Friday, March 30, 2007

Time Machine, convergence of TV, PC

Features of the week:

Recently, Time Machine TV was introduced into the nation’s market. Remmy Nweke, in this report looks at the piece as a combination of personal computing technology.

Nowadays, it has become a sort of crime to miss out in some of the Mexican soaps being aired on various television stations in Nigeria, especially the Gardener’s Daughter and Lorenzo’s wife for the women folk, just as it could be a bad day to miss out on a football match between Arsenal and Manchester United football clubs for some football fans among men folk.

This is coming as global Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) TV revenues rose to over 138 per cent in the year to a record of $11.3 billion (about N1,448.4 billion) as at the second quarter of last year, representing 47 per cent of the worldwide TV market.

Given this backdrop, the coming of Time Machine TV manufactured by the Korean home appliances and mobile communications giant, LG Electronics, into the nation’s Information and Communication Technology (ICT) market, is as timely as it places the firm seemingly ahead based on the ability to optimise convergence between Television and Personal Computing (PC) technologies.

Speaking at the launch of Time Machine TV recently in Lagos, Managing Director of LG Electronics, West African operation, Mr. B.W. Park, had noted that Time Machine function allows users to pause, record and replay TV programmes with a built-in 80 Gega Bytes (GB) hard drive that could store up to 40 hours of digital standard-definition programming, eliminating the need for external storage devices.

According to him, unprecedented market demand for LG Electronics innovations in digital lifestyle products paved the way for ‘Time Machine’ Liquid Crystal Display (LCD TVs) available in 37 and 42-inches, while the Plasma version comes in sizes of 42 and 50-inches.

He pointed out that as broadcasting technology evolves from analogue to digital, consumers’ demands from television sets also increased, stressing that LCD and Plasma TVs have seen explosive growth in recent years, orchestrated by a sharp price decline and tech-savvy consumers trading in bulky Cathode-Ray Tube (CRT) sets for sleek big-screen models that LG aims to stay ahead of these demands by introducing products with cutting-edge technology.
He also said that LG’s ‘Time Machine’ LCD TVs are the world’s first televisions to come equipped with a built-in Digital Video Recorder (DVR).

This feature allows users to pause, record, and replay TV programmes just minutes after the original broadcast. The one-touch commercial skip features blocks out unwanted commercials with a touch of a button. The units also boast of continuous automatic recording in one-hour intervals.

Also speaking on the Time Machine, President of LG Electronics Gulf FZE, Mr. C.H. Lee, said LG enjoys a 25 per cent market share for Plasma TVs, and more than 15 per cent for LCD TVs in the UAE and the Gulf.

“We expect regional Plasma TV sales to grow by as much as 40 per cent as the demand for flat screen televisions increase. LG Plasma TV sales grew 50 per cent in the Gulf last year, and our LCD TV sales shot up by 200 per cent,” he said.

The ‘Time Machine’ TVs, he also said shows off LG’s exclusive extended data engine that improves brightness, contrast, and Third Dimension (3D) colour control, just as they offer sharpness enhancement and 3D noise reduction, as well as the Extended Data Services (now XDS, previously known as EDS); which is an American standard classification under Electronic Industries Alliance standard EIA-766 for the delivery of any ancillary data (metadata) to be sent with an analogue television programme, or any other affiliated to the United States-based National Television Standards Committee (NTSC) video signal, as well as SRS cum BBE which are sound system that deliver cinematic surround sound.

He noted, clear filter aspect, minimises dullness and eliminates the double image reflection of glass filter TVs, emphasising that the LG DVR Personal Display Product (PDP’s) High Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) also does away with multiple wires in favour of a single cable for all functions.

LG, he said, currently occupies the number one spot for LCD and plasma TVs in the Middle East and Africa, with a combined market share of 40 per cent, even as the consumer retail and digital signage sectors have driven demand for plasma TVs, along with hotels replacing old CRT sets with flat panel technology.

Mr. Lee disclosed that LG aims to become the number one player in the global display market by 2010 with global sales of US$10 billion. In order to achieve this, LG would secure the largest production capability in Plasma panels from its four major plants in Mexico, Poland, China and Korea, pointing out that LG will also build on its region-specific research and development (R&D) efforts and localised marketing.

Hence, the LG Time Machine TV has continued to generate commendations from Nigerians, especially the entertainment professionals, just six months after the product made its debut in the nation’s market, for what some of them described as “immense capabilities and technological edge.”

The latest tribute came from leading television presenter, Mr. Soni Irabor, who described the LG Time Machine TV as “A brilliant piece of technology that meets the need of the time.”
According to Irabor, “With the Time Machine TV, you can record for hours and you will be able to catch all the minute details of your production. The picture quality of this machine is also second to none in television viewing.”

He also said that it has fantastic pause and play features that could make one to go back in time, citing an instance, that if one were watching TV and needed to answer the call of nature, all the viewer should do is simply press the ‘record’ button to activate and on return, such a person is assured “you will be able to watch all the broadcast that was done in your absence.”

Mr. Irabor further said that he was impressed with the television as “Discerning professionals will find the LG Time Machine TV highly reliable and it is, indeed,” thus recommended for those in the entertainment and broadcast industry among other professionals.

Since its debut, LG’s Time Machine TV has been associated with some of Nigeria’s leading lights, especially in the entertainment and sports industry, hence it was not out of place for the likes of star actress, Stella Damasus-Aboderin and leading musician, Sunny Neji, voicing out their opinions in commendation of the product, saying that it would aid the growth of Nigeria’s entertainment industry, even as it will help viewers to enjoy all the exciting moments of their favourite programmes.

In addition, Mr. Park, said the Time Machine TV, which is one of LG’s latest innovations, is perfectly placed to fill an important gap in the market because the busy lifestyles of consumers have created a need for integrated products and the company is the first manufacturer to address this growing trend with the high definition Time Machine TV.Like Mr. Irabor noted, LG Time Machine TV is a piece of technology that meets the test of time, just as the test is in the pudding.

ITREALMS Online ... delivering news for ICT4D

1 comment:

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Some LCD Facts:
• LCD stands for ‘Liquid crystal display’.
• Early LCD television had drawbacks relative to traditional visual display technologies. It displayed fast-moving action with "ghosting" and could be viewed best only when looking directly at the screen or from a slight angle. Most of these problems were solved in recent years, and LCD televisions, along with plasma displays, have become more popular worldwide than cathode ray display televisions. The LCD design is also known for being more energy efficient than the CRT design.