Screens

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - Tech -

Tele­vi­sions and tablets can this year be used to­gether to let you watch two TV chan­nels at once. Pana­sonic kicked off this dual- screen trend as it launched 23 new tele­vi­sions and 10 Blu- ray de­vices.

A Smart Link fea­ture de­buts in­side its two top Blu- ray recorders that lets users watch one live show on the tele­vi­sion, while stream­ing an­other live TV show to an ipad or An­droid tablet in an­other room.

The tablet sim­ply has to be con­nected to a user’s home wi- fi net­work and run­ning the newly re­leased Pana­sonic app.

Mar­ket­ing gen­eral man­ager Richard Tas­sone says the Smart Link sys­tem uses two TV tuners in­side the Blu- ray recorder, one for each TV sig­nal. As a re­sult, users can stream con­tent to a tablet in an­other room even when the con­nected TV is off.

Sam­sung di­rec­tor Phil New­ton says with their Al­lshare Play fea­ture and two tuners in­side the TV, his wife could watch Grand Designs on the tele­vi­sion while he streamed a foot­ball game to his tablet.

‘‘ I just hop on to my smart­phone or tablet and I can in­te­grate the TV and look at an­other source from that TV in an­other room,’’ he says.

LG also de­buted tablet con­nec­tiv­ity in its new TV range in an ad­di­tion called Sec­ond Dis­play that lets users stream what­ever is on the TV screen to an An­droid tablet on the same wi- fi net­work. The voice, gesture and face- recog­ni­tion TV con­trols an­nounced at this year’s Con­sumer Elec­tron­ics Show are fi­nally avail­able.

LG added a mi­cro­phone to its Magic Re­mote, let­ting users talk into the de­vice to en­ter search terms or web­site ad­dresses on to the TV screen.

Sam­sung’s new re­mote con­trol also fea­tures a mi­cro­phone, and the com­pany has added mi­cro­phones and a built- in cam­era to some TVS for face and gesture recog­ni­tion.

New­ton says the high- def­i­ni­tion TV cam­era can recog­nise faces and log users into ac­counts on the smart TVS au­to­mat­i­cally. ‘‘ Why do you need face recog­ni­tion? The real ben­e­fit comes in the ap­pli­ca­tions,’’ he says. ‘‘ When you ask the TV to open your Skype ac­count it recog­nises your face and opens your spe­cific Skype ac­count.’’

The cam­era also recog­nises ges­tures, let­ting users wave their hand to move a cur­sor across the screen or make a fist to se­lect an item.

Voice con­trols let users wake the Sam­sung smart TV from a sleep by stat­ing ‘‘ Hi TV’’ and per­form ba­sic tasks with com­mands such as ‘‘ vol­ume up’’ or ‘‘ chan­nel down’’. While Sam­sung boasts the big­gest share of 3D TV sales, New­ton says pro­mot­ing its ac­tive 3D TV fea­ture will not be a pri­or­ity this year.

‘‘ 3D doesn’t drive con­sumer con­sump­tion,’’ he says. ‘‘ It’s sim­ply a fea­ture that cus­tomers ex­pect now.’’

In stark con­trast, LG con­tin­ued to pro­mote the ben­e­fits of its 3D Cinema dis­play, which of­fers pas­sive 3D vi­sion through cheaper, po­larised glasses, like movie the­atres.

LG will also use its tech­nol­ogy in a unique way for the Dual- Play gam­ing fea­ture.

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