure return on your TV purchase long after it is bought through Smart evolution ‚ the upgradable software available for the longevity of a consumer’s TV today, for use tomorrow.

Access to content

‚Much of the market debate around Smart TVs recently have been driven around access to these features that are highly dependent on stable, high quality broadband locally – and today, we are very proud that we are able to offer exactly what our market needs: access to affordable broadband that ensures fast, interconnected TV services and entertainment experiences,‚ continues Shaw.

Telkom proud to partner with consumer electronics brand – Samsung

Says Sam Phajane, Telkom’s Executive for Consumer Business Support: ‚We are excited to align ourselves with a consumer electronics brand that also understands market needs. In doing so, we further boost our ability to expand access to high speed ADSL. We know the quality and stability of fixed-line broadband makes it the premium connectivity choice that will maximise the possibilities inherent to Samsung’s Smart TV technology.‚

‚We look forward to this partnership agreement and believe that through this we are better able to engage consumers into understanding and utilising the great features and opportunities that lie within the Samsung Smart TV range ‚ a global leading range of technologically advanced TV innovations – and of course, take heed of the innovative technology that is sure to inspire the way in which future technologies are adopted locally,‚ concludes Shaw.

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Planet Radio TV tune in on any device

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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

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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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