The Life's Way - A Lifestyle and Technology Blog By Aashish Rai 

Tuesday, 25 September 2018

Making the Difference in the Ultra-Definition TV Era @SamsungSA #UHDtv

Hi Friends,

As displays get bigger, the quality of the picture becomes more important. Big screen TVs are the main source of growth in an otherwise flat market. And with large TVs come higher resolutions.

No matter how big the TV is, if it doesn’t have the necessary picture quality, users won’t be able to realize the power of the screen. That’s why large-sized TV has inevitably led to the increase in demand for Ultra High Definition (UHD). UHD is a 4K (3,840X2,160) picture quality, which is applied to TVs that measure over 65 inches. The technology is about to take yet another step up as 8K (7,680X4,320) TVs are ready to be commercialized.

But this is an era where even the number of pixels isn’t enough in isolation. To produce the best picture quality possible, it’s also important to consider the environment this content will be viewed in and the quality of the original content itself.

Reginald Nxumalo, Director of Consumer Electronics for Samsung South Africa, says, “The paradigm is shifting and it’s vital that all considerations are taken into account to produce an experience that everyone will enjoy.”

Worldwide UHD TV sales surpassed FHD (Full High Definition) TV for the first time last year, according to market researcher IHS Markit. It is expected that 100 million UHD units will be shipped this year, which is about 45% of the total TV market. In 2022, the proportion of UHD TV is expected to reach 60%.
Making the Difference in the Ultra-Definition TV Era @SamsungSA #UHDtv
Samsung UHD TV sales volume is also on the rise. Sales of Samsung UHD TVs in the fourth quarter of last year already exceeded 50% of the total Samsung TV units sold globally. In the first quarter of this year, Samsung UHD TV sales also increased by more than 35% compared to the same period last year.

In the ultra-high-definition TV market era, standards for judging picture quality are further developing. For example, is a TV able to reproduce colors with real-life brightness, particularly when the normal TV viewing environment is brighter than many would expect? According to the DOE survey, consumers in the U.S. and Europe usually watch TV in a bright environment with an average home illuminance level of 79 lux. Can a TV react and provide an accurate picture in these and other common viewing use cases?

Experts advise consumers to look beyond the high resolution to see the different factors that cause the difference in brightness, contrast, and content when consumers watch TV. The way consumers view TV and the way experts gauge a TV’s ability to deliver is much more sophisticated than it ever has been. The TV needs to be more versatile because it’s used for more than just viewing a TV show. That means Samsung has to be stringent to make sure its QLED products perform not just according to the specifications but also according to real life usage.

“A new criterion for picture quality is color volume, which can measure minute color changes, three-dimensionally, according to varying degrees of brightness,” adds Nxumalo.

Verband Deutscher Electrotechnischer (VDE), a well-regarded certification institution in Germany established in 1893, certified QLED TV for 100% color volume for two consecutive years, which is the world’s first and only time a TV has received such a distinction.

QLED TV, based on the metal quantum dot technology, can accurately represent detailed colors that can be hidden from dark or bright images. Brightness can be expressed up to 2,000 knits, which is 3 to 4 times that of conventional TVs, giving a more vivid look to scenes such as sunlight reflecting texture and white snowy landscapes.

Indeed, this year’s Samsung QLED TVs achieved the highest level of contrast ratio by improving the quality of blacks on-screen while maintaining brightness. To create an even more stunning contrast ratio, the TVs feature new Direct Full Array technology, which puts backlit LEDs behind the panel for precise brightness control. By making the LED blocks more than ten times the number of conventional TVs, the light can be adjusted individually to create a subtler difference in black colors. Moreover, it applies the black algorithm that perceives and precisely adjusts black colors, successfully delivering the original detail even in particularly dark scenes.

“When watching a dark scene in a bright environment, the reflection of objects around the screen can cause discomfort. QLED TV solved this problem by using Anti-reflection technology. Even under daylight or bright lighting, an anti-reflective screen dramatically reduces glare, allowing one to be more immersed in images regardless of the surroundings,” says Nxumalo.

Along with this, Samsung is also working to expand the ecosystem to upgrade HDR (High Dynamic Range) technology, which is an integral function of ultra-definition TV. Since last year, Samsung has been developing HDR10+, which is one step more advanced than HDR10, a standard for realizing HDR video. HDR10+ is a technology that shows the optimal contrast ratio for each scene through ‘Dynamic Tone Mapping’ technique which applies different contrast to each scene. The company is expanding its HDR10+ content in cooperation with global companies such as Amazon, 20th Century Fox, Panasonic, and Warner Bros.

High-quality content is as important as the ultra-high definition TV specification. Many of the most recognizable names in video content such as Netflix, YouTube, and various cable companies already provide UHD content. However, due to the burden of production cost, consumers are not able to enjoy 4K UHD broadcasting content on TV unrestrictedly yet.

The problem here is that if the low-quality content is shown on a big screen, the pixels are usually enlarged artificially, causing the picture to shake or lose clarity. Samsung Electronics has solved this problem by installing the ‘4K Q Engine’ based on semiconductor technology on its QLED TV.

‘4K Q Engine’ is a technology that upgrades SD (400,000 pixels) and FHD (2 million pixels) class image to 4K (8 million pixels) class. Based on artificial intelligence, it applies a 5-step algorithm (Image Signal Analysis ▷ Noise Reduction ▷ Improved 1st Detail ▷ 4K Upscaling ▷ Improved 2nd Detail) to improve image quality and express hidden details. What’s more, 8K AI Technology will be introduced in the latter half of the year and will offer an even better picture and sound expression.

QLED TV’s dramatically improved picture quality this year has been widely praised by many media outlets including Tech Radar, What Hi-Fi and AVS Forum. Trusted Reviews gave Samsung’s QLED the Highly Recommended mark and said: “The Samsung QE65Q9FN is the most impressive TV I’ve reviewed in years. It effectively combines the strong brightness and color of Quantum Dot LED (QLED) with the deep blacks and almost the lighting precision of OLED. That’s a huge deal in a world where you generally choose one or the other.”

Doochan Eum, Vice President of Visual Display Business at Samsung Electronics, says: “As TVs gradually get larger in size and the competition for premium picture quality becomes fiercer, detailed and subtle image rendering performance is growing in importance. With Samsung QLED TV’s enhanced brightness, contrast, content, we are continuing to provide consumers with a superb immersive viewing experience.”

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Monday, 24 September 2018

On @SpotifySA Playlists Have No Borders - Broadening Reach for Local Artists #SpotifySouthAfrica

Hi Friends,

The launch of Spotify, the largest global music streaming subscription service, into South Africa in March provided a ‘game-changing’ opportunity for the local music industry, according to Claudius Boller, Spotify MD for Middle East & Africa.

Globally, Spotify has enhanced the way artists connect with music fans by introducing individual artists and their music to millions of people around the world. With a worldwide community of over 180 million music fans across 65 countries, the introduction of Spotify to the South African market extends the potential global reach for local artists. The benefits of having a dedicated local music curator on board for South Africa has ensured that local artists are supported across Spotify - promoting these artists to a broad audience who otherwise may not have been exposed to South African talent.

This was the case with South African megastar AKA, where tracks from his latest sell-out album Touch My Blood, featured on global Spotify playlist We Everywhere. To date, AKA’s Beyoncé track holds the highest first-day streaming record for a South African single, in the country.

A key feature of Spotify’s commitment to artists and their careers is Spotify for Artists, a powerful free resource for artists and their managers to track the global performance of their music in real time. In this way, artists can better understand and build their audiences, with invaluable statistical data and insights into who is listening to their music, which music is performing the best, and where those fans are located.
On @SpotifySA Playlists Have No Borders - Broadening Reach for Local Artists #SpotifySouthAfrica
With this resource, artists can access a range of analytics including; the demographics of their listening audience, listeners’ anonymized geographical locations, similar artists that their fans listen to, the number of real-time listeners, song performance data, playlist data and playlist notifications.

Spotify for Artists provides the analytical support that artists need to optimize their performance and focus on doing what they do best - creating music to share with fans around the world. This data provides strategic insight to direct how artists promote themselves and the potential to explore different market and audiences based on who is listening to their music.

The latest data reflects that local artists such as DJ Maphorisa have more Spotify listeners in Paris, Toronto, London, Montreal, and New York than in Johannesburg while most of Babes Wodumo’s Spotify listeners come from Los Angeles, London, Mexico City, Chicago, and New York. Nasty C’s key Spotify listenership originates from Paris, Toronto, London, Montreal, and New York, with additional listeners in Japan and Mexico, which certainly helped propel his latest track King to the spot of second highest first-day streaming record for a South African track since launch. Most streamed South African female artist Shekhinah, also has listeners in the US, Canada, and Sweden among her top 10 listener countries. Overall Jeremy Loops is the most streamed South African artist since launching.*

Educational empowerment is a key focus of the Spotify for Artists platform, with a host of useful and informative video and editorial content to better understand Spotify, music streaming and the music industry in general. The Spotify community, made up of industry experts and musicians, has a wealth of music industry knowledge. To ensure this knowledge is accessible to artists at all stages of their career, Spotify for Artists launched The Game Plan, an original video drawing on the expertise of the Spotify community, to provide tips, tools, and strategies that can help artists build their careers, both on and off the Spotify platform.

The Spotify for Artists platform launched in April 2017 and has since expanded to include a variety of new features and analytics updates and is constantly improving and developing new products and services to better suit the needs of artists at all stages of their career. The Spotify for Artists app also recently launched on both iOS and Android platforms, improving the real-time access for artists allowing them to directly control their profiles from their phones, wherever they are.

Download the Spotify app via the Android or iOS app store or by heading to www.spotify.com - to embed Spotify into a website - right click on any playlist, go to 'share' and copy the embed code.

#SpotifySouthAfrica - Facebook: @Spotify |Twitter: @SpotifySA | Instagram: @spotify
 
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New R150k Fence for Witkoppen Primary School @MontecasinoZA #TsogoSunCSR

Hi Friends,

Learners and educators at Witkoppen Primary School on William Nicol Drive in Fourways have a greater sense of safety and security than they’ve had for many years as a result of the erection of a brand new ClearVu fence and main gate at the front of the school property, through a collaboration by members of the local community.

According to Acting Principal, Philemon Mashimbyi, who has been at the school for over seven years, “Our local Community Policing Forum has been very involved in the safety and security of our school, our 850 learners, and our educators. They came to assess the school and identified that our fence was in desperate need of replacing.” The CPF contacted Hot 91.9fm’s and through their Hot Cares community investment programme, Montecasino (https://www.tsogosun.com/montecasino) and Paul’s Gates, they were able to collaborate and work together to erect the fence and new main gate cover the approximate 50-meter frontage of the school property. The total value of this initiative was R150 000.
Lisa Sukdev, Lloyd Madurai, Caroline Naidu, Philemon Mashimbyi and excited Witkoppen Primary School learners
Lisa Sukdev, Lloyd Madurai, Caroline Naidu, Philemon Mashimbyi and excited Witkoppen Primary School learners
Adds Mashimbyi, “Because we are located on such a busy main road, we urgently needed our property to be securely fenced off from passing traffic and our children and staff kept safe within the premises. Our school supports disadvantaged learners and there were no funds to improve our security. We are so thankful to the CPF for their support of the school, Montecasino, Paul’s Gates and Hot 91.9fm for their generous donations and commitment to improving our school and our community.”

Mike Page, GM of Montecasino, says, “We are privileged to be able to contribute towards the safety and security of these young children, their educators, and the school property, and we thank all those members of the community who collaborated to ensure the successful culmination of this project.”

This donation by Montecasino ties in perfectly with Tsogo Sun’s wider group CSI organizations on education that impacts more than 35 000 children and youth around the country annually.
New R150k fence for Witkoppen Primary School @MontecasinoZA #TsogoSunCSR
New ClearVu fence at Witkoppen Primary School
Lloyd Madurai, MD of Hot 91.9 FM radio station, says, “As a strongly community-focused radio station, it’s a real sense of achievement for us when we are in a position to improve lives within our community by working together with like-minded organisations. We could not do this without our loyal listeners who support our Hot Cares programme and our partners. We wish Witkoppen school and all the learners a safe, happy, and productive future.”
 
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Collective Culture - Captured on a @SonyXperiaZA #XperiaXZ2 Smartphone

Hi Friends, 

Local creative visionary, and Sony Xperia influencer, Tuelo Nguyuza – owner and lead designer for TNCollectiv , releases a behind-the-scenes video for his latest bridal collection, ‘Collective Culture’, captured on a Sony Xperia XZ2

The collection – inspired by the diversity of South African cultures, used the fabrics, prints and artistic detail from indigenous South African traditions. Tuelo’s ‘Collective Culture’ concept came from the fact that so many local brides love the idea of a ‘white wedding’ yet their cultural roots run deep, so the traditional African weddings also tend to ensue. “My ’Collective Culture’ collection combines both the traditional, African gown as well as the more popular Western type wedding dress that is designed and made by someone who too, embodies the customs of their culture, as opposed to an International designer who simply takes inspiration from our beautiful and creative cultural diversity” says Tuelo.
Collective Culture - Captured on a @SonyXperiaZA #XperiaXZ2 Smartphone
Like the pleating detail on the Sepedi ensemble called ‘Ele’ – essentially a ‘box dress’ with a wrap around fabric detail on the waist, Tuelo has interpreted this piece into a gown using similar Sepedi trimmings in the detail, modelled by the gorgeous Gail Mabalane who, according to Tuelo, was a natural choice for us as she has been our brand ambassador for the past 3 years and embodies what the TNCollectiv woman is sophisticated and graceful.

The entire behind-the-scenes shoot was captured using Xperia’s 4K HDR recording capabilities and the HD super slow-motion feature of the Xperia XZ2. “I love what this phone can do for me – I didn’t need any additional professional photographers to capture the essence of the message I wanted my brides to receive through this bridal showcase,” concluded Tuelo

To follow all updates keep an eye on the Sony Mobile Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter pages.
 
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Contact me at thelifesway@gmail.com to collaborate on your campaigns. #TheLifesWay #PhotoYatra!

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