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Samsung Brings Neo QLED TVs, MicroLED TVs to Expand Its Smart TV Portfolio in 2021



Samsung Neo QLED and MicroLED TV models were unveiled on Wednesday at a pre-CES 2021 virtual event. The new portfolio is aimed to provide better TV-viewing experiences with improved contrast and better backlighting, alongside offering next-generation accessibility through features including Sign Language Zoom and Multi-Output Audio. Alongside the new Neo QLED and MicroLED TVs, Samsung brought its new The Frame TV that is thinner than the previous models and is designed to offer a more customisable experience to users.

Samsung Neo QLED TVs features, specifications

Available in 8K (QN900A) and 4K (QN90A) models, the Samsung Neo QLED TVs feature new displays that use Quantum Mini LED as a next-generation light source. The Quantum Mini LED is up to 40 times smaller in height than a conventional LED and instead of using a lens to disperse light, it has thin micro layers filled with more LEDs to provide better backlighting than a traditional LED display. In addition to the proprietary Mini-LED technology, the Neo QLED TVs by the South Korean company use Quantum Matrix technology that is touted to enable balanced lighting by using precise control of LEDs available behind the display.

The combination of Quantum Mini LED and Quantum Matrix technology enables Neo QLED to increase the luminance scale to 12-bit with 4,096 steps, Samsung said. The enhancements help make dark areas darker and bright areas brighter, alongside bringing an immersive HDR experience.


Samsung has also used its Neo Quantum Processor to bring new upscaling capabilities on the Neo QLED TVs. The new processing unit is claimed to use up to 16 different neural network models to optimise picture quality to 4K and 8K regardless of the input quality.

The presence of the new display technologies on the Neo QLED TVs not just helps enhance picture quality but also brings a nearly bezel-less experience along with a slim design. The TVs come along with an attachable cable management system called Slim One Connect box.

On the audio front, the Samsung Neo QLED TVs come with Object Tracking Sound Pro that is claimed to help produce dynamic sound corresponding to the movement of objects on the screen. There is also a SpaceFit Sound feature that outputs immersive sound based on the TV’s physical environment.

The Neo QLED TVs come preloaded with Samsung Health and Super Ultrawide GameView features. There is also an optional USB-connected smart camera solution that can follow the movements of users and work with Google Duo to enable video calling. The new TVs can also connect with a PC or with a compatible smartphone to enable working and learning from home.

In terms of accessibility, the Neo QLED TVs by Samsung come with Caption Moving, Sign Language Zoom, and Multi-Output Audio features to help people who are hard of hearing, the deaf, people with low vision, and the blind. The company also showcased a Voice Guide feature that will be expanded by 2022 to provide support to people with hearing and vision disabilities.


The 2021 Neo QLED TVs will also come in Samsung’s Eco-packaging that is touted to upcycle up to 200,000 tons of corrugated boxes each year. Further, you’ll get a solar-powered remote control that doesn’t require any AA or AAA batteries and can be recharged by indoor light, outdoor light, or USB. The remote control is also designed with upcycling plastics from recyclable bottles.

Samsung MicroLED TVs

Alongside the Neo QLED TVs, Samsung unveiled its MicroLED TVs for 2021 that come in 110- and 99-inch sizes. These new TVs come with 24 million individually-controlled micrometre-sized LED lights to provide an enhanced backlighting. There is also a Monolith Design that is aimed to bring over 99 percent screen-to-body ratio. The TVs come preloaded with a 4Vue feature to let you watch up to four different content sources at once. Further, there is a Majestic Sound to provide 5.1 channel audio output, without requiring an external speaker.

samsung microled tv 2021 Samsung MicroLED TV

Samsung MicroLED TV comes with 99 percent screen-to-body ratio


Samsung last month showed its commercial 110-inch microLED TV that debuted following some unique models including ‘The Wall’ with a MicroLED display and was limited to the South Korean market. However, the arrival of the new TVs suggest that the company is now aiming to expand its MicroLED developments to the global TV markets.


Samsung The Frame 2021

Samsung’s 2021 portfolio also takes its lifestyle TV category to new levels with a new version of The Frame. This is half-thinner compared to previous versions, matching the depth of a traditional picture frame. There are also new attachable bezel options in five different colour options and two different customisable styles. The company has also updated its Art Store from where users can get over 1,400 curated pieces to put on the idle screen of The Frame TV. There is an artificial intelligence (AI) based auto-curation technology to analyse consumer preferences to recommend artwork.

samsung frame tv 2021 Samsung Frame TV 2021  The Frame

 Samsung’s The Frame 2021 matches the thickness of a traditional picture frame


Although The Frame is meant for a niche market and is not targeted at the masses, Samsung claimed that over one million units have been sold since launch in 2017.

Samsung has not yet revealed the prices of its 2021 smart TVs. However, given the features and the technologies used, the Neo QLED TVs are likely to be priced similar to the company’s existing QLED TVs. The new MicroLED TVs and The Frame, on the other hand, are expected to be available with some premium price tags.


What will be the most exciting tech launch of 2021? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below.

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Chromecast with Google TV Review: Simple, Yet Effective



Chromecast with Google TV Review: Simple, Yet Effective

One of the first real streaming devices of the current era was the Google Chromecast, which adopted a novel approach to let you wirelessly access Internet-based content on an ordinary, non-smart television. The device didn’t have a user interface or remote of its own, but when used with a compatible smartphone or tablet, it allowed you to stream content easily, thanks to Google’s ‘casting’ protocol. Streaming devices have, since then, become much more capable, with independent functionality and dedicated remotes in most cases.

That’s where the new Chromecast with Google TV comes in. Launched globally in 2020, this standalone streaming device with the new and improved Google TV user interface has come to India only recently, and is priced at Rs. 6,399. With a convenient form factor, a dedicated remote, and Ultra-HD HDR streaming capabilities, is this the best streaming device you can buy right now? Find out in this review.


chromecast with google tv review ui Google

The Chromecast with Google TV, as its name suggests, runs the newer and more content-centric Google TV user interface


Chromecast with Google TV design and specifications

Unlike much larger devices such as the Mi Box 4K or Amazon Fire TV Cube (2nd Gen) which need to be placed on a table top, the Chromecast with Google TV is considerably smaller and lighter, and can safely hang from your TV when connected to an HDMI port.

Although this device is available globally in different colour options, you can only buy it in the ‘Snow’ colour in India. The streaming device is available on Flipkart for now, but Google has confirmed that it will also be sold at offline retail stores in the coming weeks.

The Chromecast with Google TV is oval-shaped and flat, with a fixed rubber cable leading to an HDMI plug on one end, and a USB Type-C port for power on the other end. Included in the sales package is a USB Type-A to Type-C cable and wall socket adapter, which is the recommended way to power the Chromecast. Certain TVs might be able to supply power through a USB port with just the cable, but this is typically a less reliable way to do it.

The device supports streaming at up to Ultra-HD (3840×2160 pixels) at 60fps, with support for high dynamic range content in the Dolby Vision, HDR10+, and HDR10 formats. There is also Dolby Atmos support when used with compatible televisions or speaker systems. Dual-band Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are supported for external connectivity.


Chromecast with Google TV remote and features

What truly stands out about the Chromecast with Google TV is its remote. This is a small, conveniently-shaped unit powered by two AAA batteries (included in the sales package). It has just a few buttons, including a direction pad, back, and home keys for navigation, hotkeys for YouTube and Netflix, a button to invoke Google Assistant, and volume buttons on the right.

The curved shape of the remote makes it easy to hold, and the side-mounted volume keys are convenient to reach without needing to adjust your grip. There is an IR emitter to control connected devices such as TVs and soundbars, and Bluetooth to control the Chromecast itself and transmit voice commands to Google Assistant.

chromecast with google tv review remote Google

The remote of the Chromecast with Google TV has hotkeys for Netflix and YouTube


HDMI-CEC support on the device meant that I was able to control basic functionality such as power and volume adjustments on the television as well as the soundbar that I had connected, using just the Chromecast’s remote. This didn’t need any additional setup, and worked flawlessly during my review. Apart from Google Assistant, the Chromecast also features the classic casting capabilities of its predecessor devices.

Chromecast with Google TV software and performance

The Chromecast with Google TV runs on Android TV 10, with the Google TV user interface on top. This new and improved user interface was introduced in 2020 with the Chromecast, but has since also been made available to other Android TV devices, including Sony televisions and the Realme 4K Smart Google TV Stick. The biggest advantage of Android TV compared to other smart TV and streaming device platforms is the number of available apps; the Google Play store has over 5,000 apps, purpose-built for television screens.

The Google TV user interface is different from the original stock Android TV UI in that it puts a greater focus on content recommendations, and also replaces the erstwhile Google Play Movies and TV app with purchases and rentals directly in the UI. Apps and games are the same on Google TV as on the older UI, since these rely on the base Android TV software.


Content curation and recommendations on Google TV are interesting, with large banners featuring movies and TV shows that the algorithm thinks you will like. These are sorted into various rows based on genres, themes, and content such as titles similar to what you’ve already watched. Some of these rows are quite unique and creative; I had recommendations for ‘Shows set in Los Angeles’, ‘Movies nominated for Best Film Editing Oscar’, and ‘Monsoon Hits’, among others.

chromecast with google tv review back Google

The Chromecast with Google TV supports Ultra-HD and HDR streaming


Of the services I’m subscribed to, Google TV was able to integrate with Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV and Apple TV+, and Disney+ Hotstar to suggest content. This made for a great mix of recommendations, and usefully, the interface showed Rotten Tomatoes ratings for almost all recommendations. Rather sensibly, the UI prioritises the easiest and most affordable way to watch each title. It directed me to services I’m subscribed to already wherever possible, to watch specific movies or shows for free.

Actual performance on the Chromecast with Google TV was largely problem-free for me. Connectivity was stable with a 5GHz home Wi-Fi connection, and all apps and content loaded quickly and without any issues. Streaming was similarly hassle-free, with my capable Internet connection ensuring that content would immediately stream in Ultra-HD and HDR when available, or bump to the higher resolution and format within seconds.

Ordinarily, the Chromecast with Google TV streams in the best available resolution and dynamic range, reliably setting up the picture for the native settings of specific content. However, the device has an interesting toggle in the settings menu to force Ultra-HD and Dolby Vision for all content. This made the user interface look a fair bit better and sharper, and seemed to improve the colours even in Full-HD standard dynamic range content by forcing my Dolby Vision compatible television to use those specific picture settings.



Streaming devices usually exist to satisfy very specific requirements for the user; you either don’t have smart connectivity on your existing television and aren’t ready to replace it yet, or you don’t like how your TV’s integrated smart connectivity works. The Chromecast with Google TV works reasonably well in either case, and you should not have any trouble with its excellent software and user experience. The fact that it needed minimal setup and tweaking, and pretty much just worked well from the get-go, made me like the Chromecast even more.

It’s a bit expensive, but it does exactly what it’s supposed to and can work with most mainstream audio and video formats right now. It might be worth considering the Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K Max if you’re more in tune with Alexa, but the Chromecast with Google TV is geared for Google Assistant, and works just as well for its core functionality.

Price: Rs. 6,399


  • Convenient shape and size
  • Excellent remote
  • Ultra-HD, Dolby Vision, Dolby Atmos support
  • Very easy to set up and use


  • Somewhat expensive

Ratings (Out of 10):

Design and specifications: 9
Features: 8
Value for money: 6
Overall: 8

How is Alexa faring in India? We discuss this on Orbital, the Gadgets 360 podcast. Orbital is available on Spotify, Gaana, JioSaavn, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music and wherever you get your podcasts.
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ViewSonic M2e Portable LED Projector Review: Take It and Go



Projectors, particularly portable ones, offer a lot more versatility than a typical screen such as a television or computer monitor. The form factor and ease of use makes it possible to take a portable projector along with you wherever you go, which can be on business or leisure trips, or even to the office and back home. Projectors can also produce much larger screen sizes than televisions; even simple portable projectors can project up to 100 inches in size, depending on the projection distance.

It’s this versatility that makes the idea of having a decent, well-equipped portable projector so attractive. Among the leading brands in the business of projectors is ViewSonic, and I’m reviewing the ViewSonic M2e portable full-HD LED projector here. Priced at Rs. 85,000 in India, this projector has plenty of connectivity options, can be powered via a power bank for wireless use, and has built-in speakers from Harman Kardon. Is this the best and most handy solution for on-the-go entertainment and productivity? Find out in this review.

viewsonic m2e projector review remote ViewSonic

The ViewSonic M2e comes with a remote, and is small enough to take with you in a backpack or handbag



ViewSonic M2e Projector design and specifications

The ViewSonic M2e is, to some extent, a successor to the much smaller, more portable, and more affordable ViewSonic M1. However, as the price of Rs. 85,000 suggests, it’s positioned differently; this isn’t an ultra-portable projector, but is better considered as a regular home theatre projector with some flexibility in how and where you can use it.

That said, the ViewSonic M2e isn’t very large, and definitely isn’t heavy. There is a two-driver Harman Kardon speaker system with a total output of 6W alongside the lens at the front, and heat vents on the right side of the projector. There is just a single button at the back for power, along with a 3.5mm Audio-out socket, one HDMI 2.0 port, one USB Type-C port, one USB Type-A port, a microSD card slot, and a power socket for the included power adapter.

The bottom of the ViewSonic M2e has an adjustable kick stand, which allows for a bit of angle adjustment for the projector. This moves freely for precise adjustments, and is tight enough to lock in place once you’ve found the ideal angle. There is also a screw socket on the underside to mount the projector onto a tripod, if desired.

Unlike many portable projectors, the ViewSonic M2e does not have a built-in battery, and needs to be connected to a power source to function. Ordinarily, this would be the included power adapter, which plugs into a wall socket and connects to the projector. However, the ViewSonic M2e has a USB Type-C port, which can be used to power the device.

It’s worth pointing out here that this doesn’t mean that any power adapter and cable can power the projector; you’ll need one capable of delivering at least 45W of power. Usefully, this can even be a suitably-specced power bank with support for the Power Delivery protocol, which will allow you to use the projector even outdoors or in places where a wall socket isn’t available.

viewsonic m2e projector review lamp ViewSonic

The LED projector has a rated brightness of up to 1,000 lumens, and a lamp life of 30,000 hours



A USB Type-C cable for this is included in the sales package, but not an adapter for this cable. The USB Type-C port can be used by the projector to receive an audio-visual signal from compatible devices, in addition to power. Also included in the box are a remote for the ViewSonic M2e, four different plug cords to use with the power adapter (for different countries’ plug standards), and a carry case for the projector.

The lens on the ViewSonic M2e has a fixed position, so the size of the projection depends on the distance between the projector and the screen or wall. The projector is stated to project at a size up to 100 inches, with a throw distance range of 0.65m (24-inch projection) to 2.68m (100-inch projection). The ViewSonic M2e is a full-HD (1920×1080-pixel) resolution LED projector, with a rated brightness of 1,000 lumens and lamp life of up to 30,000 hours.

ViewSonic M2e Projector connectivity and features

Primary connectivity for the ViewSonic M2e is through its ports and inputs; HDMI and USB Type-C cover most modern source devices such as streaming hardware, laptops, and gaming consoles, while USB and microSD let you use traditional storage media.

There is also Bluetooth for wireless audio connectivity with headphones or speakers, and Wi-Fi to enable some degree of standalone usability, through apps and screen mirroring. The projector is AirPlay-enabled for screen mirroring from Apple devices, and also works with an app to enable mirroring from Android devices.

The ViewSonic M2e has its own Android-based operating system with a custom user interface on top, which can be controlled with the included remote. You can use Wi-Fi 2.4GHz connectivity to download and install apps from the included app marketplace, but most of these apps are designed for use with touch screens and are difficult to navigate and use with the projector’s remote.

There are also detailed settings for the projector, including manual calibration and focus settings, and a file browser to access storage media content. Usefully, the projector itself has 16GB of in-built storage, of which around 10GB is user-accessible. There is native support for media up to 4K resolution, but the projector itself will downscale this to full-HD for projection.


viewsonic m2e projector review national parks ViewSonic

The ViewSonic M2e has fixed optical zoom for the projection, so the size depends on the distance between the projector and the wall or screen


Although I did find a handful of apps that worked, most including the Netflix app couldn’t be used with the remote to navigate. It’s a nice set of features to have for occasional use, particularly screen mirroring from a smartphone which can help with slideshows and presentations, but you’ll want to connect a proper source device to the ViewSonic M2e to be able to use it properly.

As with most portable or semi-portable projectors, the ViewSonic M2e has autofocus and auto keystone correction for easy setup of the projection, and both of these worked well at short or moderate distances. At long distances (close to the maximum recommend range of the projector), I experienced frequent focus issues, and was only able to fix the projection angles with a bit of manual calibration.

Although optical zoom is fixed and this decides the size of the projection, the ViewSonic M2e has a digital zoom range of 0.8X to 1X, which can be used to reduce the projection size slightly. This can come in handy when trying to fit the projection within a screen or wall when the distance or positioning can’t be changed, and is a useful touch.

ViewSonic M2e Projector performance

The form factor and features of the ViewSonic M2e gives it a lot of flexibility and makes using it very easy, but the fixed zoom lens means that positioning of the projector is the key to ensuring good performance. Additionally, while the projector has a rated range of up to 2.68m, I found that performance of the projection quality fell considerably at longer distances; the projector is best used at shorter distances.


For much of this review, I had the projector set up to project onto a white wall from about 1m away. I used the Amazon Fire TV Cube (2nd Gen) as a source device, watched a few video files from a USB drive, occasionally mirrored my smartphone screen, and also watched a few YouTube videos using an app on the projector’s own operating system. Performance was largely uniform across sources, but high-quality streaming content on the Fire TV Cube looked a lot better than anything else I watched on the ViewSonic M2e.

viewsonic m2e projector review back ViewSonic

Connectivity options on the ViewSonic M2e projector include HDMI, USB Type-C, and more


The projector usually took a while to start up, with the Android-based operating system taking about a minute to optimise apps, and load up the user interface. At distances of around 1m or slightly more, the projection size was around 40 inches or so, which was adequate for most of the situations where I used it.

The projector’s native user interface was only really useful to adjust the settings or get to external source devices or storage media; I found the built-in apps too clunky and difficult to handle. With an HDMI source device such as the Amazon Fire TV Cube, the projector simply served as the ‘display’, with the source device taking over the actual content management. I also noticed a few strange bugs from time to time, such as the projector refusing to fully power down and rebooting over and over on one occasion.

At the distances and projection sizes that I used the ViewSonic M2e with, I found the picture to be sharp and fairly detailed in the right setting. Watching the visually spectacular Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse and a few stand-up comedy specials on Netflix, I quite liked how detailed the picture was when projected onto a dull-white wall. Large projection sizes naturally made a significant difference to sharpness, but the ViewSonic M2e performs well at reasonable distances that make it a good substitute for a 43-inch TV or display.


Projectors need a dark room to work best, and turning off all the lights and watching at night naturally made for the best experience using the ViewSonic M2e. The colours were bright and vibrant, particularly with the trippy comic-book-style animation of the Spider-Man movie. Motion was handled well, and the projector managed to keep up with the fast pace of the image most of the time.

However, dark scenes didn’t look too great, because of the obvious nature of the projected picture. During the day with bright sunlight, the projector only made for decent picture when the projection size was kept small, but even something as simple as drawing the curtains to dim the room made a considerable difference in the picture quality, and the projector generally performed well with full-HD content in even a dimly lit room.

Low-resolution content such as SD-resolution children’s videos looked decent in dimly-lit conditions, provided the projection size was kept low. While the ViewSonic M2e is stated to be able to project up to 100 inches in size, there was a significant difference in picture quality between small and large projection sizes.

That said, the fixed optical zoom and limited digital zoom meant that I usually had to make do with whatever size I could achieve, given that positioning the projector was often tricky at home. In professional environments such as conference rooms with projector screens and easily accessible power outlets, for example, the ViewSonic M2e could work well as a way to mirror your laptop or tablet screen for presentations, and the portability and ease of use is an added bonus.

Sound quality on the ViewSonic M2e is very good, thanks to the 6W Harman Kardon speaker system built into the projector. Although this doesn’t sound very loud, it’s more than adequate in close range, good enough for a typical room, and tuned for all kinds of content-based audio. Stand-up comedy specials were fun to watch on the ViewSonic M2e, with the sound well tuned for speech. You can connect to an external speaker if needed, but the convenience of having good built-in sound gives the ViewSonic M2e quite a bit of versatility.



Projectors are typically expensive and the ViewSonic M2e is no exception. At Rs. 85,000, it’s around the same price as the Ultra-HD 55-inch Xiaomi OLED Vision TV. However, as far as projectors go, the M2e is an impressive device. It has lots of connectivity options, good video and audio performance, and the ability to go as large as 100 inches in projection size.

The key advantages of the ViewSonic M2e are the portability and ease of use, and this makes it a worthwhile option to consider for both home, travel, and professional projection needs. I wouldn’t go as far as to say that this can replace your TV at home, but the ViewSonic M2e is definitely worth considering if you’re looking for something that is easy to travel with and use.

Price: Rs. 85,000

Design: 9
Performance: 7
VFM: 7
Overall: 7


  • Very easy to store and carry around
  • Good connectivity options
  • Decent projection performance, even in dimly lit rooms
  • Very good sound quality
  • Quick, effective keystone and focus correction


  • Somewhat expensive
  • Fixed optical zoom
  • Slow to boot up, occasional bugs in software
  • Basic built-in UI

How is Alexa faring in India? We discuss this on Orbital, the Gadgets 360 podcast. Orbital is available on Spotify, Gaana, JioSaavn, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music and wherever you get your podcasts.

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Philips 7900 Ambilight Ultra-HD LED Android TV Series with Dolby Vision, Dolby Atmos Launched in India



Philips 7900 Ambilight Ultra-HD Android LED TV series has been launched in India, with prices for the range starting at Rs. 99,990 in India. The television range is available in three sizes – 55 inches, 65 inches, and 75 inches – with all televisions in the range having Ultra-HD (3840×2160-pixel) LED screens, with support for HDR up to the Dolby Vision format, and Dolby Atmos. The Ambilight TV range features built-in three-sided LED lights behind the screen, which replicate the colours on screen for a unique viewing effect.

Philips 7900 Ambilight Ultra-HD LED Android TV price and availability

The Philips 7900 Ambilight Ultra-HD LED Android TV series is available in three size options – 55 inches (Rs. 99,990), 65 inches (Rs. 1,49,990), and 75 inches (Rs. 1,89,990). All three have similar specifications and features, apart from the obvious differences in size, with Ultra-HD LED screens, and three-sided Ambilight LED lighting behind the screen. The televisions will be available through Philips’ sales and distribution network, which includes online and offline multi-brand electronics retail stores.

Philips 7900 Ambilight Ultra-HD LED Android TV specifications and features

The standout feature of the new Philips 7900 series is the three-sided Ambilight system of LEDs, located behind the TV screen. Based on the content and colours displayed near the edges of the screen when something is displayed on screen, the Ambilight system shines similar coloured light right behind the TV.


This is similar to the effect achieved by aftermarket rear lights from brands such as Govee and Philips itself, but the lighting system on the Ambilight TV is integrated straight out-of-the-box, and requires no additional setup. The lights can be customised and controlled directly using the remote of the TV, and even switched off as needed.

In addition to this, the Philips 7900 Ambilight LED TV series supports high dynamic range content in all the major formats, including Dolby Vision, HDR10+, HDR10, and HLG. The television also supports Dolby Atmos sound, with the 55-inch TV featuring a 20W speaker system. The Ultra-HD screen has a refresh rate of up to 60Hz, and the television has dual-band Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 5 connectivity.

The television runs Android TV software, with the new stock Android TV user interface, and access to major apps and streaming services through the Google Play Store. There is also Google Assistant support through the remote, as well as built-in Google Chromecast.

Why is Oppo making strange choices with its flagship Reno series? We discuss this on Orbital, the Gadgets 360 podcast. Orbital is available on Spotify, Gaana, JioSaavn, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music and wherever you get your podcasts.

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