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IFA International Day 4 - 2018 Edition

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The 2018 Day 4 edition of IFA International, the official daily of the IFA Berlin show.


LIVING ROOM LIFESTYLE / HOME ENTERTAINMENT WHEN YOU HEAR MORE, YOU ACTUALLY FEEL MORE. Hyun Seung, Chief R&D expert, LG Electronics, John Buchanan, CEO, Meridian Audio and Katy Bradshaw, Director of Marketing, Meridian Audio LG, Meridian teaming leads to a more authentic sound Earlier this year, Korean multinational LG teamed with high-performance audio technology manufacturer Meridian Audio to enhance the sound produced by selected LG home entertainment products. IFA marks their first international outing According to LG, the aim of its collaboration with Meridian Audio is to “raise the bar on acoustic performance, using natural and authentic sound derived from rigorous research and development”. At IFA, the electronics giant is unveiling its expanded lineup of XBoom audio products, which now includes XBoom Go portable Bluetooth speakers and XBoom AI ThinQ smart speakers. The XBoom brand’s appeal to a young party-going demographic has contributed to its 35% world market share among mini components and all-in-one audio. In this its 60 th anniversary year, LG’s audio R&D strategy sees it focusing primarily on sound quality. UK-based Meridian’s technology features in LG’s XBoom range. Meridian is a leader in the development of Digital Signal Processing (DSP) and advanced psychoacoustic technologies, including the Master Quality Authenticated (MQA) system used for high-resolution audio streaming. “Really, IFA is the first chance to show the fruits of the partnership so far,” Meridian CEO John Buchanan told IFA International. “The SK10Y soundbar and the ThinQ WK7 speakers, these came to market as a result of our collaboration and the desire to bring better sound to more people. Meridian has always been about authentic emotions and 40 experiences with sound, whether it’s audio music, movies – wherever you want to listen, even in your car. And in collaboration with LG’s innovation and access to the widest electronics market, we want to deliver highdefinition audio.” Meridian created the world’s first in-car 3D surround sound system. It was the company behind the world’s first digital active loudspeaker and the industry’s first audiophile quality compact disc player. The company has also played a key role in the development and implementation of revolutionary audio technologies including Master Quality Authenticated. “Considering all of that, out of all the high-end audio brands, LG made a decision to begin the collaboration with Meridian,” LG’s chief R&D expert Hyun Seung said. “The products that LG makes for its customers are fantastically innovative and the idea was to make better sound,” Seung said. “And using our fundamental understanding of psychoacoustics – a branch of neuro-science that concerns how humans perceive sound – and our unique Digital Signal Processing (DSP) expertise, those elements come into play when we come together with LG. With the soundbar, for example, if LG wants the customer to believe while they’re in an immersive experience, the sound has to come from the human face on the screen rather than from below the screen,” Buchanan said. “So we’re building in sound height. We’ve developed a lot of technology over the years we’re still researching and developing more to bring to this partnership with LG. It’s about thinking differently, starting with the experience we want to deliver, rather than just having one way of producing sound and forcing that into different applications.” Seung said that producing convincing sound that draws in the listener was a key consideration behind the partnership with Meridian. “A very important factor when playing music is the stage and the position of instruments and singers,” he said. “And what decides these two are phasing and timing. Meridian already had the experience and knowledge of how to adjust the phasing and timing, so we were able to tune our sound to make it more balanced.” As for how the partnership might change the business direction for each company, Buchanan said that it will help with his Meridian’s mission to offer “authentic experiences” to its customers. “LG provides us with a much bigger stage with which to show consumers that when you hear more, you actually feel more.” For Seung, “The [TV] panels are getting thinner and the speakers are getting smaller, but actually Meridian can break through this problem in our industry. It has the know-how to solve the problems and correct errors that can happen during digital processing. Our direction from now on will be to make authentic sound,” he said. ”We are not making and selling expensive products and we would like our products to go to a wider audience” Hall 18 Stand 101

LIVING ROOM LIFESTYLE / HOME ENTERTAINMENT Frédéric Langin Europe’s General Manager Sales & &Marketing, TCL Antoine Salomé Marketing Director in Europe, TCL TCL eyes rapid expansion in Europe Frédéric Langin, TCL Europe’s General Manager Sales & Marketing, and Antoine Salomé, Marketing Director in Europe, discuss how the Chinese manufacturing powerhouse is planning to build on its success on the Continent.. Already a major global player, TCL has its sight for expansion into valuable European markets. We asked Frédéric Langin and Antoine Salomé about the company’s strategy for continental growth. FL: We want to be in the top three in three major markets by 2020. We are already top three in China and the US, and that is our target in Europe. We have two years to continue growing and very soon we will bring more products into the ecosystem. Not just TV but audio products like headphones, speakers and soundbars. But TV is the biggest market, a flagship where you can build the brand. What is your spearhead product in Europe? FL: The C76 LCD TV is tailored for Europe, it’s really the product that is our flagship in the European market. It has won the EISA award, which is a huge achievement for us. It shows what we can bring as technology in a product with a very good value proposition. Of course we offer technologies like any other company, but we want people to be able to afford them. Are you taking a different approach for the European market? AS: We carry out customer surveys at a global level to understand the different targets for TCL in different regions. The C76 is really meeting the needs of European customers because, of course, picture quality is key, but after that in Europe the criteria are sound quality and ease of use. FL: We really base all that we do on customer needs, so we do focus groups because we believe that is the way to do it. You launched in the UK in June. How is it developping FL: The UK was important for us because if you want to be in the top three in Europe, you have to be in the UK - it’s the second biggest European market. It is too early to make firm predictions, but the reviews we received from consumers and the feedback in terms of sales, and the reviews from the tech press, was awesome. The important thing for us now is to get into the stores - because we wanted to test the waters first with an online launch. We are in 25 European countries already and our next targets will be the Netherlands, Austria and Switzerland. How have you been raising brand awareness with the public? AS: Endorsements and brand ambassadors are really key for us to develop the brand in Europe. We have signed Neymar globally. Football is absolutely people's favourite sport on TV, so it was really important for us to activate this during the World Cup. We are using brand ambassadors to build the brand in Europe with already very good results. What is your mission here at IFA? FL: We are here to show we are one of the biggest tech companies in the world. At the moment in Europe we sell only TVs, and soon audio products, but look at our booth: you see white goods, you see small appliances like toothbrushes. That’s because TCL is a company employing 75,000 people and TV is only 25% of it. How have your vertically integrated production methods in China helped in your success? FL: It is very important that we are able to build our own LCD panels so that we can bring a lot of different models to market. We can do variations of colour, design, soundbars, you name it. We have the power to deliver bespoke solutions and produce them at a good price and tailor them OUR NEXT TARGETS WILL BE THE NETHERLANDS, AUSTRIA AND SWITZERLAND to different markets. The TV market today as we see it is based on 8K, on AI, and on increasing size. And we need to be one of the first to bring 75-inch televisions into the mainstream Hall 21 Stand 102 IFA International • Monday 3 rd September 2018 41

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