By Faustine Ngila
Just what completes a home? While many home owners will name a number of factors such as interior décor, a stable family and comfortable coaches, a house without a television that informs the whole family about everyday happenings is regarded as incomplete.
And as the world moves towards the digital age, nothing better complements a well-designed home than a smart TV that even connects to your smartphone, car and smart watch to keep you informed all year round.
But even as talk about the future goes on, economic analysts have lashed out at technology, saying it has played a part in widening the knowledge gap.
“Most TV manufacturers have priced their devices so high that they reach emerging markets at an exorbitant price, and that has got me thinking about why they believe that a TV should be status symbol,” Mr Prateek Suri, founder and chief executive of Dubai based smart TV manufacturer Maser notes.
He says that after identifying this worrying trend, his company embarked on the journey making sure that on top of manufacturing televisions for the future, even those populations that are held back by low budgets also get to enjoy the new TV capabilities.
Moving to the United Arab Emirates in 2006 from India, immediately after completing his studies from Modern School Barakhamba road New Delhi, and then mechanical engineering from BITS Pilani Dubai Campus, the TV maverick has been on one mission – to reduce the price of smart TVs.
“In the Middle East and Africa (MEA), we have ensured that the price for a 50-inch smart TV is half of the standard cost, so that low income families can afford to watch their favourite shows just as the middle and top classes in society,” he explains.
In the past few years, TV companies have been engaged in the fight for millions of viewers around the world, with each is doing its best to attract customers.
Samsung TV, on its part is offering a free service, integrated into all its smart TVs, giving users content from 150 channels. The service has coverage of live events, breaking news, in-depth reporting, context and analysis from around the world.
“With no shortage of news headlines from around the world, we’re proud to have ABC News Live’s quality reporting, originally programs and coverage of live events and breaking news prominently featured when people first turn on Samsung TV Plus,” says Kaizar Campwala, VP of Business Operations and Insights, Digital Media and Entertainment Distribution at Samsung.
Maser, according to Mr Suri has been equally competitive in the market, having received a direct capital injection from a British private equity firm.
“Our competitive edge lies in the fact that by affording viewers quality gadgets and free Tv content, we are contributing to the World Bank’s call for inclusion on matters technology,” he says.
This has been more evident in the current generation where people want to be informed about their society faster than ever, to allow them make the right decisions.
“It is one of the reasons our focus has been on the African market since the year started. I strongly feel every human being has the right to information regardless of economic status, and that is part of the greater goal of making an even adoption of emerging realities that affect every aspect of our lives as we look into the future,” Mr Suri expounds.
The value of a TV set lies in its power to pass the test of time, and in his company, you will find durable screens that withstand extreme temperatures while bringing you one of the highest picture clarity levels in the current market.
As the market for smart TVs becomes more competitive, Park Hyoung-sei, president of the LG Home Entertainment says the company is bringing Amazon Music support to LG TVs as and added value benefits to customers.
“LG’s smart TVs are designed to combine everything that the customer could possibly want in one single seamless experience, from live television and sports events to the streaming of TV shows, movies, music and more,” he says.
Research shows that populations of the future will demand even larger screens. But to maintain the same clarity, Maser has incorporated more technologies to maintain the quality of every picture.
“Our Artificial Intelligence team has been working around upscaling the quality of videos shot on High Definition (HD) cameras to smoothly fit into our 4K screens. That keeps TV content bright enough and engaging, as we plan to launch 8K resolution screens soon,” adds Mr Suri.
Using technology to raise the quality of devices, Maser is also manufacturing and supplying quality air conditioners that are also the most affordable for consumers in Africa.