LG Smart TV has a touch of class

Updated 30 May 2012
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LG Smart TV has a touch of class

The much-awaited LG smart TV has arrived in Saudi Arabia.
LG Electronics (LG), a global leader and technology innovator in consumer electronics and United Yousuf Mohamed Naghi Co. Ltd., announced the launch of its latest 2012 Cinema 3D Smart TV line-up in Saudi Arabia on Saturday night.
Unveiling the new product line at a grand event held at the Jeddah Hilton LG revealed the cutting-edge 3D bezel TV that is sized at almost zero mm, setting a new world record for the narrowest bezel 3D TV. The LG Cinema 3D Smart TV, being equipped with the most advanced 3D technology, enables a smoother and more immersive 3D viewing bringing a limitless world of 3D entertainment at the tip of your magic remote.
Speaking to Arab News about the new smart TV on the sidelines of the launch ceremony at the Jeddah Hilton, Dae Yun Lee, LG’s Seoul-based marketing manager for LCD TV Middle East Marketing Group and LCD TV MEA Marketing Team, said: "Basically our global campaign slogan is how smart is your TV. We are not talking about the features and applications, most of the features are available and technologies are developing. So the smart TV will keep on upgrading if you have a CPU in the TV."
He added that the focus is more on how to make the smart TV smarter for the viewers. For example, my father may want to access the Internet on the TV from the place where he is seated watching it. This is the point we are focusing on. I may want my son to show me his vacation pictures on the smart TV with just one click of the button. So we want the whole family to enjoy different features of the smart TV. Magic motion is the key driver to make the use of the smart TV easier. As long as we have CPUs in our TVs, we can develop more and more applications and programs."
Giving history of the development of 3D, he said it began with the IPS (Internet Protocol Service) panel that was developed a couple of years ago. The IPS panel is made for iPad, iPhone, etc. Moreover, graphic designers use Internet-based IPS panels. "At that time the rest of the companies were developing VA panels. Sometimes they call it PVA. These are the two types of panels, which are used for LCDs and LEDs by some competing brands.
LG, which has established its number one position across premium 3D Smart TV segment as per data provided by GFK, a leading global market research company, takes the 3D TV user experience to superlative levels. Offering expansive, yet easy-to-use Smart TV eco-system, the LG Cinema 3D Smart TV is composed of an impressive Cinema screen, wireless display, premium content services, over 1,200 Smart TV apps globally and Magic Remote.
The new line-up also features Dual Play function for gamers and an expansive selection of 3D movies, sports and games, offering a world of 3D waiting to be discovered through LG's 3D World.
At the launch of LG's 2012 3D Smart TV line-up, Deog Jun Kim, director, TV MEA marketing division, LG, said: "The new Cinema 3D Smart TV line-up endorses our endeavor to bring the biggest innovations that technology has to offer today. We have avidly explored the model of Smart TV to create a product that offers a superlative TV viewing experience, offering useful, easy-to-use TV apps and premium content. With a world record for narrowest bezel 3D TV, the product is not only stylish in its design, but breaks boundaries in quality and content as well."
According to the Display Search Report, FPR 3D TV, the next generation 3D technology, developed by LG Electronics, will take over more than 54 percent of Global 3D TV market share from June 2012, Kim added.
During the event, some reporters were curious about why LG didn't embed the Built-In Camera for 2012 TV.
Deog Jun Kim said: "As you know, most of the mobiles have a built-in camera, and this is not difficult at all to implement on our products. But we decided not to embed built-in camera on our TV, in order to make sure our customer's 'Family Privacy' is secured. And I believe Family Privacy is even more important, especially in Saudi Arabia. We will be providing Gesture Camera as an separate accessory, so that our customers can attach easily, and plug-out when they are not using."
John Lee, president of LG KSA, said, LG's quality innovations and growing market share have ensured its position as number one across the premium Cinema 3D Smart TV segment. With the new Cinema 3D Smart TV line up, we are certain that our growth would continue on the upward ladder, further strengthening our already established leadership position in this segment in the Kingdom.
"As was the case in 2011, LG will be the industry's leader in 3D throughout 2012," said Ammar Naghi, president of United Yousuf Mohamed Naghi Co. Ltd., LG Consumer Electronics & Home Appliances products distributor in Saudi Arabia. "As evidenced in a range of product reviews throughout 2011, LG's CINEMA 3D TV products have received rave reviews for their 3D display qualities. With the new 2012 LG CINEMA 3D Smart TVs, we will be able to take a significant step forward in the Saudi market, thanks to the series of new and upgraded 3D features led by the LG CINEMA SCREEN Design."
B.W. Park, managing director, United Yousuf Mohamed Naghi Company Ltd., said, by placing central focus on "Simple Control," LG Cinema 3D Smart TV wants families and users who may be a little intimidated by fast technological developments to enjoy it with ease. While it is the most advanced Smart TV, LG Cinema 3D Smart TV harnesses all LG's expertise in design and technology to create a set that is welcoming, intuitive and highly convenient from the moment you start using it.
LG Cinema 3D Smart TV has many key differentiators from competitors: LG Cinema 3D Smart TV is made in Korea, while competitors TVs are made in Malaysia, flicker free, brighter than competitors' products, lightweight and battery free glasses with affordable price, in addition, LG Cinema 3D Smart TV features the innovative IPS technology (In plan switching panel) while competitors uses PVA (Panel vertical), The Home Dashboard boasts an extensive menu on a single screen; the Magic Remote uses an onscreen cursor for simple navigation through its Point, Gesture & Wheel features; Smart Share, using Media Link, offers up additional onscreen information on the movies which viewers are watching; and a range of Exceptional Premium Content and TV-Oriented LG Apps aims squarely at families with high-quality, value-added services, Park added.
Entertainment turns larger than life with LG's 2012 Cinema 3D Smart TV which won many global recognitions and awards in the US, European and Australian markets such as the best of CES 2012 Awards winner, and recognized in Europe as climate-friendly TV LG Cinema 3D meets a wider and ever-expanding world of 3D entertainment at the tip of your remote.
Mohammed Khan, marketing manager of LG in Jeddah, said the LG Cinema 3D Smart TV unit and the 3D glasses used for viewing the LG smart TV are based on FPR (film pattern retardent), which is LG’s exclusive technology does not need battery or charging. He added that LG’s VA (vertical angle) panel provides horizontal landscapes, which make easy for all family and friends to view from 0 to 180 degree angle. These glasses cost less than $2 each, whereas those of the competitors are priced up to $30. Aside from the high cost, the competitors’ glasses can be used by a maximum of five viewers and that too from a maximum of zero to 80 degree angle, he added.
Offering simple control over your home entertainment experience, the main features of the LG Cinema 3D Smart TV include the following:
Cinema Screen
Leveraging upon LG's state-of-the-art display technology, LG has reduced the width of the bezel to insignificant levels, to almost zero bezel. By doing so, physical obstructions have been removed to deliver ultimate simplicity and most immersive Cinema 3D viewing experience reminiscent of an actual movie cinema.
Magic Remote
LG's Smart TV remains easy to use, thanks to the enhancements in the Magic Remote, an all-in-one device that combines the functions of Pointing, Gesture and Wheel the most conventional and advanced TV remote among others
• 3D World: Provides access to a constantly growing library of 3D movies, games, sports and TV shows at the tip of ones remote
• 3D Depth Control: A new 3D visual technology that lets users adjust the depth, or the distance between the on-screen objects, of a 3D movie or TV show they are watching.
• 3D Sound Zooming: Immersive 3D experience is accompanied by 3D Sound Zooming which generates a 3D sound that is synchronized with the displayed 3D content, allowing users to not only see, but also hear in 3D.
• Dual Play function: for gamers, LG allows dual-player games to be played on a Cinema 3D Smart TV without having to split the screen.
• Wireless Display: The new Cinema 3D Smart TVs offer a variety of connectivity features. The newest among them is Wireless Display, which enables easy and quick connection between TV and personal computer (PC) with Intel's WiDi Technology.
• 2D to 3D conversion engine converts all existing 2D movies and TV shows into 3D.
Whether 3D or Smart TV, LG's 2012 Cinema 3D Smart TVs offer the best in terms of quality as well as user convenience and experience.
LG Electronics is a global leader and technology innovator in consumer electronics, mobile communications and home appliances, employing more than 93,000 people working in over 120 operations around the world. With 2011 global sales of KRW 54.26 trillion ($ 48.97 billion), LG comprises four business units - Home Entertainment, Mobile Communications, Home Appliance, and Air Conditioning & Energy Solutions. LG is one of the world's leading producers of flat panel TVs, mobile devices, air conditioners, washing machines and refrigerators.
The LG Electronics Home Entertainment (LG HE) Company is a top global player in flat panel displays, audio players, video products, monitors, commercial displays and security systems for the consumer and commercial markets. LG's product areas include LCD and plasma televisions, LED LCD monitors, home theater systems, Blu-ray Disc players, audio components, video players and plasma display panels. While focusing on creating feature-rich devices, the company is also pursuing stylish designs and pushing technological boundaries to improve the home entertainment experience. LG HE Company is also a leader in providing commercial (or B2B) products such as digital signage, videoconference system and IP security cameras.


Gulf companies challenged by debt and rising interest rates

Updated 22 April 2018
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Gulf companies challenged by debt and rising interest rates

  • Debt restructurings on the rise, but below crisis levels
  • Central Bank of the UAE has raised interest rates four times since last March

There has been an uptick in recent months in heavily-borrowed companies in the Gulf seeking to restructure their debts with lenders. Although the pressure on companies is not comparable to levels witnessed in the region following the 2008 global financial crisis, rising interest rates will eventually begin to have a greater impact, say experts.
Speaking exclusively to Arab news, Matthew Wilde, a partner at consultancy PwC in Dubai, said: “We do expect that interest rate increases will gradually start to impact companies over the next 12 months, but to date the impact of hedging and the runoff of older fixed rate deals has meant the impact is fairly muted so far.”
The Central Bank of the UAE has raised interest rates four times since the start of last year, in line with action taken by the US Federal Reserve. The Fed has signalled that it will raise interest rates at least twice more before the end of the year.
Wilde added that there had been a little more pressure on company balance sheets of late, although “this shouldn’t be overplayed”.
Nevertheless, just last week, Stanford Marine Group — majority owned by a fund managed by private equity firm Abraaj Group — was reported by the New York Times to be in talks with banks to restructure a $325 million Islamic loan. The newspaper cited a Reuters report that relied on “banking sources”.
The Dubai-based oil and gas services firm, which has struggled as a result of the downturn in the hydrocarbons market since 2014, has reportedly asked banks to consider extending the maturity of its debt and restructuring repayments, after it breached certain loan covenants.
A fund managed by Abraaj owns 51 percent of Stanford Marine, with the remaining stake held by Abu Dhabi-based investment firm Waha Capital. Abraaj declined to comment.

 

Dubai-based theme parks operator DXB Entertainments struck a deal last month with creditors to restructure 4.2 billion dirhams ($1.1 billion) of borrowings, with visitor numbers to attractions such as Legoland Dubai and Bollywood Parks Dubai struggling to meet visitor targets.
Earlier this month, Reuters reported that Sharjah-based Gulf General Investment Company was in talks with banks to restructure loan and credit facilities after defaulting on a payment linked to 2.1 billion dirhams of debt at the end of last year.
Dubai International Capital, according to a Bloomberg report from December, has restructured its debt for the second time, reaching an agreement with banks to roll over a loan of about $1 billion. At the height of the emirate’s boom years, DIC amassed assets worth about $13 billion, including the owner of London’s Madame Tussauds waxworks museum, as well as stakes in Sony and Daimler. The firm was later forced to sell most of these assets and reschedule $2.5 billion of debt after the global financial crisis.
Wilde told Arab News: “We have seen an increasing number of listed companies restructuring or planning to restructure their capital recently — including using tools such as capital reductions and raising capital by using quasi equity instruments such as perpetual bonds.”
This has happened across the region and PwC expected this to accelerate a little as companies “respond to legislative pressures and become more familiar with the options available to fix their problems,” said Wilde.
He added that the trend was being driven by oil prices remaining below historical highs, soft economic conditions, and continued caution in the UAE’s banking sector.
On the debt restructuring side, Wilde said there had been a “reasonably steady flow of cases of debts being restructured”.
However, the volume of firms seeking to renegotiate debt remains small compared to the level of restructurings witnessed in the aftermath of Dubai’s debt crisis.
Several big name firms in the emirate were caught out by the onset of the global financial crisis, which saw the emirate’s booming economy and real estate market go into reverse.
State-owned conglomerate Dubai World, whose companies included real-estate firm Nakheel and ports operator DP World, stunned global markets in November 2009 when it asked creditors for a six-month standstill on its obligations. Dubai World restructured around $25 billion of debt in 2011, followed by a $15 billion restructuring deal in 2015.
“We would not expect it to become (comparable to 2008-9) so barring some form of sharp external impetus such as global political instability or a protectionist trade war,” said Wilde.
Nor did he see the introduction of VAT as particularly driving this trend, but rather as just one more factor impacting some already strained sectors (e.g. some sub sectors of retail) “which were already pressured by other macro factors.”

FACTOID

Four

The number of interest rate rises in the UAE since March 2017.