UAE leads MEA in total solution for home entertainment

DUBAI - The UAE will witness Middle East and Africa’s first total solution for the home entertainment from July 1 that will open new dimension of television-viewing with the combination of LG smart TV technology and etisalat eLife.

By Abdul Basit

Published: Wed 15 Jun 2011, 11:25 PM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 4:48 AM

etisalat and LG, top leaders in their respective industries, on Tuesday entered a unique partnership that will see Etisalat’s broadband services and content delivered through LG’s new range of Smart TVs. LG Smart TV is available in 42-inch screen size full LED and 47-inch with price tags of Dh5,299 and Dh7,999 respectively.

“This is not just a simple TV. It’s a platform for entertainment, web browsing, application, contents and TV. To provide this total solution we needed a partner and we got our visionary partner etisalat,” President of LG Electronics for Middle East and Africa K.W. Kim told Khaleej Times after the signing ceremony. The first completed effort of the alliance is the launch of etisalat’s “OnDemand”, the region’s first managed IPTV Video On-Demand Service without Set-Top-Box and “OnWeb”, the new web-based video service that will be available to etisalat’s fiber-connected residential customers on all of LG’s Smart TVs.

This strategic partnership highlights the importance of cooperation in bringing technology and content together to provide users with a superior experience, while reducing the complexity and associated cost, Kim said, adding: “By combining our technology with etisalat’s eLife OnWeb & eLife OnDemand service offering, we now open up a whole new world of superior entertainment for consumers, as we redefine the very notion of TV entertainment.”

Explaining the reason to choose Etisalat for LG’s signature product, Kim said they have very high quality infrastructure and also investing for best quality contents. This is the first partnership in the region and the company is flexible for other operators in the region, Kim said.

LG has developed broadband-connected TVs that are designed to deliver Internet-based content, mostly video, from popular or social websites, in addition to content from broadcast TV providers. The connected feature in LG’s Smart TV is supported by a technology that is integrated Set-Top-Box to the TV sets.

Well on its way to fiber-connect the entire UAE in 2011, etisalat recently completed the fiber deployment in Abu Dhabi, making it the world’s first Capital city in the world to be fiber-connected. Owing to super high speeds provided on the fiber-connections, customers will be able to enjoy exceptional quality with etisalat’s new OnWeb video services.

The Smart TVs are enabled with UGC (User Generated Contents), SNS (Social Networking Service), Photo Sharing Service, Weather forecasts and other useful applications from LG or Etisalat. Customers subscribed to Etisalat’s eLife services can also access its new ‘Video on Demand’ service that is available on request. In addition to the free-of-charge OnWeb service package, customers will enjoy the option of purchasing exclusive content that will be offered on demand.

Commenting on the partnership and launch of eLife’s OnWeb service, Matthew Willsher, Chief Marketing Officer at Etisalat said: “etisalat continuously strives to leverage technology in order to provide a distinctive experience to its customers. We are very excited to be teaming up with LG to provide our customers with advanced services via a Smart TV. We believe that this partnership and OnWeb service will create a new channel for providing our broadband customers with video content and Apps.”

The LG is targeting and developing more than 550 applications for LG App store until the first half year of 2011.

The platform includes a Web browser so users no longer need to turn on their laptop to access the internet. LG’s Smart Share function allows users to wirelessly stream content from their PCs and other compatible devices for viewing on their television screen. Smart Share also includes Media Link, which provides additional information, such as cover art or liner notes, for content being streamed.

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