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Netflix Begins Streaming Data-Saving AV1 Videos On Android

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Netflix is rolling out support for the new AV1 video codec in its Android app, which the company claims compresses video 20 percent more efficiently than the VP9 codec it currently uses. The company says the codec can be enabled now for “selected titles” by enabling the “Save Data” option, although it doesn’t detail exactly which titles are supported. Eventually, Netflix says it plans to roll out AV1 on all its platforms, and is working with device and chipset manufacturers to broaden compatibility.

AV1 is important not just because it consumes less mobile data, but because the royalty-free video coding format has the support of the major tech players. The group behind the standard, the Alliance for Open Media (AOMedia), was founded in 2015 by a group of companies including Amazon, Google, Intel, Microsoft, and Netflix, and in 2018 Apple joined their efforts. Apple is a particularly significant addition, since its devices don’t currently support the predominant VP9 standard, which is why you can’t watch YouTube in 4K on devices like the Apple TV or iPad Pro.

Although Netflix notes that the plan is to eventually use AV1 across all platforms, it sounds like the codec is still in its early stages. Restricting its use to the “Save Data” option, for example, suggests that it’s not the best choice for picture quality. And, as Engadget notes, enabling the codec for YouTube playback generates a warning that “Streaming AV1 in HD requires a powerful computer.” That makes us wonder how AV1-encoded Netflix videos will impact that battery life of our smartphones. There’s also the question of how many Android devices support the codec, which Netflix’s announcement doesn’t address. We have contacted Netflix to ask for additional detail and will update this article when we hear back.

Source: The Verge

Business

Facebook To Open Its Second African Office In Lagos, Nigeria

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Facebook is set to open its second Africa office in Lagos in the second half of 2021, after it opened its first Africa office in Johannesburg, South Africa in 2015., which will house a cross-section of Facebook teams from sales, policy, and communications to engineering. It is the company’s latest commitment to Nigeria—Africa’s largest internet market, after it opened a hub space in partnership with Co-Creation Hub, a leading Nigerian startup accelerator, in 2018.

It is essentially a major play for talent and proximity to an important, fast-growing market—and it is not happening in isolation: Google and Microsoft have grown their local presence in Nigeria over the past decade. In fact, Microsoft’s moves have included a $100 million commitment to build software development centers on the continent and employ 500 African developers by 2023.

With more Nigerians using Facebook than anywhere else on the continent and the suite of high-ranking executives at Facebook’s global offices being a ringing endorsement, Facebook is moving closer to where the talent is. Nigeria ranked among the fastest growing developer communities in Africa last year.

The global tech giant is in the business of serving and monetizing eyeballs, hence a more hands-on operation in Nigeria, and across Africa, and being closer to the world’s fastest-growing population of young people is a shrewd move. Africa’s population, already the youngest in the world, is expected to triple by 2100 while the rest of the world shrinks. And Nigeria will play a key role in that growth spurt by becoming the second most populous country in the world, ahead of China.

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The Best Just Got Better; Introducing Samsung’s 2020 QLED TV Range

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In 2019, the Samsung QLED TV range received universal praise for its innovative display quality, sound, design and numerous pioneering features. This year Samsung added a welcome twist to an incredible story. With the 2020 QLED range, the best just got better. You can now turn the ordinary into the extraordinary with immersive sound, endless detail, minimalist design and unrivalled technology. This is Samsung’s most complete television ever. This is no surprise coming from the brand leading the way across the world and acclaimed by experts.

“Our goal is to continue Samsung’s unparalleled legacy of providing leading TV viewing experiences by combining the advantages of our next-generation displays with AI technologies, immersive technologies and breath-taking sound quality – a personalised journey that turns a TV into a series of incredible adventures,” said Dudu Mokholo, Chief Marketing Officer at Samsung Central Africa.

Any great movie has an equally great trailer. Below are the highlights that showcase the greatest QLED in show-stopping action:

  • Long-lasting, burn-in free picture quality with brightest and most vibrant colours
  • Brightest colour and true details with anti-reflection at night or day for Movies, Sport and Gaming
  • Rich surround sound with 6 speakers firing from top, bottom and sides
  • Sleek and elegant design, which creates an immersive cinematic experience

This is a TV that will change your expectations of what a TV can do

QLED offers an unparalleled visual and auditory adventure from the comfort of your living room. Available in 4K or 8K and from 43″ to 85””, the QLED series was designed with options to fit any space and budget. It’s simply a matter of choosing your viewing pleasure:

  • QLED 4K features stunning scenes with 8 million pixels – that’s four times the pixels of Full HD
  • QLED 8K offers unreal clarity with 33 million pixels – that’s 16 times the pixels of Full HD

Experience jaw-dropping detail and resolution – Real 8K resolution with Quantum Processor 8K

With QLED’s brightest and vibrant colours, you can choose to watch everything in 8K by advanced AI upscaling. Feel the power of every frame with 33 million pixels and a resolution four times that of 4K. Quantum Processor 8K ensures you always have 8K, no matter the source quality of the original content ¹

Get even closer to the action with dynamic sound that tracks the story

We all know that action movies with amazing sound arrangements provide the most realistic experiences when experienced at movie theaters. So how can this realism be recreated in the home? Samsung’s sound developers came up with Object Tracking Sound+ technology, in which sound follows movement onscreen through six speakers built into the TV.Thanks to this technology, a video’s audio follows the action on-screen in real time. When a car moves from the left to the right-hand side of the screen, so will the sound it makes; and when a heavy object drops from the top to the bottom of the screen, so will the audio. Doesn’t that sound good.

Experience maximum picture, minimum distraction – Infinity Screen

You can now push your viewing experience to the limit with a nearly-invisible bezel. In the flagship Q950TS-series, black edges are shrunk to almost nothing, and an ultra-slim frame removes any distractions so you can get a more immersive viewing experience. Explore the magic of Infinity Screen², a truly bezel-free design that removes any distractions for the most immersive TV experience.

Be the star of the show

QLED Smart TVs, powered by Tizen, makes it easier to find the content you love with personalised recommendations. It’s time to discover TV designed just for you. Want to watch what’s on your TV and your smartphone on the same screen? With MultiView, you can. Whether it’s live stats for sports or cheat videos for games, simply connect your phone and dual-screen like never before. To make sure you’re always in control, the TV is powerfully integrated and simple to use.  The 2020 Samsung TV also comes with a brand-new feature for mirroring your phone’s screen. Tap view feature allow phone’s screen to be displayed on your TV so you can enlarge photos, show friends a video, or maximize a spreadsheet for easier viewing. Set up Tap view in the SmartThings app and on your TV to start transferring your phone’s screen with a simple touch.

Take Control

Ultimately, QLED puts the power in your hands. With the Samsung OneRemote you have effortless access and control. Devices that are automatically recognised by QLED can be easily controlled—no need for separate remote controls. But the power doesn’t stop there. You can also do amazing things through’s Samsung’s Intelligent virtual assistant – Bixby3. You can ask Bixby for show recommendations, make quick title searches or control connected devices. Bixby knows what you like and makes sure you don’t miss out by suggesting shows you’re interested in but might not be watching at the moment. And because we live in a connected world, you’ll enjoy your SmartThings Dashboard, where you can put all of your connected devices on one screen. Simply set up the QLED SmartThings Dashboard to receive notifications as well as monitor and control your other smart home devices. With all this digital magic you’ll start to feel like anything is possible.

This year, Samsung has created truly unrivaled flagship TVs that give new meanings to picture perfection. With the 2020 QLED, the best just got better.

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TV When Turned On, Art When Turned Off; Samsung Launch The Frame TV

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Africa’s most admired tech brand has announced the launch of TV that is bound to fill your own home with many admiring glances1 . The Frame 2020 is a unique combination of Samsung’s revolutionary QLED technology and innovative design, enhancing both the living space and entertainment experience for consumers. The QLED technology enables beautiful colours, exceptional contrasts and impeccable details with 100% colour volume. What’s most unique and spectacular about The Frame is that when it is not being used as a TV, it moves into Art Mode. Just like how a framed picture looks different depending on the time of day, The Frame adjusts the screen brightness based on the ambient light in the room, using its in-built motion and brightness sensors.

“With The Frame you can expect what feels like a home makeover. It offers stunning picture quality, awe-inspiring sound and innovative features that effortlessly becomes an opportunity to showcase your own artistic taste. We are pleased to offer a product designed for the discerning tastes of Samsung customers, “said Dudu Mokholo, Chief Marketing Officer at Samsung Central Africa.

Whether you love TV or art, The Frame offers both. This spectacular TV truly complements your living space, bringing entertainment, and fine art into your home. Thanks to QLED technology, you can experience the brilliance of watching everything in lifelike colour and incredible detail, just as the creator intended. When you’re not watching TV, the screen is a blank canvas to display a gallery of artwork or your favourite photos. Better still, with no distracting cables, nothing will get in the way of your striking view.

How The Frame changes your space

  • Frame-look Design

The Frame is designed to turn your TV into a piece of elegantly framed art, enhancing your space and expressing your style. Mounted on the wall, the 2020 The Frame TV has a design that looks like a real picture frame to blend into your living room. 

  • Style The Frame your way with interchangeable bezels and No Gap Wall Mount.2

Your frame, your colour. The Frame TV’s customisable bezel lets you choose the right one for your interior. Find the perfect match for your own taste with a choice of black, brown, beige and white. The Frame TV can be effortlessly mounted flush to the wall with the provided No Gap Wall Mount, and allow you to enjoy your favourite TV shows, movies, games and media content without taking up space.

  • Art Mode

When the TV is off, turn it into a showcase of world famous art masterpieces3 or a gallery of your own photographs. Samsung is expected to open the online ArtStore in Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana and Mauritius in October. This means a world of fascinating art will be just a click away.

  • Colour Volume 100% by Quantum Dot

Experience colour the way it’s meant to be seen and artwork as realistically as it is in a gallery. With 100% colour volume and the bold contrast of Dual LED, The Frame brings everything to life with incredible detail and texture, from any angle. Samsung has also considered the quality of the content you watch and The Frame uses AI-powered upscaling to transform older content into a higher quality picture. This all adds to an immersive and realistic experience.

  • Ambient Mode + brings your vision to life

TV no longer has to be just a black screen. Ambient Mode lets you change what you see on-screen. Set it up so the time, weather, news headlines or calming animations are waiting for you every time you look over.The Frame can also match the surrounding wall’s colour and pattern to virtually blend in. It’s all up to you.

With The Frame you won’t feel like you need to visit galleries, because you can appreciate numerous pieces of art inside your own living room. QLED technology will also make you feel like a cinema experience is right in your home. Now that’s a TV worth having.

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Why Samsung New Sound Towers Have Become An Essential Part Of The Viewing Experience

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Few things get the party started as well as really good music – clear, crisp sound that brings a level of depth and richness that gets everyone in the mood to escape and unwind. Fortunately, Samsung has captured this need in a range of expertly engineered devices made to be enjoyed. Samsung’s range of sound towers pair perfectly with wide screen TV’s – an all in one form factor with seamless wireless connectivity. The Sound Tower is a party speaker range that comes with bi-directional sound ideal for large spaces along with DJ effects, Karaoke and LED Party Lights.

“The range turns any party into an event. We’re pleased to introduce the one and only, innovative bi-directional design. The double-sided speakers deliver powerful sound both ways, filling up any large space. There is no doubt that the the 2020 range of Sound Tower will light up any party.  ” said Dudu Mokholo, Chief Marketing Officer at Samsung Central Africa.

Sound Tower come with the world’s first Atmos technology for an elevated sound experience. These devices have been tuned at the Samsung Audio Lab in Valencia, California to give you perfectly balanced and room-filling sound. Get ready to bring life to any party through exceptionally loud and crisp sound quality with their 1,500 watt output, built-in woofer and bi-directional sound. These speakers offer everything one needs for a party – Dynamic Bass, DJ effect, Karaoke and LED Party Lights.

The Samsung MX-T70 and MX-T50 Sound Tower series is specially designed for in-home entertainment, spanning musical gigs to small gatherings to movie watching with family. These are superior speakers that sport the next-generation premium design which will definitely grab the attention of guests. The new Sound Tower line-up features Bi-directional Sound that disperses sound evenly covering wider range. It also delivers exceptionally loud and crisp sound quality with no distortion at high volumes even at a powerful output ranging from 500 watts and 1,500 watts.

The series comes equipped with a variety of party and audio features like Dynamic Bass, DJ effect, Karaoke, LED Party Lights among others, adding more life to the party. The 10-inch built-in woofer provides enhanced bass performance with a long excursion bass unit in the MX-T70 Sound Tower device.

And you can double the fun with seamless connectivity on the speakers. The models feature multiple USB ports, multi-connection options through Bluetooth and Group Play, which allows up to 10 Sound Tower speakers with one audio source. Additionally, the speakers are splash proof making them a perfect companion at get-togethers. The Sound Tower series will surely take party anthems to the next level and allow consumers to enjoy deep bass for those dance floor filling tunes. Pressing play never sounded this good

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