Xiaomi Mi TV 4S With 55-inch 4K HDR Display, AI Voice Remote Launched

Xiaomi Mi TV 4S With 55-inch 4K HDR Display, AI Voice Remote Launched

Mi TV 4S 55-inch is the latest Xiaomi smart TV, and comes with features similar to the 40-inch Mi TV 4A

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Xiaomi Mi TV 4S launched in China priced at CNY 2,999
  • The device supports both DTS and Dolby Audio
  • It is powered by Amlogic Cortex-A53 processor with 2GB of RAM

Xiaomi Mi TV 4S is the company’s newest Mi TV series of smart TVs in its home market. Xiaomi has launched the 55-inch Mi TV 4S in China, and the 4K TV comes with an HDR display, PatchWall, Dolby audio, and other features. Earlier this month, the manufacturer had announced another 40-inch Mi TV 4A in the country, but the new TV comes with additional features and a larger screen. The 55-inch Mi TV 4S is priced at CNY 2,999 (roughly Rs. 31,100) in China. Pre-orders for this TV are already open on the company’s website, but the device will go on sale on April 3. The is no clarity on whether Xiaomi will launch this TV in other markets, including India.

When it comes to specifications, the MI TV 4S sports a 55-inch (3840×2160 pixels) 4K display. It has direct type backlight, 178-degree viewing angle, refresh rate of 60Hz, and 8ms dynamic response. The smart TV is powered by a 64-bit quad-core Amlogic Cortex-A53 processor with clock speed of up to 1.5GHz, coupled with 2GB of RAM. It also comes with 750MHz Mali 450 GPU and has an inbuilt storage of 8GB. Connectivity options in the new TV include Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.2 + LE, USB port, HDMI port, AV port, analogue signal DTMB, and Ethernet. It has two 8W speakers with Dolby and DTS enhancements.

Other features in the new Mi TV 4S 55-inch TV includes voice control support that lets buyers use the remote with inbuilt mic to give commands such as “shut down after 20 minutes,” or “fast forward to 54 minutes and 21 seconds” to control certain functions without pressing any buttons. It is based on the Android-Based Patchwall UI that the company is known to use in its other TVs.

Additionally, there are two 8W stereo speakers included on the 55-inch Xiaomi Mi TV 4S and the device supports both DTS and Dolby Audio. In terms of dimensions, the TV measures 123.6×77.6×71.6cm and weighs 13.4 kg without the base weight.

[“Source-gadgets.ndtv”]

Facebook Messenger Testing Snapchat-Like Streaks, Gets 4K Resolution Photo Support

Facebook Messenger Testing Snapchat-Like Streaks, Gets 4K Resolution Photo Support

HIGHLIGHTS

  • For streaks, Messenger shows a lightning bolt icon and days counter
  • Streaks provides a glance to ‘fun facts’ about the most active contacts
  • 4K resolution support is rolling out in limited regions

Taking on the competition, Facebook is testing a ‘Streaks’ feature in Messenger that is also used by Snapchat. The Menlo Park, California-headquartered company has also added 4K resolution support to its messaging service to uplift the visual experience. The latter feature is arriving for both Android and iOS platforms.

The first of the two updates to Facebook Messenger is the availability of Snapchat-like streaks feature that has been reported by certain users. The new feature would help Facebook to enhance engagements by letting users have a continuous conversation with their contacts. As spotted by Twitter user Case Sandberg, Facebook Messenger shows a lightning bolt icon next to the name of a person you have messaged for at least two days in a row. A counter is also available alongside the streak icon to reveal for how many days you both have been chatting on Messenger.

In a statement to Mashable, a Facebook spokesperson confirmed the presence of streaks. The spokesperson stated that the feature was in testing to let you “see at a glance fun facts” about the people you have spoken with on Messenger. It also adds that the feature will be visible if the person has been messaged at least “three days in a row”. Although the formal comment does not reveal an expansion of streaks, the feature could arrive on other Facebook-owned properties including Instagram and WhatsApp following its success on Messenger.

In addition to streaks, Facebook Messenger is receiving 4K support take the visual communication to new levels. The new support enables you to send and receive photos in up to 4096×4096 pixels resolution.

facebook 4k resolution support Facebook Messenger 4K  Facebook Messenger  Facebook

Facebook Messenger with 4K support

Despite supporting larger images, Messenger is touted to make it quicker to upload your favourite memories. Of course, you won’t have an as fast experience as the lighter version of Messenger offers on Android devices. But in the latest case, you have the ability to zoom into your memories to see the subjects and objects in detail.

You don’t need to select any specific settings to send 4K photos to your contacts. However, the latest version of the Messenger app is required to enable the new experience. Facebook has started rolling out the 4K resolution in the US, Canada, France, Australia, the UK, Singapore, Hong Kong, Japan, and South Korea. Other regions will receive the same update in the coming weeks.

As of September, Facebook Messenger has more than 1.3 billion monthly active users worldwide – on par with WhatsApp that reached the same milestone in July. The messaging service also offers a platform to third-party developers to host their apps and games in addition to features like bots, video calling, and peer-to-peer payments.

[“Source-gadgets.ndtv”]

Samsung Q8C 55-Inch 4K HDR QLED TV 2017 Review

Samsung Q8C 55-Inch 4K HDR QLED TV 2017 Review

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Samsung Q8C 55-inch QLED TV is priced Rs. 3,44,900
  • It has a curved display, and supports HDR 10
  • Runs on Samsung’s Tizen OS, has support for most streaming services

Samsung first showed off its range of QLED TVs at CES this year, and there was a lot to be excited about. The 4K HDR image quality of the Samsung panels on the show floor was spectacular, with dynamic brightness levels that seemed to match what OLED TVs can achieve, but at substantially more affordable prices.

The Q8C family, in particular, is in the middle of Samsung’s new QLED TV range, and you have a choice of 55-inch, 65-inch, and 75-inch models. The Q9F models are the flagships, and the Q7 models are more entry-level. The C in the name indicates a curved panel. We have the 55-inch Q8C model with us for review, and there’s a lot more than just its curve going for it. In fact, this is one of the most interesting TVs in the market today. Here’s our review.

Samsung 2017 QLED TV design and features

Let’s start with the curved panel since that itself is a deciding factor for a lot of buyers. The curvature on the Samsung Q8C is not as prominent as it was on models a few years ago, so viewing angles have increased greatly. The sweet spot is much wider and that makes a big difference when you have your family or friends seated at up to 45 degrees off-centre. It’s also worth mentioning that due to the enveloping effect that the curved screen creates, this TV immediately felt bigger than a flat, 55-inch model placed right alongside it. There is still an issue if you’re watching TV from way off-centre, so if you really care about the experience, you’ll definitely need to position this TV carefully. If you know that people will be watching TV sitting near the far edges or corners of your room, a curved TV such as the Q8C might not be the best choice on your wishlist.

With that out of the way, the TV itself is super-slim and near edgeless. The screen measures 54.6 inches diagonally. There are front-firing 4.2 channel speakers; the .2 referring to two downward-firing subwoofers, all housed in the body of the TV itself. The back has a silver brushed-metal finish and an extremely clean design since all ports and sockets are in a separate unit called the One Connect box which is bundled with the TV.

Samsung q8c qled tv 02 Samsung Q8C 55-Inch 4K HDR QLED TV Review

The stand itself is curved with a wide angle to match the panel’s curvature. The back of the stand conceals the two cables that attach inside of it – the Power cable, and the thin cable that connects to the One Connect Box. Samsung has a specialised wall mount made for this panel that leaves no gap between the rear-centre of the TV and the wall, giving it a true wall-art kind of look. There’s no denying that this panel was designed to look good in your room, and it does that job well. Especially by cutting out the clutter of cables that attach to most other TV panels.

As stated before this is a 4K UHD panel with a resolution of 3840×2160, and it offers HDR support. It has a really impressive level of brightness at 1500 nits, but this tends to make colours pop a bit too much by default. Just for a rough comparison, most other TVs in this range have a much lower brightness level, usually between 600 and 1000 nits. Since it uses quantum dot technology – which is the ‘Q’ in QLED, the panel is edge-lit – unlike OLEDs (Organic LEDs), in which each LED is its own light source. The difference here is that while OLEDs are capable of incredibly deep black levels, QLED has an advantage in bright spots.

Samsung has been using Tizen for its Smart TV interface for a while now, and it seems to have gotten to a good level of refinement here. Though still not as spiffy as Android TV, it does give you a very neat interface, intelligently remembering where you left off when you put the TV in standby. The downside to this is that at one point an app became unresponsive and we had to turn the Q8C off and then on again from the main power to exit. Apps like Amazon Prime, Box TV, YouTube and Netflix came pre-installed on the TV, and a host of other apps and games are available in the TV’s app store – no Hotstar though.

Samsung 2017 QLED TV remote control

The separate One Connect box helps cut the clutter, as all connectivity is routed through it. This includes four HDMI ports, a DisplayPort, Ethernet, three USB 2.0 ports with one supporting 1A power output for hard drives, S/PDIF optical out, and an antenna-in. Besides these the TV also supports Wi-Fi, Wi-Fi-Direct, and Bluetooth. The cable that connects the One Connect box to the TV is around 15 feet long, which is enough for it to be placed at quite a distance from the panel.

Samsung q8c qled tv 05 Samsung Q8C 55-Inch 4K HDR QLED TV Review

If you’d rather have all your source devices and remotes in another part of the room, this unit will make that possible. The One Connect box needs its own power source, which is not really a negative, but something you need to make note of when designing your space. The remote control works over Bluetooth so there’s no need to have a direct line of sight between you and the box.

Speaking of the remote, it’s a bit minimalistic, but it does aim to take over as a universal remote. Most popular Blu-Ray players, soundbars, and other devices are detected automatically and can work directly with this remote. It also has a button for speech input, but that wasn’t very useful in our experience. It misheard almost every phrase we tried, which meant we had to resort to typing manually.

There’s a Samsung Smart View app that’s available on both Android and iOS, which shows your content library and the remote interface right on your phone’s screen. It gives you a touchpad interface that can be used for the cursor in the Web browser and lets you type URLs into the address bar. However, the app doesn’t extend its keyboard support when typing on the TV’s apps, which is where it would have made the most sense. The Smart View app does offer you shortcuts to the content. There was also quite an input lag when we tried that out.

Samsung q8c qled tv 06 Samsung Q8C 55-Inch 4K HDR QLED TV Review

Samsung 2017 QLED TV performance (full-HD, SDR)

We start with full-HD resolution media since that’s what you’ll mostly be spending most of your time watching, considering that 4K media is still pretty rare. As with all UHD TVs, the Samsung Q8C does a pretty good job of upscaling full-HD media, as long as the source is good.

Starting with Blu-Ray discs, the upscaling is quite impressive. Details translate well and the panel does a great job of sharpening edges to the point that you could fool someone into thinking that you’re playing media at its native resolution. The lack of heavy compression on Blu-Ray media serves this TV well, to the point that you wouldn’t feel any need to upgrade your current collection to UHD Blu-Rays. The satellite TV stream we tested ran at 1080i and also looked pretty good on the screen apart from a few noticeable jaggies every now and then. 4K set top boxes are available from Videocon and Airtel in India, which might help you get better picture quality.

Samsung q8c qled tv 10 Samsung Q8C 55-Inch 4K HDR QLED TV Review

Netflix and Amazon Prime had similar issues when it came to non-4K media, with the edges appearing a bit soft and some minor dithering in sections with fine details. It’s a minor thing, but there are some noticeable effects of the upscaling if you have the eye to spot them.

The TV’s HDR+ mode forces tone mapping to identify bright and dark areas and adjust them accordingly, but is pretty aggressive. Standard Dynamic Range (SDR) content looked unnaturally warm, and we had to change the colour tone in this mode from Warm 2 to Standard. There was also a bit of banding in some colour gradients when watching streaming media, which we didn’t notice with Blu-Rays. This could be a result of the compression used for streaming, considering how forced HDR works, the flaws are more easily visible. Also, the HDR+ mode does seem to favour reds over other colours, so you might see a little more intensity there.

In Standard mode, you get pretty good image quality, with no exaggerated bloom in brighter areas and dark areas not pushed to match the scene tone. What mode you set your TV to is completely up to your preferences, but we can say that the Q8C does a pretty good job of upscaling lower-resolution content and forcing HDR+ (after a bit of manual tweaking).

Samsung 2017 QLED TV performance (4K, HDR)

The Q8C really shines with native 4K HDR content. Though we understand that true, uncompressed 4K UHD media is not easy to find (not even on a lot of UHD Blu-Rays), the TV does an amazing job with whatever you can throw at it. Native UHD media works brilliantly with a highly noticeable boost in image clarity which you won’t get from HD media. In movies, the effect is a bit more subtle because of the cinematic film grain added to the media, but if you’re watching a TV show or an animated film, the details are as good as they can get.

Streaming video from Netflix (4K) and Amazon Prime didn’t show that much of a substantial improvement, and won’t make for a compelling argument to jump to 4K. The panel does add an additional layer of clarity and the experience is definitely a step up from watching 1080p streams on a 4K TV, but if you’re thinking of upgrading just to watch streaming media in 4K, this is not the time to make that jump.

This Samsung 2017 QLED TV handled HDR really well. We instantly noticed a much higher depth in the overall colour reproduction, with contrasts reduced to show more details instead. This was especially evident in the games we tested on the TV using a PlayStation 4 Pro, which supports HDR 10 output. The most noticeable change was in Injustice 2 – a DC superhero fighting game with over-the-top visuals and bright colours. Lighting was managed extremely well, and bright spots showed a lot more depth in their colour gradients instead of just burning to a bright white. Characters like Firestorm had more realistic-looking flames with details that were just not seen when using SDR.

Samsung q8c qled tv 08 Samsung Q8C 55-Inch 4K HDR QLED TV Review

The other game we tried was Horizon Zero Dawn. It’s already one of the best-looking games of our generation, and HDR pushed it a step further. With HDR we instantly noticed an even glow to the landscape, which earlier had sharp contrasts. Though subtle, due to the realistic design of the game, the change was still quite evident.

It’s worth noting that the option to turn HDR on for external sources is buried in the System menu of the TV instead of the Picture menu, like in Samsung’s 2016 TVs. This is an odd change that took us a while to figure out.

Samsung 2017 QLED TV audio performance

The Samsung Q8C produces a full sound with good highs, excellent mids and effective lows. The bass is not too boomy, but it is punchy enough to create an impact. The faux-surround effect does fill up a room pretty well and works well for movies and gaming alike. Of course, we were testing it in a 15×20 feet room, so if you’re using the TV in a bigger space, we would definitely recommend a soundbar at least, if not a full surround-sound system to truly enjoy your media with.

Samsung q8c qled tv 03 Samsung Q8C 55-Inch 4K HDR QLED TV Review

Verdict

Samsung has been pushing the envelope for curved displays for a while now, and now it’s reached a point where we do see the appeal in them. The performance of the Q8C is quite brilliant when it comes to handling colours and filling up a room with its impressive brightness. The upscaling works well, so your HD movie collection will still be relevant. Gaming at 4K with HDR in supported titles is amazing as well.

This TV isn’t perfect. Navigation and the Tizen Store still need a bit of work, and so does the smartphone app. The voice input feature was a complete miss for us. However, those are little things to complain about for a TV that can give OLEDs a run for their money without the massive prices they command.

Price (MRP): Rs. 3,44,900

Pros

  • High brightness and excellent colours
  • Great HDR performance
  • Excellent upscaling of Blu-Rays and Games
  • Good horizontal viewing angles for a Curved Display
  • Good audio performance

Cons

  • Hotstar is missing from the Tizen Store
  • Favours reds in HDR+ Mode
  • Unsatisfactory voice recognition

Ratings (Out of 5)

Design: 4.5
Performance: 4
Value for money: 4.5
Overall: 4

[“Source-gadgets.ndtv”]

Rohan Gilkes of Wet Shave Club: Growing a $4K Investment into $350K Business

Wet Shave Club0Small Business Trends: Maybe you can give us a little bit of your personal background.

Rohan Gilkes: I’ve been an accountant before I started building businesses online. I felt the urge to control my own life more and find a way to work for myself. I started hanging around blogs so I could learn about Internet marketing and that’s kind of how I got into trying to build businesses online.

Small Business Trends: How did you get started with Wet Shave Club?

Rohan Gilkes: Wet Shave Club was started by someone else about six months before we heard about the business. I was on the Reddit hang around, and saw a thread where this guy wanted to sell it. He had been doing it for some time, and he had gotten it up to about $300.00 per month, and he wanted to sell it because it really was not kind of paying off based on the effort he was putting into it.

So I ended up purchasing Wet Shave Club for $4,000.

Small Business Trends: So you opened a little less than a year ago. You spent $4,000 to acquire the domain and some of the customers — the few customers that he had basically. Where are you today with it?

Rohan Gilkes: We’re going to end this month, which really would be the end of our first year, at around $350,000 in revenue and a little bit over 1,500 customers.

Small Business Trends: That’s really cool. What were some of the important things you had to do at the very beginning to get potential customers on board?

Rohan Gilkes: The first thing we did was take a look at how the website was branded, and redesigned it to make it friendlier and speak more clearly to the customer. And also we redesigned the box as well, expanded the product line just a bit and raised prices. We raised prices by almost three times.

Small Business Trends: Wow … how long did it take for the subscription numbers to start moving up and up and up?

Rohan Gilkes: Another two months or so, because traffic was still low. But we had increased our conversion rates almost by double, so we were in a good position where all we had to do was figure out how to drive as much traffic as possible to the website.

Small Business Trends: What were your conversion rates at the beginning?

Rohan Gilkes: We started very close to 1.5 percent conversions and we ended up just a little bit over three percent conversions. So for every 100 people that come to the website, we can expect three of them to sign up now for our service, which is kind of where you want to be for a regular eCommerce store. And it’s very good for a subscription box because the subscription box offer requires that customer to sign up on a recurring basis.

Small Business Trends: So let’s talk a little bit about one or two of the things that you did to get the traffic up.

Rohan Gilkes: Our main focus was to find the people in the wet shaving community with the biggest followings and get a box of our new branded products in their hand. So if you were some person that led a forum or had a couple thousand Instagram followers or a couple thousand YouTube subscribers and talked about wet shaving we just sent you a box. And so that box may cost us like $10.00, but then based on all the people that would see it and people that trust this person’s recommendations, we were then able to get a boost in subscribers right away.

We then turned to regular social media folks — people that we could start a conversation with and get our brand out there. We ran contests where in order to enter the contest, you would have to tweet about us or you would have to send a message on Instagram or email. So basically we were able to leverage people that were interested in wet shaving and have them share our experience with their friends and their communities.

Small Business Trends: What role did your blog play in getting that traffic up?

Rohan Gilkes: We would post manufacturers’ videos of people that were in the box. We would post reviews of our box as well, and we would post on social media. But people would have to come back to our blog to watch it.

And while there on our blog, a pop up would offer them a five percent discount or something in exchange for their emails. And so we gathered, over time, thousands of emails of people that even if they did not sign up right away, we could re-market to them over and over again.

Small Business Trends: Where are you at today with your traffic?

Rohan Gilkes: We’re probably at about 1,000 visitors per day now, which is great for a small, niche site like ours. And we were able to convert people at a pretty high clip, and people stay on for a long time. And because we have recurring revenue, we can also have a higher customer acquisition cost. So like for a one-time sale on a store, you can’t afford to lose money on the sale. But for us, we could almost lose money on the first box, and make that back in month two and month three and month four and month five and so on.

That allowed us to go into Facebook advertising and go into AdWords and re-targeting and actually spend some money to acquire customers after we did all of this other free stuff.

Small Business Trends: Talk a little bit about what you do to keep them subscribed, and the role of customer service in keeping your customers happy.

Rohan Gilkes: Especially with subscription box services, you look at the value of the business based on how long you can keep that customer and how long you can keep that customer times how much money you can make per period.

We pay special attention to creating a community around our products. So instead of just getting a box every month, we want to create a community. What we did, first in the customer services side, we have an online chat. If you have any problems, you come to the website to chat instantly. We decided against telephones because it introduces a few more difficulties. So we went with online chat and we’re able to solve problems the customers have on the website.

On the community side, we started a Facebook private group for our customers called The Wet Shave Lounge. It’s almost like a VIP focus group where we will post new products before they’re released. We’ll get feedback on past boxes, see the scents that people like and don’t like, and really get to know our members as well as we can which allows us to build deeper relationships and have folks stay with us much longer.

[“source-smallbiztrends”]