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Sonos teams-up with IKEA again, and this one is unlike anything you've seen before

Sonos teams-up with IKEA again, and this one is unlike anything you've seen before

Flatpack furniture maestros IKEA and smart audio brand Sonos might seem like an unlikely friendship, but the two companies have teamed up to create a number of successful products under the SYMFONISK moniker. After the launch of a bookshelf speaker and table lamp with a Sonos speaker built into the base back in 2019, the next addition is here – the SYMFONISK picture frame.

The frame is designed to bring Sonos’ smart speaker technology to parts of your home where you might not want a speaker taking up room. For example, you can have two SYMFONISK picture frames on the wall behind a sofa that pair with a Sonos Arc or Sonos Beam soundbar to bring surround sound to your home cinema set-up. There are a number of different artworks to choose from, with IKEA promising to refresh the picture frame with new pieces of art in the coming months and years.

During the launch event, IKEA said that it “expects customers to personalise the picture frame” but wouldn’t confirm whether there would be a way for customers to add a single photograph from their own collection to the speaker-cum-frame.

IKEA’s new picture frame is designed to be secured to the wall, freestanding on a shelf, or lean against a wall. It ships with small rubber feet to help it stand on its end, with a small cavity around the back to store these feet if you decide to attach it to the wall – helping you to keep your options open. Of course, you’ll need to plug in the SYMFONISK picture frame to power it up.

Ingeniously, if you decide to have two frames beside one another, you can power the second from the first – saving on the number of cables trailing down from the wall.

Like all previous SYMFONISK products, the picture frame can be added and managed within the Sonos app. If you already have Sonos speakers or a soundbar at home, the IKEA products will sit right alongside them. You can add group together Sonos-branded speakers, like the Sonos One, with SYMFONISK-branded ones, like the bookshelf speaker and picture frame.

The Sonos app has a dizzying number of music services available – more than 100 if you’re including radio stations. So, whether you’ve got a subscription with Spotify, Apple Music, Deezer, YouTube Music, or anything else, you’ll be able to bring in your favourite albums, playlists and podcasts to beam wirelessly to all of the speakers around your home.

The SYMFONISK picture frame also includes support for Apple AirPlay 2, which lets you stream with a single tap from a number of apps, including Apple Music and Podcasts. Friends and family on the same Wi-Fi network can add and re-arrange the tracks to collaborate on a playlist in real-time. Since Sonos uses Wi-Fi to stream your music, it has more range than Bluetooth speakers and you won’t have to put up with any interruptions from incoming calls or notifications on the smartphone.

Product Developer at IKEA Stjepan Begic said: “The space-saving picture frame speaker can hang on its own as an eye-catching piece of art, be coordinated with other wall art, placed on a shelf, or even on the floor leaning against a wall. The interchangeable fronts make it easy to choose a style that suits your individual home. As part of the growing IKEA Home smart range, this new speaker contributes to our ambition to enable the many to enjoy a smarter everyday life.”

The Sonos + IKEA SYMFONISK picture frame will be available next month, starting from £179 in the UK. You’ll be able to order online from July 15, 2021. The picture frame speaker ships in both black and white, with extra interchangeable sets setting you back £17 apiece.

It’s clear that the SYMFONISK picture frame looks the part. If you’re unsure about having speakers littered on shelves throughout your home, but still want room-filling sound in every part of your house – the IKEA collaborations provide an interesting solution.

While the SYMFONISK lamp and bookshelf speakers were praising for their surprisingly complete sound when they launched back in 2019, we’ll have to wait to get our hands on the picture frame to let you know whether it sounds as good as the Sonos One SL, which costs around the same. So stay tuned.

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This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Tech Feed

Celebrity Cruises launches new ‘sanctuary at sea’ spa – ‘unlike anything in the world’

Celebrity Cruises launches new ‘sanctuary at sea’ spa - ‘unlike anything in the world’

Guests will be able to choose between more than 120 destination-inspired treatments.

Celebrity Cruises CEO, Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, said: “Wellness is so fundamental to our philosophy at Celebrity Cruises that we continue to build and grow a truly special onboard experience where it is woven into every aspect of the guest journey from the stateroom to the spa.

“Because we’re doing all of this at sea, which is incredibly therapeutic in itself, it becomes a wonderful wellness journey unlike anything in the world.”

Vice president of hotel operations at Celebrity Cruises, Brian Abel, said: “Now more than ever wellness is top of mind for our guests so designing Celebrity Beyond, we really thought about how we weave in wellness throughout the guest experience.

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This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Travel Feed

Sonja Morgan Teases ‘RHONY’s ‘Empowering’ New Season: Why ‘It’s Unlike Any Other’ Before It

Author: Christopher Rogers
This post originally appeared on Hollywood Life

Sonja Morgan Teases ‘RHONY’s ‘Empowering’ New Season: Why ‘It’s Unlike Any Other’ Before It

Sonja Morgan reveals why fans are ‘going to love’ the new season of ‘RHONY’, which premieres on May 4.

The trailer for Season 13 of The Real Housewives of New York City was pretty wild, so we weren’t too surprised when Sonja Morgan told HollywoodLife EXCLUSIVELY that the newest episodes of the series, which kick off on May 4, are some of the best ones yet. What did shock us was her reason for breaking glass in the trailer.

“They [showed] me smashing glass in the trailer with my handbag, and you’ll see more on how I get to that point. But I think it started with Leah [McSweeney] taking me to box with [her trainer] Martin,” Sonja first explained, while adding, “I’ve learned a lot through the pandemic” — especially amidst the Black Lives Matter movement. Sonja hinted that a lot of things that happened while filming truly upset her, and she went on to say that even though her act of violence felt “empowering”, it was her “lashing out after a culmination of lessons learned with my friends on RHONY“.

“You’re gonna love this season,” Sonja added. “It’s just a really good season — it’s unlike any other season. We’ve never been closer friends ever. Ramona [Singer] and Luann [de Lesseps] and I are like family and [we have] decades and decades of history together. I think you’re going to be very impressed with this season, as compared to last season — it’s very interesting and there’s a lot of growth. Eboni [K. Williams] of course — I can’t speak any more highly of her. We’re very close. I adore her. She’s very empowering not only to me, but to others.”

“She’s a force,” Sonja continued. “She is beautiful and if I may say, sensual. She is a passionate woman, but she’s not about herself — she’s about a greater mission, and she’s really intuitive and empowering. That’s who she is. And Leah is [similar]. I don’t think that Leah makes things about herself. I think she’s thinking of a bigger picture when she goes off on somebody. So it’s going to be a really good season. And I think with Ramona and Luann, we can laugh at ourselves, which helps a lot.”

And speaking of Leah. Sonja touched upon a recent report that said Leah chased RHONY alum Heather Thomson away from filming the new season, and told us, “Heather didn’t realize what she was [getting into] when she came by the weekend we were in the Hamptons. We are a very involved type group who empower each other. Even when we get conflict, it’s because we feel the love for each other and demand that change within each other. I think Heather — when she came — she was more concerned with how she was looking as [‘Head Bitch In Charge’], more than [she cared about] empowering people, so she really, she got a rude awakening when she came. I think we’ve all grown quite a bit, and she hasn’t been on the show [or a while].”

Want more? Season 13 of The Real Housewives of New York City premieres Tuesday, May 4, at 9pm on Bravo.

An Oscars unlike any other to get underway Sunday on ABC

Oscars unlike any other to get underway

LOS ANGELES — An Oscars unlike any before will get underway Sunday night, with history on the line in major categories and a telecast retooled for the pandemic.

The 93rd Academy Awards will begin at 8 p.m. EDT on ABC. There will be no host, no audience, nor face masks for nominees attending the ceremony at Los Angeles’ Union Station – this year’s hub for a show usually broadcast from the Dolby Theatre. In contrast with the largely virtual Golden Globes, Zoom boxes have been closed out – though numerous international hubs and satellite feeds will connect nominees unable to travel.

Show producers are hoping to return some of the traditional glamor to the Oscars, even in a pandemic year. The red carpet is back, though not the throngs; only a handful of media outlets will be allowed on site. (E! red carpet coverage starts at 3 p.m.) Casual wear is a no-no. The pre-show on ABC begins at 6:30 p.m. EDT and will include pre-taped performances of the five Oscar-nominated songs. The ceremony is available to stream on Hulu Live TV, YouTubeTV, AT&T TV, FuboTV and on ABC.com with provider authentication.

Pulling the musical interludes (though not the in memoriam segment) from the three-hour broadcast – and drastically cutting down the time it will take winners to reach the podium – will free up a lot of time in the ceremony. And producers, led by filmmaker Steven Soderbergh, are promising a reinvented telecast.

2021 Oscars: Date, nominees, how to watch, more for Academy Awards on ABC

The Oscars will look more like a movie, Soderbergh has said. The show will be shot in 24 frames-per-second (as opposed to 30), appear more widescreen and the presenters – including Brad Pitt, Halle Berry, Reese Witherspoon, Harrison Ford, Rita Moreno and Zendaya – are considered “cast members.” The telecast’s first 90 seconds, Soderbergh has claimed, will “announce our intention immediately.”

Gone will be the large crowds and throngs of press — with only nominees, their guests, presenters and a handful of media in attendance.

But even a great show may not be enough to save the Oscars from an expected ratings slide. Award show ratings have cratered during the pandemic, and this year’s nominees – many of them smaller, lower-budget dramas – won’t come close to the drawing power of past Oscar heavyweights like “Titanic” or “Black Panther.” Last year’s Oscars, when Bong Joon Ho’s “Parasite” became the first non-English language film to win best picture, was watched by 23.6 million, an all-time low.

Netflix dominated this year with 35 nominations, including the lead-nominee “Mank,” David Fincher’s black-and-white drama about “Citizen Kane” co-writer Herman J. Mankiewicz. The streamer is still pursuing its first best-picture win; this year, its best shot may be Aaron Sorkin’s “The Trial of the Chicago 7.”

But the night’s top prize, best picture, is widely expected to go to Chloé Zhao’s “Nomadland,” a contemplative character study about an itinerant woman (Frances McDormand) in the American West. Should it be victorious, it will be one of the lowest budget best-picture winners ever. Zhao’s film, populated by nonprofessional actors, was made for less than $ 5 million. (Her next film, Marvel’s “Eternals,” has a budget of at least $ 200 million.)

Zhao is also the frontrunner for best director, a category that has two female filmmakers nominated for the first time. Also nominated is Emerald Fennell for the scathing revenge drama “Promising Young Woman.” Zhao would be just the second woman to win best director in the academy’s 93 years (following Kathryn Bigelow for “The Hurt Locker”), and the first woman of color.

History is also possible in the acting categories. If the winners from the Screen Actors Guild Awards hold – “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom’s” Chadwick Boseman for best actor, Viola Davis for best actress; Yuh-Jung Youn (“Minari”) for best supporting actress; and Daniel Kaluuya (“Judas and the Black Messiah”) for best supporting actor – it would the first time nonwhite actors swept the acting categories – and a dramatic reversal from recent “OscarsSoWhite” years.

Several of those awards appear to be locks, particularly for the late Boseman, who would become the third actor to ever win a posthumous Academy Award following Peter Finch and Heath Ledger. Taylor Simone Ledward, Boseman’s widow, has often accepted previous honors on his behalf.

How to watch, stream the 2021 Oscar best picture nominees

If there’s one less certain category, it’s best actress. Davis, who has won previously for her performance in “Fences,” is up against Carey Mulligan (“Promising Young Woman”) and two-time winner McDormand. Prognosticators call it a three-way toss up.

Sunday’s pandemic-delayed Oscars will bring to a close the longest awards season ever – one that turned the season’s industrial complex of cocktail parties and screenings virtual. Eligibility was extended into February of this year, and for the first time, a theatrical run wasn’t a requirement of nominees. Some films – like “Sound of Metal” – premiered all the way back in September 2019.

The pandemic pushed several anticipated movies out of 2020, but a few bigger budget releases could still take home awards. Pixar’s “Soul” appears a sure-thing for best animated film, and Christopher Nolan’s “Tenet” – which last September tried to lead a moviegoing revival that fizzled when virus cases spiked and many theaters couldn’t reopen – will likely win for its visual effects.

But for the first time, Hollywood’s most prestigious awards will overwhelming belong to films that barely played on the big screen. The biggest ticket-seller of the best picture nominees is “Promising Young Woman,” with $ 6.3 million in box office.

Lately, with vaccinations expanding, signs of life have begun to show in movie theaters – most of which are operating at 50% capacity. Warner Bros.’ “Godzilla vs. Kong” has made around $ 400 million worldwide, which theater owners point to as proof that moviegoers are eager for studios to again release a regular diet of big movies. Right now, the date circled on cinema calendars is May 28, when both Paramount’s “A Quiet Place Part II” and Disney’s “Cruella” arrive in theaters – though “Cruella” will simultaneously stream for $ 30.

Oscars 2021: Big changes for Hollywood’s biggest night

But it’s been a punishing year for Hollywood. Around the world, movie theater marquees replaced movie titles with pleas to wear a mask. Streaming services rushed to fill the void, redrawing the balance between studios and theaters – and likely forever ending the three-month theatrical exclusivity for new releases. Just weeks before the Oscars, one of Los Angeles’ most iconic theaters, the Cinerama Dome, along with ArcLight Cinemas, went out of business.

After the pandemic, Hollywood – and the Oscars – may not ever be quite the same. Or as WarnerMedia’s new chief executive Jason Kilar said when announcing plans to shift the studio’s movies to streaming: “We’re not in Kansas anymore.”

Mark your calendars: April 25 is Oscar Sunday. Live coverage begins Sunday morning and continues all day with special “On The Red Carpet” coverage leading up to the 93rd Academy Awards ceremony. After the last award is handed out, stay with “On The Red Carpet” for continuing coverage. Be sure to follow @OnTheRedCarpet on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and TikTok for all your Oscar news and information.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Author: OTRC

This post originally appeared on ABC13 RSS Feed